I dragged my butt to the Mecum Spring Classic muscle-car auction this year. I normally go excited and energized, but this year I’d had an unexpected, serious case of insomnia the night before. I got no sleep whatsoever before I had to get up and drive my kids across town so they could get to school on time. I drove from there to Margaret’s, as she was going along to see the cars with me this year. I slept hard on her couch for an hour and a half, but then sleep eluded me again.
Insomnia and I go way back. When it visits, I just go with it. I read, or watch TV, or clean, or surf the Net. I usually get drowsy enough to sleep within a few hours. If I don’t, I go about my day as best I can. And so even on next to no sleep, we drove on down to the fairgrounds to take in the cars. I was groggy and dizzy and headachy all day, but I still managed to have some fun.
Even though the Mecum is primarily a muscle-car auction, many other kinds of old cars are on hand. I go to see those cars, actually. Every year, I see cars I’ve read about, or seen in photos, but have never seen in person. This year, that car was this 1927 Hupmobile.
I’ve seen plenty of Ramblers, though; they weren’t uncommon when I was a boy. I find this ’60 Rambler Super’s angular lines strangely alluring.
I love Ford trucks of this body style. My grandpa had one when I was very small. This one’s from 1967.
Also from 1967, here’s a screaming red Pontiac Bonneville convertible. This car is about 18 feet long. You could park my Ford Focus on its hood, I’m sure.
VW Buses were pretty common during my 1970s kidhood, but the pickups on that chassis were not. So I was glad to see this ’70 Transporter.
I love station wagons. There can’t be many ’72 Buick Sport Wagons left. Modern car design tends to push the rear wheels way out to the back of the vehicle, so it’s odd to see so much overhang behind the rear wheels of this Buick.
Margaret was taken with this ’72 Fiat 500. We both towered over it.
This is the first car we saw at the auction, a ’73 Chevy Impala two-door hardtop. It seems strange today, but in those days, full-sized cars came with many different roofs: hardtop (no pillar behind the front door) and pillared, four-door and two-door. And Chevy had two two-door rooflines. This one was the sportier of the two, and was called the Sports Roof. This one looks factory fresh, down to those awesome wheel covers that were typical of the period. Dad had a ’71 Impala with this roof. It was the most unreliable car we owned.
I’m sharing this one just because it’s so over the top: a ’74 Ford Ranchero Squire, in double brown with a brown interior. This enormous vehicle was considered mid-sized in its time.
A study in opposites: this 1976 Citroen CX. This car is cram-packed with engineering innovation, including a hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension and variable-assist power steering. US auto regulations prohibited such things then, so Citroen couldn’t legally sell them here. But they were very popular in Europe, being made from 1974 to 1991.
We stayed but a few hours. I normally stay all day, but finally I couldn’t hold out anymore. A nap was in my immediate future. Mercifully, blissfully, I slept through the night that night.
I’ll share my favorite car from the auction in an upcoming post.