So, with the, ahem, health events, shall we say? I’ve been in a sort of office/home/grocery store limbo. Ordinarily during Memorial Day weekend, I would have spent Saturday morning driving to Chicagoland for the Shirey Cadillac all-GM classic car show, in Oak Lawn.
Alas, all of Cook County is shut down, and the revised, relaxed rules were still too late to attend the event. Dagnabit. My friend in Texas, and fellow Cadillac nut and Cadillac owner (he wrote up his Seville here on RG about a year and a half ago), Jayson Coombes, was going to fly in, rent, hopefully, a Caddy, and we were going to drive in style to Oak Lawn. But all that got blown up.
But, hark! Jayson said F it, and came up anyway. So I devised an itinerary that would be most pleasant, and allow us to stay far, far away from Crook County. He arrived last Friday afternoon, and texted me this pic: “My rental car.” It was, of course, a plug ugly, willfully ugly, Prius. He hates those things, they frequently cut him off on the freeways of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. Altimas and Rogues are close behind in frequency.
Anyway, I responded with a sarcastic comment. But of course he was yanking my chain, and got a nice gunmetal gray 2019 Continental instead. I had been in contact with my other pal K. V. Dahl, who owns a lot of cool classic cars, and we were able to finagle a tour from the Old Car Home Museum’s caretaker, Al.
Al was awesome, and though I’ve been to the museum probably 8-10 times since 2011-12, I never get tired of visiting. The cars are so diverse, and there’s always a new arrival or two to gawk at.
Like this 1940 Lincoln Continental convertible. I’d seen it before via text, but this was the first time I saw it right up close and personal.
Or this 1962 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight with a mere 9900 miles on the odometer.
Everything, from paint to upholstery, is original. OK, maybe not the battery, belts, hoses and tires, but you get the idea.
And a bottle green 1953 Kaiser Manhattan.
All sorts of vintage signs and posters adorn the walls. They were just as interesting as the cars themselves.
Some of you may remember the writeup on his 1960 Chrysler New Yorker, which I wrote up a couple years ago.
This was the newest arrival, a first generation Ford Bronco. I can’t wait to see it when it’s all restored and reassembled.
Afterward, we went to an excellent Mexican restaurant on Brady Street. Iowa had recently reopened, and Azteca was very busy, though most folks were getting carry out. We opted for a table (only half were available, they were keeping folks apart more than usual), and the food and chips and salsa was excellent, as always.
Saturday was spent mostly driving around, after a monsoon-like late-morning rainstorm, anyway. We stopped by McLaughlin Cadillac, where there was a really nice 1993 Allante. My salesman pal, Brian Cox, told us it belonged to the dealership owners. It was in great shape. Even the leather on the driver’s seat was like new.
The day before he was scheduled to head home, after BLTs at Harlan’s, a diner in Davenport, we spied this maroon 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special in downtown Bettendorf.
It was rough around the edges, and both the front and the back seat were full of various stuff, but I spied it, went “Holy crap!”, and veered the Continental over to the curb.
It was a local car, sold new at the long-defunct Warren L. Langwith Pontiac-Cadillac dealership in downtown Davenport. Always love to see a survivor still plying the mean streets of the Quad Cities.
From there we went on a drive along the Iowa side of the Mississippi River, past the giant Alcoa (recently renamed Arconic, but same company) factory and thru LeClaire, home of the cable TV pickers, where this custom Corvette was spied. From there we took the river road up into Clinton, IA, where we drove along the riverfront park (near another favorite restaurant, the Candlelight Inn, located at the Clinton Marina) and checked out a cool antique store on the far side of downtown.
We both found some cool stuff, various model cars and I snagged this 1966 Continental ad. Same color as my grandfather’s first Lincoln, but his was a four door.
So, despite the original purpose of the trip-Caddys in Chi-Town-we had a good time. It was a good visit. Summer’s coming. Hopefully, not every single show will be cancelled, and I’ll be off and about on various and sundry car show excursions yet! Be well, everyone. And remember: Always tip your bartender. And your waiter.