Road Trip Revival: Part 1

Road Trip Revival: Part 1

When I was 19 years old or so, I just happened upon a Buick Club of America show in Norman, OK. I think they were gathered in a Walmart parking lot or some other random, generic locale. Among the 20 or so cars proudly displayed by old men in satin jackets was a 1965 Buick Riviera in “Verde Green” with a silver interior. I was almost instantly powerless against it.

Those of you that have suffered through my yearly Riviera obsession posts and, of course, the two or three that I’ve posted in the last month, have that day and that green Riviera to blame. And, I’m afraid it’s about to get worse…

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my hunt for a ’65 didn’t really get all that serious until after the H.A.M.B. Drags. I quite literally had friends from all over the country checking out cars that I had found online or through word of mouth. The hunt was for a low mileage original car – a blank canvas of sorts, in white, black, silver, or of course, Verde Green.

A local car turned up, but the value wasn’t there. And then a car in Detroit, but it looked like rust might be an issue. Washington, Dallas, Boise, Los Angeles… I toured the country with favors, but it wasn’t until that tour made a stop in Braintree, MA that I had any luck at all. I shot a pm to General Gow and asked if he would go look at the car – a Verde Green ’65 with a black interior and an odometer displaying a really low number. He grabbed Slick Willy and the two headed out for an inspection.

The next day, I was greeted with a very detailed description and the kind of photographs that an owner looking to sell typically won’t provide. I was impressed and decided to throw caution to the wind – I bought the car without seeing it with my own eyes.

But there’s more… The car came out of a collection that also featured a Diplomat Blue ’64. Like the ’65 I bought, it was an unrestored car with low mileage that had spent most of it’s life in California. And while it is the ’65 model year that has always done it for me, my buddy Norm has recently been taken by the ’64 model. One phone call later and Norm quickly became the owner of the blue ’64.

So, now we have two Rivieras that are approximately 2000 miles away and no idea of how to get them home. And then I remembered the new show being put on by The Rodder’s Journal on September 28 – The Vintage Speed & Custom Revival in Baltimore, MD. A bunch of our Texas buddies are headed up to the show, so why not fly into Boston, drive down to the show in Baltimore, and then join the convoy back to Texas on Sunday? It was starting to make perfect sense.

There was, however, one issue. We didn’t have a place to store the cars until Norm and I could get up to the east coast in late September. Enter Mark (General Gow) again… Amazingly, Mark is storing both of these 18-foot behemoths in his home shop until we can get out there to liberate them. My appreciation couldn’t possibly be measured. Mark has literally moved mountains for both Norm and myself and neither of us could have possibly bought these cars without him. I’ll tell much more of this story when I cover the “Road Trip Revival” in real time.

For now though, I’m just left with the excitement of it all. I can’t wait to get out east and start the adventure. Of course, I’m already mentally building the car. If I had any foresight at all, I would have booked my plane trip a couple of days earlier and spent the time throwing some springs on the stocker to at least get her down to earth for the Rodder’s Journal show. It will all happen soon enough I guess… I’ve got big plans for this car.

For good or ill, this one is to be continued…

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Special Thanks:

Mark and Bill. Seriously fellas… I don’t even know how to begin to thank you for everything you did for Norm and myself. The entire series of articles that will follow are all dedicated to you guys. I’m so appreciative…

Denise. I had my heart set on that silver ’65 and if it weren’t for you and your dad’s attention to detail, I have a feeling I would have bought something I shouldn’t have. I owe you both. Thank you so much.

John. It’s the thought that counts, right? You were willing and that means a lot!

Will. Another favor called in… Thank you for looking and thank you for carrying your bullshit-o-meter everywhere you go!

Steve. You know why.

Curt & Steve. For all the hospitality and the invite to The Vintage Speed & Custom Revival. Norm and I are ready to go!

Quick Note: The Revival falls on the same weekend as another HAMB favorite – The Jalopy Showdown Drags. Apparently, it was one of those scheduling deals that couldn’t be avoided. What’s cool about it though is how both the folks from The Rodder’s Journal and the Showdown Drags have worked together in order to make sense of it all. If you go to the drags and then head to the Revival, you’ll get a hefty discount and you’ll be able to brag to your buddies that you did both – on the same weekend! I dunno… I just think both groups of people deserve some props here for being so cordial with each other. People aren’t so bad after all.

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