Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Columns

August 27, 2013

1959 automobiles: The year of fins

(Continued)

With 17 1959 antique cars, what does Dean and his wife, Mary, drive? Well, for around town putsying, he has a 1991, three cylinder Geo Metro convertible that he absolutely loves. His kids call it “the jalopy.” He also has a small pick-up truck, and a minivan. However, Dean and Mary try to drive one of the ‘59s each week. That way, they rotate through the cars, and keep them in good running condition.

None of the cars are what you would call “show cars.” Dean restores them to good running condition, and then drives them. He starts with the engine first, then the brakes and exhaust, then the interior and body. At each location where he has the cars stored, he also keeps a can of gasoline and a battery charger, just in case a carburetor needs primed or a battery charged.

He views his collection as his savings account. 1950 automobiles are increasing in value faster than any other class. And each car has a story. For example: The Chrysler Imperial was the heaviest car made in 1959. It is a thousand pounds heavier than the Cadillac. Because of its weight, the Imperial used to win all of the demolition derbies. It was finally outlawed from participation.

Dean considers the ‘59 Caddy to be the iconic collector’s car. But which of his 17 ‘59s is his favorite? Without hesitation (he is asked this all the time), he emphatically states, “Whatever car I happen to be driving at the time.”

Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at (319) 217-0526 or email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com.

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