I came across this photo today. It’s a picture of me, pre-Tiki days, with my 1940 LaSalle. I was 13, the photo was taken in 1982.
How does a 13 year old kid get his hands on a then 40+ year old classic car? Well, my old man loved to buy and sell old cars. He’d get them cheap, fix them up, sometimes paint them, and sell them for a profit. Today this would be called being a “automotive enthusiast”. Back then we called it hustling cars for bread.
The short version of this story is that I had my own side business buying and selling go-karts, minibikes, even 1/4 midget racer and a Model T Ford midget car (like you see clowns drive in parades). In 1982, I traded the Model T for a real 1941 Dodge Luxury Liner sedan. Eventually I made my way into buying this 1940 LaSalle Sedan for $400…a barn find. My buddy Steve and I would pretend to drive it, actually dubbing it the “Air Car”, a car that could go from cruising the country highways of South Jersey to flying above the Pine Barrens. Well, this was before video games and internet so we had to be creative.
I traded this beauty for a 66 Olds Toronado, and eventually made my way up to the 1974 Caddy Eldorado Convertible I had a few years ago. I sold that and put the money into my 53 Chevy Hot Rod, which I’ve had since 1990.
The point of all this is that at 42 years old I still feel like the goofy kid in the photo, hanging out with vintage cars and never actually finishing any of them. And apparently I still pose the same way, too.
-Tiki Chris Reporting from the garage at Tiki Lounge Talk