I grew up in an automotive family, but my interest in cars stepped up a couple notches when my older cousins got their first cars. Then, it stepped up few more notches when I got my first car…it was actually a truck. I have done many things to the truck over the years, but I was always looking for the next project. Throughout the different phases of the truck, during my college years, I had a couple of other project cars but I either lost interest in them or my priorities changed. My quest continued to find my “Eleanor” or something close to it. My two “Eleanor’s” are not really attainable at this stage in my live. By the time I got married, I was project-less. Well, I did still have my truck but was burned out on it so it was in “storage”. My wife and I have been together for eight years now, and she has not ridden in my truck because it’s not been together long enough to take her around the block, haha. I made it known to my wife early on that I was a “car guy” and that I would always own or be looking to own something cool or that I could make cool. I took her to car shows and cruise-ins and we had lots of fun, but we were always spectators and wanted to be participants. We wanted to be able to pack snacks or a lunch and set out some chairs to watch people and cars go by. Our wish to participate was put on the back burner for the first few years of our marriage and after we had our children, but my uncle and cousin kept the interest alive when they got a couple of new classic cars several years back. We would always go hang out where ever they were parked so we were indirectly participating, but it wasn’t enough to hold me over for long. It wasn’t until early last year when my wife and I decided that my search could begin.
I wanted a cool, running, driving, doesn’t need anything, classic cruiser for my family. Did I mention that I wanted a running, driving, doesn’t need anything cruiser? This was because I had or was involved in too many projects. It’s a sickness. Whatever I found had to be able to be driven to a show that day so that I did not have any excuse to take it apart in order to make it better. The search involved looking at many, many cars on the forums, Google, and Pinterest. The car had to talk to me when I saw it, it had to be able to fit three car seats in the rear, it had to fit in my budget, and it had to be two door unless it was a Lincoln. My first choice was a ‘61-‘69 Lincoln Continental four door – OF COURSE, and I had great opportunity to buy a ‘63 early in my car search. My family is from California, and we have transplanted “back east” as we used to say a number of years ago, and some of my extended family still frequent CA. My uncle had run across this ‘63 on one of his trips back. When he called to tell me about it and sent me some photos of it, I was extremely excited! The car was solid and complete, but needed to be finished. I was reluctant to buy the car-- it met all my criteria except two major issues – My wife was not onboard with my plans at that point, and it was 2000 miles away. I could have pretty easily convinced her to jump on the band wagon because she’s so awesome and I had two willing people to drive to CA and pick it up, my dad and brother, so I could have easily taken care of number 2 as well. As it turned out, they BOTH had the next week off and were waiting for me to give the word. I must have looked at those pics of that car on my phone two dozen times over the couple days I was pondering it. My uncle gave me the owner’s number so I worked up the courage and called him. He was pretty cool and honest about the car. Truthfully, there was no REAL reason I am not cruising a ‘63 Continental today. I RELUCTANLY told the guy that I was gonna pass. Having passed that one up “because it was too far away”, I chose to look closer to home. Everyone knows the 60’s Continentals are the coolest four doors on the planet – obviously because of the Matrix. Well, I found one closer to home so we went to look at it. I had never really looked at one up close so I was excited! After I looked at it in person, I was glad that I passed on the one in CA. Those cars have SO MUCH stuff in and on them and are too complex for my interests. So my search continued.
Having decided against buying the coolest four doors on the planet, I turned my attention back to the two doors. I was so-so about wagons but it would take the coolest one on the planet for it to talk to me. There were a number of other cars targeted throughout the search, but they just didn’t talk to me and my wife really did not care for the look of them. The car that ended up talking to me and my wife was ok with was an early 60’s Galaxie. I started compiling photos and researching just how cool I could make one. Of course there are tons out there, but this '62 Galaxie was what I WANTED! That thing was as cool as they come as far as I was concerned! My mind was made up so I started looking for one for sale online. I was able to find a running, driving, original, white, solid two door ’63 that was in my budget and within reasonable driving distance. For some reason, I was hesitant to even go look at it. I guess I thought I’d actually buy it and have a cool car for cruising with my family. Maybe I was all talk and deep down was afraid of commitment. I must have looked at the listing for that ’63 for a few weeks trying to decide if that was the right car for me and my family.
During the time of thinking about the white, two door ’63 Galaxie, my uncle found a car that he thought would be great for me. As it turned out, this other car was probably the opposite of what I was considering at that time. It was a blue, four door ’62 Impala. Like the Galaxie, it was original, running, driving, solid, within my budget, and within a reasonable driving distance. He was standing there looking at it while he was talking to me and sending me photos of it. From his perspective and from what he could tell it was a great car that met my purposes and was priced right, BUT it was a four door. The fact that it was a four door was the single biggest hang up with it because I was worried about the resale value down the road when and if I ever decided to sell it. My wife and I thought about it for less than 15 minutes and decided to pull the trigger! This is where my MoreDoorClassics journey began.