Driving Miss Daisy

John Gunnell |
Ron Ernsberger drove his Hudson to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the September 2011 World of Speed (www.saltflats.com) racing there.

Ron Ernsberger drove his Hudson to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the September 2011 World of Speed (www.saltflats.com) racing there.

 

Wikipedia tells us that Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film adapted from the Alfred Uhry play of the same name. The film was directed by Bruce Beresford, with Morgan Freeman reprising his role as Hoke Colburn (whom he also portrayed in the play) and Jessica Tandy playing Miss Daisy. The story defines Daisy and her point of view through a network of relationships and emotions by focusing on her home life, synagogue, friends, family, fears, and concerns over a 25-year period. In the film, Freeman chauffeurs Miss Daisy around in a Hudson.

This blog isn’t about Hudsons or movies – it’s about driving around in old cars. In June, we drove our ’53 Pontiac Custom Catalina a few thousand miles to the Pontiac Club (www.poci.org) convention in Wichita, Kan. On the second day of the long trip home, we headed out north from Des Moines, Iowa to Albert Lea, Minn. Before very long we began seeing old cars going in the other direction.

The vintage cars kept coming and coming on the southbound side of the road. We passed several hundred of them in the course of the next hour or two. Most of them were modified cars and it didn’t take long to figure out they were all coming from the “Back to the Fifties” event (www.msrabacktothe50s.com) in Minneapolis-St. Paul. That event is said to attract 10,000 to 12,000 old cars

 

This Hudson collecting family wasn’t afraid to take to the road in their Hornet convertible.

This Hudson collecting family wasn’t afraid to take to the road in their Hornet convertible.

We began to think about the hoard of hot rods heading south. Or first thought was that someone could start a niche magazine strictly about driving old cars on modern roads. There could be articles about the best cars to drive (would one be a Hudson?), travel tips, insurance, prepping a car for a long journey and so on. If the content was really well done and nicely presented, we have no doubt that there’s a market for such a publication.

We also thought that these “road warriors” might be the leading edge of a new movement in the old-car hobby. A lot of people seem to be tiring of Sunday afternoons spent in a lawn chair at a car show hoping to win a $10 trophy because they paid a $15 entry fee.

Guess what? You can drive an old car with scratches and torn seats down the road and other motorists will “high five” you all day long. Take that same car to a car show and you’ll be asked, “When are you going to restore it?” or “How come you don’t paint yours like Charlie did?”

In our opinion, there’s a lot more fun to be had in driving an old car than in putting it in a static car show. What do you think?

 

If you drive your car to the Hudson Museum www.hostetlershudsons.com you might get to see this bright red Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop.

If you drive your car to the Hudson Museum www.hostetlershudsons.com you might get to see this bright red Hudson Hornet Hollywood hardtop.

 

 

 

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