On a mid-September Saturday in 2007, my longtime friend Brian and I documented all of the old alignments of US 31 we could find in northern Indiana. When we reached the town of Peru, we found the highway closed through the heart of town for a car show.
This is one of the reasons why I love to take road trips — you never know what you’ll encounter!
Brian knows I love old cars, so he patiently let me walk among these and photograph them. This little Nash is heavily customized.
I’m pretty sure this is a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster.
This 1960s Chevy truck was heavily customized. I liked its front end, so I squatted for a close photo. I make a cameo appearance in the bumper.
This boy from South Bend always stops to look at a Studebaker.
A Chevy Nova SS. It’s likely this didn’t roll off the assembly line as an SS — most Novas were what we used to call “grocery getters,” with boring sixes under the hood.
My favorite car of the day was this 1966 Plymouth VIP. Ford luxed up the Galaxie to make the LTD, and Chevy the Impala to make the Caprice. Plymouth put fake wood trim and upgraded seats into its Fury, and called it the VIP.
This one looks to have been modified some. The fake wood is missing, and the door cards don’t look stock to me. But whatever; it’s lovely and I lingered over it.
As I prepared to take the shot below, a fellow tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I’ll have to charge you a quarter for each picture.” He owned the Plymouth. When I told him I had recently seen an old television ad for the VIP on one of the online video sites, he lit up for a moment. He told me that there was precious little information available about the VIP, which didn’t sell very well. He said he had had a difficult time finding trim parts for the car, and pointed out a few places where he had to use slightly scuffed chrome or parts that didn’t fit together just right because that’s what was available.
This blog was about six months old when I found these cars. I wrote about this Plymouth then; read about it here.
My camera’s battery died while shooting the Plymouth, which brought me out of my old-car delirium to notice that Brian was standing politely on the curb, ready to move along. Even though there were more cars to see, we headed back to my car to continue our trip. I fished my spare battery out of a cup holder, put it in the camera, and we were on our way.