Author Archives: John Gunnell

The General Motors Heritage Center (www.gmheritagecenter.com) says that only 659 examples of the 1990 Grand Prix SE with a five-speed manual transmission were sold.

Late Model Rarities

  Did you ever look at ads for old cars for sale in magazines from the ‘50s or ‘60s and wish that you had invested some money in cars like a Model A Ford or a Duesenberg way back when? Well, even though you didn’t, somebody did and those are the folks making big...

An ATHS representative was signing up new members at the Big Rig Show in Eau Claire, Wis.

Wheels of Time

  When we worked in the Old Cars Weekly office, one “club” magazine that we enjoyed reading was Wheels of Time published by the American Truck Historical Society (www.aths.org). Best of all was the fat issue ATHS put out once a year showing every truck that attended its annual convention. Since we own a...

The STP pajamas caused quite a stir at the Speedway and were a great promotional item.

STP Pajamas Revisited

  About a year ago we were trying to find out made the famous STP pajamas that Granatelli and his crew wore when they ran the STP turbine car at Indy. It all began at the 2013 Performance Racing Industry. We had been searching around for racing uniform companies because we needed a racing...

Volunteer firefighters in the small village of Bear Creek, Wis., restored this FWD fire engine as a department project.

Hot for fire engines

  The first year or two of my life, my family lived in an apartment over a firehouse. While that led to many sleepless nights for mom and dad, it turned me onto fire engines for life. We don’t own any fire engines, but we should, After all, the collection already has a police...

The days of touching up the paint on your old car with a brush are gone.

Painting a car was a whole lot easier years ago

  Painting a car was a whole lot easier and cheaper years ago. The accompanying photo shows a Mr. Thomas brush painting the fender of a car that looks like a Franklin (judging by the shape of the hood). The car has 1920 New York license plates and Mr. Thomas is fairly well dressed...

Dave Saunders also enjoys taking photos at a drag strip in England.

English artist-photographer sees art in speed

  British artist Dave Saunders and his wife Carole have made three trips to Bonneville. A wood stove designer by trade, Saunders does a small number of original acrylic oil on canvas paintings of cars each year. Carole bought Dave a book of Bonneville photos by Peter Vincent and he began photographing cars. During...

Jesse ponders what to do with the original 245-cid Big Six engine.

Studebaker Drivers Club has two new members

  My son Jesse and I recently became members of the Studebaker Drivers Club or SDC. The reason is we are getting back to working on the 1949 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe that Jesse bought back in June. It should make a great project for the cold nights of a Wisconsin winter. The Studebaker...

The ’56 Corvette SR2 was one of the rare experimental cars at MCACN.

Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals features cool cars

  The Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals (www.mcacn.com) in Rosemont, Ill., on Nov. 22-23, features many special Corvettes and muscle cars. The show is held at the Donald E. Stephens convention center, close to O’Hare Airport. Each year the attractions the show lines up are impressive. Car personalities who attended MCACN include Linda Vaughn,...

THIS ’55 Packard Clipper sedan on a trailer at the Jefferson, Wisconsin Flea Market might look like a great restoration project, but do your homework before you jump into buying any old car.

Making This (Barn Find) Into That (Show Car)

  The ’55 Packard Clipper four-door sat on a trailer in the Car Corral at the Fall Jefferson Flea Market in Jefferson, Wis. To a person unfamiliar with old cars, it probably looked like the biggest bargain in the world. After all, it was a P-A-C-K-A-R-D and it was all there. How could you...

This ’54 Chevy One-Fifty two-door sedan had a rebuilt six-cylinder motor and a $6,400 asking price. Do you think it was a realistic price?

False Impressions

  With classic car auctions on TV and headline prices like $38 million for a Ferrari, you would think that every old car is worth its weight in gold these days. In fact, some people selling vintage iron are setting their asking prices pretty high because they heard about the crazy prices people paid...