I have been a member of the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club since 2015. One of the perks of being a member, other than the excellent club magazine, is the local and regional events that are planned throughout the year. As a member of the Great Lakes Region, most of our chapter’s activities are around the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. For instance, in 2015 we went on a tour of the Pabst Mansion (yes, THAT Pabst) and last autumn we went on a boat tour of Lake Geneva. It’s nice to get out of town for a day and just relax and have fun. And so it was last month when I drove up to Lake Geneva yet again for a club meet, brunch, and driving tour.
Some people love Corvettes. Others are really into Civics. And in certain parts of the country, there are fine folks who will accept nothing less than a diesel F250 King Ranch. But for me, it’s Broughams. Fine, wire wheel-covered, opera-lamped Broughams. With soft Corinthian leather, d’Elegance button tufted seating, St. Regis landau tops, and chrome. Chrome everywhere! Why? Well, my grandparents had Lincoln Continentals, LTDs and Thunderbirds, and they made an impression on me. I was also unduly influenced by my dad’s root beer brown 1979 Pontiac Bonneville during my pre-kindergarten years. Fleetwood Brougham, Cougar Villager and Mark IV toy cars I received as a kid also were a factor. But despite also loving Volvos (I drove them for nearly twenty years) and Porsches (Dad had them before I was born), it always comes back to the Broughams.
Today’s post is by none other than my uncle, Dave Klockau. This was previously published over at the old site I used to write for. TK
In the late 1800s a sailor in the German Navy by the name of Wilhelm Johann Klockau, decided to jump ship in New York harbor and made his way to Rock Island, IL where he got a job as a blacksmith. His family trade in Germany was coach building. He later bought the carriage shop he worked at which eventually became the Klockau Garage. He was my Great Grand Daddy gear head, so we have him to thank for our family affliction.
“You got your Freshmen, ROTC guys, Preps, J.V. jocks, Unfriendly black hotties, Girls who eat their feelings, Girls who don’t eat anything, Desperate Wannabes, Burnouts, Sexually Active Band Geeks, the greatest people you will ever meet and the worst: Beware of Plastics.”
Mean Girls. Don’t lie, you know you’ve seen it. It’s a fantastic movie about the odd social hierarchy that has ruled the hallways of American high schools for years. And while it’s mostly tongue in cheek, it’s fascinatingly accurate. Guys, you might not know this, but girls are mean. Like, really mean. And holy cow, as they get older and approach middle age, they get meaner, and sometimes they even get smarter.
That, my friends, is a really bad combination. And when they ship their spawn off to school for the first time, they realize that THEY CAN GET THE GANG BACK TOGETHER. And they’re no longer Plastics. They have a new name: The PTA.
One benefit of being a member of many, many Lincoln, Brougham and myriad other automotive groups on FB, is I now know a lot more ‘car guys’ than I used to. One such person is Phil Schaefer, who has tons and tons of awesome old cars. Case in point: He recently bought a 1936 DeSoto Airflow. The addition of another pre-war car means that some of the less-desireable members of the fleet need to go to make room for the new stuff. So here’s your big chance to own a first-year 1984 Continental Mark VII Bill Blass Designer Edition-with a factory-installed BMW turbodiesel!
Our youngest contributor, teenager Bryce Himelrick, returns with a recap of his September 2016 trip to the Petersen Museum. Check it out! — jb
I amble out of the Uber onto the sidewalk. I look up at the building with wild eyes. The stainless steel glistering in the warm Los Angeles sun on this halcyonic September day. The building loomed overhead with red accents complimenting the futuristic looking stainless steel flanks. Rather imposing. It looks like a building straight out of an architecture student’s dream. Pictures don’t do it justice, it has more of a presence once you are there, a futuristic stainless steel building shining from the sun on museum-lined Wilshire Boulevard. The building is new and contemporary from first glance, but its roots stem from an old department-store-turned-museum that was completely renovated just recently. Maybe “renovated” is an understatement. The exterior most definitely reflects the inside. You walk into the lobby, a shiny concrete floor gradually trailing down with cars visible ahead. A Toyota 2000GT is the first thing that greets you, lone, the only car before the ticket desk. It truly is a sculpture on wheels, I never imagined that I would lay eyes on this car, and here I am, jaws to the floor, looking at it. I haven’t even bought my tickets yet. I walk to buy my tickets, and immediately I realize that this surreal feeling will be present all day.
My good friend and racing teammate, W. Christian “Mental” Ward, sent this to me back when we were running “Sunday Stories” for a bit at the beginning of the year at TTAC. Sadly, the plug was pulled on fiction before I got a chance to run this. So, here it is at Riverside Green. Enjoy!
Billy was a lot to take. Borderline ADHD, beyond hi-strung and often considered simple. Over the years he had earned the nickname “11,” A reference to the Spinal Tap movie. Billy never underdid anything.
It’s not that he was rude, or mean or even unpleasant. It’s just that he was loud, fast and always in motion.
(Note: Another post by my friend Carmine -TK) In their 1989 hit Love Shack, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s sings about having “a car as big as a whale…a Chrysler, it seats about 20.” Well, Fred, I had a Chrysler that could seat about six…and it just might have been the best and cheapest beater I ever owned.
(Note: This was written up by a friend of mine, Tom Conti. As he only had a couple of pictures of the subject car (the navy blue Cadillac), I went into ‘the vault’ and found some pictures I took of a similar Coupe de Ville, but in white. -TK) Sometimes, you just need to go for it. I am so happy that my Dad was able to fulfill the last item on his bucket list – owning a Cadillac. He had always wanted to own a Caddy before he died and he finally did. The year was 1989, December to be exact. Dad was in poor health, being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and only six months to live. He owned an ’87 Maxima at the time that he was never really happy with. “It rides too rough” or “it is just too small” were the constant complaints that my Mom and I would get. The latest Motor Trend issue had a very positive write-up on the new Caddies, so of course I had to make it my job to see that Dad read that article. Did I have influence on this purchase? You bet I did!
The biggest single reason I’ve been so infatuated with cars from my earliest memories is due to the fact that I was born into a family of major gearheads. My ancestors were from Germany, and were coachbuilders. I mean actual coach builders, because their work pre-dated the automobile. They emigrated to the U.S. around the turn of the century, and initially settled in Chicago. A short time later they learned there were a lot of Germans in Rock Island, Illinois, and they moved there. And we’re still here!