What to do with a car columnist who from time to time misidentifies a car?
I never claimed to be an expert in the world of automobiles, just a writer who volunteered to tell some auto stories more than 20 years ago. And still have to assume.
Oldtimer, new, rusted, rare, valued, priceless, worthless. The occasional art object.
Hidden in collapsing barns, stored in temperature-controlled garages, buried between mud and fallen trees, parked in the driveway.
Earlier this month, My Favorite Ride showed pictures of a few cars and a truck that had turned up on a classic car tour of Bloomington on a Wednesday morning. I asked readers to help me identify them. As always, you got through.
First report:My Favorite Ride: When Jim Allison calls with tips on cars, follow the advice and grab the camera
Follow up:My favorite ride: those vehicles that got away
Bill Mingee called my home first thing on a Saturday and let me know that the bright red truck the column is pictured online was a 1955 Ford.
(For those of you who don’t see the online version of My Favorite Ride, it usually has multiple images; six this week. The print version often has only one, maybe two.)
Then there was this cream colored car from the mid-1930s that I named Auburn, but Harry Gaebler pointed out that it was probably a 1934 Plymouth. I compared the car from the tour to some old photos of Auburn and Plymouth online. It was the slope of the grille and those majestic fenders that gave it away.
When I make mistakes like this, people are usually pretty nice if they correct me. “I think I can help you identify the cream colored sedan depicted in your article today,” wrote Gaebler.
“You identified it as Auburn, but I think it’s a 1933 or 1934 Plymouth, probably 1934. It’s definitely a Plymouth. The reason I think this particular car is a 1934 is because the one The front fenders drop off low, almost forward. ” Bumper.”
A lot of what I don’t know about old cars I learn from readers. For example: “The only car with skirt fenders in 1932 was the Graham Blue Streak. And skirt fenders disappeared from American cars in 1935.” I would like to thank Gaebler for these insights from the automotive sector, which enrich my personality as a car author.
I also heard from David Willibey who signed his email, “Your faithful reader”. He is that; I hear from him a lot when I’m run over by a car. Willibey tried to identify all of the vehicles in the photo that appeared in the printed edition of the newspaper, even those that were barely visible.
“The blue car in front is a 1949 Mercury. I can tell by the parking lights. The yellow truck behind it is a 1956 Ford because it looks like it has a wraparound windshield. The reddish car is a guess, maybe a 1962.” or 1963 Chevy, but it’s definitely a 2-door hardtop. The black car in the rear is something from the early 1950s with a sun visor. “
I wonder about the manufacturing years of the magnificent royal blue cord and the green and black Hupmobil that were seen that day. Everyone?
I also got a message from Frank and Cindi, who were driving a lemon sorbet yellow 1954 Chevy on the tour. I don’t know her last name, but I have her phone number and I’m in the story.
While My Favorite Ride has drawn many loyal readers over the past two decades, I realize that not everyone is a fan. There are people who question the timeliness of what a “comprehensive photo article about rusting old cars” lamented recently in a letter to the editor of the Herald-Times.
I get it. There are more important topics to write about: crime, war, inequality, climate change, nature, education, politics, poverty, healthcare, homelessness, prisons, economy, art, COVID-19. As a reporter for a small town newspaper, I write about all of these things.
My favorite ride? It is an escape from the difficult and powerful news that surrounds us every day. It’s a drive on a country road on a blue October afternoon, convertible top down, wind in your hair. It escapes, only for a short time, before it turns back into the mud.
Do you have a story to tell about a car? Contact Laura Lane at [email protected], 812-331-4362, 812-318-5967, or mail a letter to My Favorite Ride, 1900 S. Walnut St., Bloomington, Indiana, 47401.