Tag Archives: American Cars

Car Stories: Hit and Run Reward

Stuart's 1958 Edsel, FLN502

Stuart’s 1958 Edsel, FLN502

By Justin Houston

Once in a lifetime there comes an event that cannot be told until enough time has passed that the participants are deceased or otherwise no longer at risk of being outted, prosecuted or hunted down for bounty. Hit and Run Reward is one such event.

Stuart Grover was one of my car buddies from high school and we always had this undeclared competition to find the rarest, most desirable cars. Once I mentioned I’d like to find an Edsel convertible with a manual transmission. Stuart readily agreed that was a noble, if lofty, goal.

One day Stuart called and said he’d found a red 1958 Edsel convertible with a manual transmission. He said it was sitting on the back of a used car lot in Midway City. In barely running condition with bad brakes, he bought the car and used it as his daily transportation.

After he’d had the car a year he managed to scrape together the money to replace the top. He waxed and polished the car and it looked great. He went everywhere with the top down.
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Our Cars: Justin Huston’s 1960 Edsel Ranger, “The Time Capsule Edsel”

1960 Edsel Ranger 001

It looked just like every other free ad you see on the Internet: a single, nondescript picture with a sketchy description. As Edsels go, a beige 4-door Ranger is about as generic as it gets, so it didn’t take a member of Mensa with a PhD in Barrett-Jacksonomics to see why the ad drew little interest.

1960 Edsel Ranger Craigslist AdThe familiar “barn find” descriptor, common in other parts of the country, doesn’t exist in California. There are a few barns, but people rarely put cars in them, hence the term “garage find” more aptly describes such an event by California standards. So, who would have ever guessed an Internet ad would produce a car that would emerge from a garage after forty- seven years in hiding, with a unique pedigree consistent with today’s fascination with ‘true survivor’ collector cars?
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Our Cars: Roger Klein’s 1984 Cadillac Seville Elegante

1984 Cadillac Seville Elegante

Roger writes:
I probably picked up my affinity for Cadillacs from my father. He didn’t particularly care about cars mind you, but as he related to me, when he was growing up as a poor kid in Brooklyn in the 50’s, he saw a then-new Cadillac waft down his street, and as he told the story, it excited him immensely as he had never seen such an impressive car. He asked his father what kind of car it was, and his father explained to him “Son, that’s a Cadillac, that’s a car for rich people, not us.” Well fast-forward thirty some-odd years and the poor kid from Brooklyn had opened his own business and “made good” as it were, and at his first opportunity bought himself a new ’83 Sedan DeVille. I had never seen him so excited about a car, it really meant something special to him: he had “arrived.” I was reaching an age in this period where I had begun to express strong opinions about vehicles (to anyone who would listen and many who wouldn’t), gained from poring over car magazines, brochures, specifications, and anything else I could get my eager little hands on. As my father really didn’t particularly care about the specification of his vehicles (and in retrospect it probably was in reality a father-son bonding exercise), I was tasked with figuring out what the replacement vehicle for the ’83 DeVille would be in 1985.
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