Monthly Archives: December 2015

What should Santa drive?

Santa's 'stang

Santa’s ‘stang

As Boxing Day approaches we were taken with a pristine ’65 Mustang convertible in red with a white top. It struck us as the perfect vehicle for Santa Claus if he were to ever cut that flying sleigh and reindeer loose.  It’s festive, fun and sports the right color combination for the jolly one.

Santa's macho rig

Santa’s macho rig

Then, again, it doesn’t have a huge trunk so the question of where the stash the presents looms.  Perhaps this huge ’63 Dodge Power Wagon would be the right answer to St. Nick’s theoretical quest.  It’s red and white so the color combo fills the bill and the pick up bed would accommodate lots of loot.  It’s a lifted four wheel drive truck which means snow drifts could be successfully challenged.  The fact that it’s a crew cab means he could bring along some staff to help with the schlepping.

Wagoneering at the pole

Wagoneering at the pole

If he were to seek a bit more civilized conveyance he could try this terrific Jeep Wagoneer that dates from the days when Jeep was a product of American Motors.  The same basic truck, produced successively by Willys, Kaiser, American Motors and Chrysler, was introduced in 1962 and continued in production through the 1991 model year.  It certainly has more creature comforts that the Dodge Power Wagon but not quite the payload.  Unlike the Mustang, he wouldn’t be able to take the top down which leads us to this early ’70s International Harvester Scout finished in spruce green .  It’s got four wheel drive and the top comes off and the exterior color offers a nice contrast to Santa’s outfit.

Green machine

Green machine

But what of the little guys?  Yes, the elves need appropriate wheels and we’ve come up with a few suggestions for them.

Elves' pet Met

Elves’ pet Met

What about this Nash Metropolitan convertible we found at a light the other day?  The color combo is right up Santa’s alley and the continental kit means the miniscule trunk has that much more space.

Sprite-o!

Just buggin’

Or what about this Austin-Healey Sprite, a “bug eye” that dates from the late ’50s. It certainly gives the Metropolitan (with which it share the same motor, by the way) a run for the money in the cute department.  It would seem to compliment Santa’s Mustang very nicely.

Mini for the help

Mini for the help

Lastly, for the little folks, we suggest this very original Austin Cooper, the Mini that started it all.  The sliding windows saved British Motors, its manufacturer, money on the mechanics of roll down windows and created a tiny bit more space for stuffing presents in the door shelves.  BMC actually built the Metropolitan for American Motors as well as the Sprite and the Mini.  It’s a wonder they couldn’t stay in business.

Next year if you don’t hear the sound of hooves on your roof but, rather, a Mustang, Power Wagon, Wagoneer, Scout, Metropolitan, Sprite or Mini you’ll know why.

The Bug Eye Guy has lots of Sprites for sale and, yes, they all have human names.  With a face like that it’s only to be expected.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

Note: While we strive for factual accuracy in our posts, we readily acknowledge that we we sometimes make inadvertent mistakes.  If you happen to catch one please don’t sit there and fume; let us know where we went wrong and we’ll do our best to correct things.

Gift rack optional

Gift rack optional

 

 

Buick wood — so, so good!

The holiday season reminds us of more traditional conveyances than those nondescript ride share vehicles that portend a very bland future. It wasn’t long ago that a real station wagon — with fake wood, a vista dome roof window, rear wheel drive and V8 power– bearing a hallowed name from Buick history — roamed these realms.  Roadmaster was just that!  Next to a reindeer powered sleigh it’s the best thing for holiday hauling.

So much to love

So much to love

As with anything precious and rare, they are both cherished and collectible these days when the norm is a crossover SUV that is neither sporty nor, particularly utilitarian. The breathtakingly bulbous Roadmaster Estate wagon was offered from 1991 – 1996.  Its launch at the dawn of the Clinton era, represented the end of the age of body-on-frame full-size wagons equipped with third row “way back” seating.  They were the very last gasp of The Family Truckster paradigm that is so sorely missed.

Noble last stance

Noble last stance

There is, literally, so much to love about these bloated anachronisms and they truly deserve to be celebrated.  They’re huge and a bit ungainly but elegant in their own awkward way.  They’re like lovable cartoon woolly mammoths but instead of bristles of hair they sport flanks coated with contact paper-style wood grain.

Talk about cutting a swatch..

Talk about cutting a swatch..

The last generation Roadmaster Estate was the ultimate iteration of the full size Buick wagon and was preceded by the similarly faux fir-clad Electra Estate Wagon of the ’70s and ’80s.  We found two excellent examples of these grandes dames of swanky hauling.  The yellow one is, we’re guessing, a ’79 and we’re totally digging those “ventiports” on the fenders, a real throwback to Buick’s glory day of ’50s excess. It’s plausible that its designers were dyed-in-the-wood Happy Days fans.

Estatement of significance

Estatement of significance

Even this blue one, maybe an ’88 or ’89, parked on a street in Brookline MA sporting rocker panel rot has a certain bearing that commands at least a modicum of respect, if not reverence.

"You might need some fillah in those rockah panels.."

“You might need some fillah in those rockah panels..”

On a somewhat smaller scale is the Buick Century Estate wagon that was also sheathed in the finest of plastic veneer. We think this white one, an ’88 or ’89, is pretty neat, especially the fact that it’s equipped with an above lift gate crud deflector.  These front wheel drive mid-size contenders were typically V6 powered and quite durable. They’re well proportioned and handsome in the modest way of a fallen aristrocrat.

Century from the previous century

Century from the previous century

Mud be gone or, at least, deflected

Mud be gone or, at least, deflected

Those last Roadmaster wagons were cavernous. With the second and third row of seats folded down they’re like streamlined pick-up trucks without the country music cliches.  High class haulin’, indeed!

Mankind cave

Mankind cave

Over the years we’ve become big fans of the Roadmaster Estate.  This final edition ’96 Collectors Edition is as good as it gets.  Seeing something like this truly makes one ask oneself the eternal question:  “Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?”  The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’ if the Buick in question is a Roadmaster wagon. Big Love!

Very much with the grain

Very much with the grain

This 1992 commercial for the Roadmaster Estate highlights the car’s attributes. recollecting when “comfort was kind” and “luxury meant something.”

You’d have to be certifiable if you don’t seriously consider the purchase of this ’91 Roadmaster Estate with only 16,320 miles on the clock offered in nearby Milbank, SD for a mere $17,500.  It’s the buy of the, ahem, Century but that much better because it’s a Roadmaster.

Hardly!

Hardly!

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

Note: While we strive for factual accuracy in our posts, we readily acknowledge that we we sometimes make inadvertent mistakes.  If you happen to catch one please don’t sit there and fume; let us know where we went wrong and we’ll do our best to correct things.