Trains, Planes & Automobiles

Under the heading of hobbies, three of the biggest are trains, planes and automobiles.  They can be models, old toys, photos of all three, or even the real thing. Collectors of full-sized trains and planes are generally museums. But automobile collectors are another story.  There are probably millions of us who collect cars. If you don’t believe me, watch the Barrett-Jackson Auction on the Speed channel sometime.

My first car was a ’53 Ford like the one pictured here. I have had many classic cars since then. In the past couple of years, my work has taken me to lots of small California towns and rural areas.  There are hundreds of old cars out in the countryside.

Sometimes when I see a “For Sale” sign in the window of an old car, I stop to take a peek. One thing I’ve learned about trading in old cars is that you must wear your poker face when you stop. If you go in drooling, the price goes up. I’ve learned how to deal in these “drive-up’s.” You need to be prepared with cash, a vehicle that can carry what you’re buying and a place to store it.

Flea markets are a good place to look for cars. I like Craig’s List too. You just need to know what you want and what you are willing to pay. Beware of stories. Everybody has a story such as, “This car was once owned by John Wayne” or “Elvis Presley rode in the back seat of this car.” The value of a story doesn’t usually drive up the value of a car unless it’s verified with a photo.  Don’t pay for stories. Pay for the fun of showing off and driving the car, of tinkering with it on weekends and sharing it with other collectors, especially at the Barrett-Jackson Auction.

Gary Ingram

Gary Ingram

I grew up in Golden, CO in the 50’s, the child of a middle class housewife and a lifelong employee of the U.S. Post Office. My professional career spanned 25 years with the U.S. Government and I retired early. Today I am an Aging-in-Place Specialist (which does not mean I just sit in a recliner and watch football), a devoted “Papa” to my grandchildren and partner to my lovely wife. I’m a crusty old fart who appreciates a good cigar, an old car, an occasional game of golf, Blue Collar Radio, NASCAR and my Denver Broncos. At, I hold the title, “Chief of Questions.” Let’s see what you think about my questions and answers. Chime in!

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