Readers Rides

Real Cars, Real People

Compiled by Eric Kaminsky - October 17, 2013 10:00 AM


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1972 Olds Cutlass

Owner: Earl Bailey

“Back in 1990, I decided it was time to treat myself to a new car. Because styles had changed drastically since my last new vehicle purchase in 1973, nothing out there caused my heart to race or my wallet to open. Then came Carlisle!

“My best friend had been urging me to go down with him to the Fairgrounds at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and reluctantly I agreed, expecting to see the largest junkyard in the East. Instead, I became the proverbial “kid in the candy store”, drooling over the plethora of vintage vehicles, many restored to showroom condition. That’s where I met my Waterloo.

“My spouse spotted it first. At the crest of the hill, there it sat! The most beautiful Oldsmobile Cutlass I had ever seen. A Flame Orange 1972 beauty with an immaculate white vinyl roof, that had all its original paperwork, including the plastic warranty card and owner’s manual.  Better yet, the odometer displayed a mere 35K from new. I was in love! After half-heartedly haggling over the price, she was mine.

“When I got her home to Scranton, I found that all that she needed was a little detailing. The small block 350 required a good cleaning and the undercarriage was covered with surface rust. Lying on my back, I sanded, coated, sanded, painted, and waxed the entire underbelly until it matched the flawlessness of the exterior. I had the leaking carburetor rebuilt, the air conditioner recharged, the “Plain Jane” whitewall tires replaced with new raised white letter skins (compliments of my better half), a new stainless steel exhaust system installed, and I was ready to go.

“After garnering numerous first place trophies at car shows from New York to Delaware, I entered my “Creamsicle on Wheels” in AACA competition when in 1997 she turned 25. Again she ran the table. She now sports two badges on her grille; an AACA National Senior Award, and an AACA Grand National Senior Award.

“Unlike me, she has no intention of retiring, even after 18 years worth of shows. I guess that means more years of sitting behind her in my lawn chair, fielding questions from those who have yet to admire her as first I did at Carlisle.”

Forward Thinking

1963 Jeep FC-150

Owner: Gary Peterford

Here's one vehicle you won't see everyday: a 1963 Jeep FC-150. Gary Peterford rescued this one and has restored it to like-new condition.

Even though it appeared solid when he started the project, the bed was removed from the frame during the restoration, with metal repairs made to the cab. A new interior was also installed. Since its completion, Gary’s work has been recognized with several People’s Choice awards.

Powered by 134.2ci, 75hp four-cylinder producing 115 lbs-ft of torque, the cab-over-engine design was one of three configurations available (chassis and cab, pickup and stake). Introduced in 1957, the FC (which stood for Forward Control) line was mildly restyled in 1959, and then remained unchanged until production ended in 1965. It was produced by Willys Motors, Inc., of Toledo, Ohio, and had a 81-inch wheelbase, measured 147½ inches overall, and could handle a 1,727-pound payload. The bed was a mere 24 inches off the ground.

Company literature shows the diminutive truck in service on farms, at construction sites, outfitted with a snowplow blade, and even as a tow truck. Four-wheel drive allowed this truck to go just about anywhere.