Classic Recreations owner Jason Engel, 40, grew up in Banner, Oklahoma, a country farm town so small that Google Maps hasn’t been out there yet with its cameras. His father was a used-car salesman with his own repair shop, and Jason started fixing cars from the age of 10. Paint, wiring, body work. Living out in the country, Jason had to learn to do all that and more. There were advantages.
And as thousands upon thousands of American soldiers began returning home from the Great War, the market for domestic automobiles was ripe for revolution. Enter: Glen Gordon “Gary” Davis.
Unlike Preston Tucker, Davis had no hands-on experience building cars. What Davis had was years of experience selling used cars during the war in his home state of Indiana. Like so many before and since, Davis migrated to southern California with dreams of fame and fortune.
How’d that work out? Well…
Running a automotive museum is an exhaustive endeavor that often involves the dedication of thousands, including employees, volunteers, mechanics, and benefactors. Vehicles require constant attention, exhibits need to be updated, and regular visitors always want to see new things every few months.
That’s before acquiring (and maintaining) unicorn-grade rarities like the Davis Divan, as the Petersen Museum did—a vehicle so obscure and pending restoration so complex that they’re asking for donations via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
It’s often difficult to appreciate the humble start that many automotive legends had to overcome. We know the Shelby Cobra as shorthand for unparalleled racing success—the car that almost single-handedly put American performance cars on the map—as well as proving the benefits of fitting a big American engine into a small, light, European chassis. For the Cobra, racing was inevitable—and this is the first one ever offered by Carroll Shelby to a private customer.
/ 20 Mar 2015
Today marks the anniversary of James Ward Packard’s death, and I thought it fitting to appreciate some of the timeless designs to come from his family’s company, Packard. Founded by James and his brother William Doud in 1899, Packard was founded with a simple goal: to build the best horseless carriages. Over the years, this led to hundreds of innovations that we still enjoy today...
/ 3 Mar 2015
Sean Mathis's grandfather, whom he called "Pop," originally bought this 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville in California. It was the family car while Sean's father was growing up but eventually the car fell out of use and was stashed away under a tarp in Pop's shop. Being the only car enthusiast in his family, Sean spent most of the next ten years trying to take ownership of the car...
By / 24 Feb 2015
Many of us grew up appreciating cars from the big and small screen. Like the actors driving them, they personified more than the sum of their parts. We overlooked the unrealistic portrayal of stamina and the ability to defy basic laws of physics and loved them anyway...
The late Paul Newman, whose first car was a 1937 Packard that whisked him from Wisconsin to New York for his early career on Broadway's stages, began his love affair with auto racing while training at the Watkins Glen Racing School for the part of Frank Capua in the 1969 film, Winning, where he portrayed a rising star on the race circuit who dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500...