Vintage Porsche, Lotus and Fire Truck: Our 11 Favorite My Ride Vehicles of 2021
Every week since August 2013, The Wall Street Journal has relayed the story of a passionate vehicle owner, from the cutting edge rides changing the mobility landscape to vintage cars on wooden wheels. Here’s a look back at some of the most notable My Ride columns of 2021:
This NFL Hall of Fame Heart and Retired Judge Belongs to a 115-Year-Old Buick
Judge Alan Page of Minneapolis first glanced at his 1906 Buick Model F in the basement of his future father-in-law’s house in 1973. The car was in pieces, along with five other vintage Buicks. Almost five decades later, he is the keeper of this restored 1906 Buick and has driven it in numerous rallies across his home country. This 1906 Buick is “more interesting to drive than any other car I’ve driven,” Judge Page said in his November column.
He invented a new shade of purple for his swollen Ford
Albuquerque, NM, is a city full of car freaks. Case in point: Leonard Erdman, after-sales manager at a local Dodge dealership. Mr. Erdman built this one of a kind custom 1952 Ford pickup that he calls the Joker. “I wanted it to be on your face,” he said in his July column. He even designed the custom purple paint. Since his column was published, Mr. Erdman has driven this pickup truck through Colorado, northern New Mexico and into the heart of his hometown. It’s hard to miss the Joker when he passes.
The artwork in Eric Haze’s garage
Eric Haze has been a fixture on the New York art scene for decades. Mr. Haze built this 1962 bespoke Plymouth Savoy using new parts from the early 1960s that have never been used and have taken years to find. He chose the paint from the palette for which he is known in the art world. (He designed uniforms for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, in this color scheme.) “For me,” he said in his April column, “there isn’t much of a difference between collect art and collect cars. I enjoy looking at them and having them in my art collection almost as much as I enjoy driving them.
Lyn St. James rides her Miata like it’s in the Indy 500
In 1990, racing freak Lyn St. James saw a new Mazda Miata in a friend’s garage. She had never heard of such a thing. That’s how new the model was. Mrs. St. James, the 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, loved this car so much that she bought one in the first model year. Decades later, the Miata, built in Hiroshima, Japan, is the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car of all time. Phoenix-based Ms. St. James, whose column was published in March, still has her 1990 edition. She plans to upgrade it with Recaro racing seats and a racing car steering wheel in 2022. Who thinks- Will it be: Lyn St. James?
The 1957 Ford with Flower Wagon Power
Sheridan Kahn is married to a reducer. But she never showed affection for cars until he brought this 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon to their home in Ventura County, California. The second she saw it, she claimed it as her own. The car has been painted in his favorite color and improved to make it safer and easier to drive. Now she uses it for her fledgling landscaping business and to take her kids to the beach. She calls it her Flower Wagon. “The whole aesthetic of the wagon – the color, the shape, the way it moves, the way it inspires people – can be summed up in one word: charm,” she explained in her May column. . “It’s just a fun time, every time we take it out.”
His classic British roadster stands out on the roads of the Rocky Mountains
British roadsters of the 60s and 70s have a large fan base, including the MG MGB. Kelsey Weatherford bought his – a 1980, from MGB’s very last year of production – with his father’s help, for $ 6,500. Ms Weatherford, a 23-year-old customer service associate at a video messaging company, spent some quality time during the pandemic with the top down on Colorado roads, mastering the manual transmission. And she’s at work replacing the wheels with a set that came out of a special edition MGB in 1980. “I found in this car exactly what I had hoped for,” she said in his November column. ” The pleasure of driving. “
The Porsche he wanted wasn’t sold in the United States, so he built one.
In 2017, Eric Pasia, a Phoenix-based management consultant and founder of Last Era, a motorsport-inspired clothing brand, bought this 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, one of the last generations of air-cooled Porsches (a big case, if you are a Porsche fan). He modified the car to create a tribute to the 911 Carrera RS, a rare higher-performance version ever offered in the United States. Recently, Mr. Pasia involved his 8 year old son in the maintenance of this car. “He can’t wait to be old enough to learn how to drive a manual transmission! said Pasia, whose column was published in January.
This Factory Five Daytona Coupé tribute called “The Huntress” stalks its prey on the race track
“All my life I’ve loved speed,” said Karen Salvaggio in her February column. A health and wellness coach living in Hemet, Calif., Ms. Salvaggio’s current ride is a tribute to the famous Shelby Daytona Coupe racing car from the 1960s, of which only six were built. Factory Five is a small company that pays these tributes, and Ms. Salvaggio built hers as a full-fledged race car, with the number 28 because it was her age when she started racing. She named her the Huntress. Since her column was published, she has participated in the Pacific Northwest Historics outside of Seattle. “The car performed wonderfully,” she said.
This vintage fire truck could save your life
Bob McMahon, a retired economics professor living in Villages, Florida, has eclectic mechanical tastes. He once owned a 65 foot steam tug and collected sawmill machinery. After joining a volunteer fire department, he purchased this 1928 Ahrens-Fox NS-4 fire truck in 2004. It was originally built in Cincinnati for the Bloomington Fire Department in the Illinois. He put it back in working order, including the pipes, and took it to numerous parades. “I bet it saved a lot of lives back then,” he said in his January column. Mr. McMahon recently sold this truck. His next project? A vintage Ford Model A.
What is his dream car? Hint: Mercedes is her mother’s middle name
Roger Graham, CEO of a company that makes commercial metal products in Bellflower, Calif., Loves his 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG for many reasons. He’s been a Mercedes fan for years. Her mother’s middle name is Mercedes. And its initials are AMG (for Audrey Mercedes Graham), the badge Mercedes-Benz uses for its line of top-performing vehicles. The SLS AMG is a tribute to the iconic Mercedes Gullwing of the 1950s, but it stands out as a powerful and stylish vehicle. Mr. Graham loves the performance, but “the most important part,” he said in his July column, “is that she reminds me of my mother.”
A vintage lotus keeps one step ahead
During the post-war years, British automotive engineer Colin Chapman created Lotus with a specific philosophy: Super light cars with small engines can beat bigger, heavier cars with more power. Case in point: this 1962 Lotus Type 23, a racing car in a classic Lotus paint scheme, owned by entrepreneur and angel investor Joshua Schachter of Los Altos, California. Schachter explained in his September column, “and Lotus has been very successful in doing it.” He recently had the engine overhauled and plans to take this vintage racing car, in 2022.
—Write to AJ Baime at [email protected]
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