It’s the first Friday of 2023. How was your New Year’s? Started working on your self-improvements yet? There’s no better way to make yourself feel better about the weight that you’ve gained or the goals you didn’t achieve in 2022 than by buying a cool vehicle. But there are so many cars to choose from! Allow me to tempt you with a few …
1957 Volkswagen Beetle
When I was a kid, maybe 12 or so, I caught this yellow Volkswagen that was different from any other VW I had seen. The book I had seen at Waldenbooks showed early cars with semaphores, but this one had bullet-style directional indicators on the lower front fenders. This was the oldest VW I had ever seen, and it bugged me (pun not intended) that I didn’t know the year. I eventually learned that Beetles destined for the North America market received this feature in 1955-57.
This black and tan 1957 Beetle has gone through a documented restoration and features a vintage AM/FM radio, extra chrome brightwork, lap belts and original sales contract from Ontario, Canada. There’s lots to like here.
1968 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
The 1968-69 4-4-2 has its fans and detractors. The styling, though subjective, can’t be faulted, but it seems the engine can. Yes, it has a 400 V8, as it did since 1965, but the 1968-69 design was different, an undersquare design that most “Oldsmophiles” will admit was not an improvement. Additionally, if you chose an automatic, it lost 25 horses from stick shift versions.
Additionally, restorers often position the W36 stripe (when equipped) incorrectly. What they often do is position the stripe based on the position of the numerals, but what they don’t realize is that Oldsmobile moved the numerals on stripe-equipped cars so it wouldn’t hit the wheel arches. This car has it right, which suggests attention to detail.
1989 Toyota Land Cruiser Fire Truck
This thing just reeks of coolness. Imagine a Land Cruiser cab and chassis sent to a coachbuilder to configure into a little pumper — that’s what this is. Sure, it’s RHD, but it also has a five-speed manual transmission, so it can assist with your ambidextrous goals. If it were mine, I’d work it so I could show up at tailgates and dispense kegs of beer with glee.
Since it’s a legitimate emergency vehicle, this Land Cruiser also features few miles, in this case 9,971 kilometers (almost 6,200 miles over 30+ years). It’s powered by a carbureted 4.0-liter inline-six. In some ways, it seems like the very kind of vehicle you used to have in your Playmobil set, which is a nice insight if you currently own a Unimog.
1954 Cadillac Eldorado
Among the ultimate chariots of the 1950s, the semi-custom Cadillac Eldorado convertible was introduced in 1953, then mainstreamed in 1954 as Cadillac’s sportiest and among its most prestigious models. Nineteen fifty-four also marked the year Cadillac offered a redesign, a year ahead of most of the industry. As such, the 1954 Eldorado looked ultra-modern in comparison to other vehicles at the time. The following year, Cadillac would give the Eldorado unique rear styling.
This restored ’54 is painted Azure Blue, one of four colors available. As expected, the Eldo is loaded with power seat, lap belt, heater, Autronic-Eye headlight dimmer and wire wheels on Firestone wide whitewalls. Powered by Cadillac’s trusty 230-horsepower 331ci V8, it most certainly is a motorist’s dream come true, 1954-style.