Winter Time Fixes For Car Hobby Itches

The Big Boy Toys have been put away for a couple months, the holidays are behind us, its 5 degrees outside with a foot of snow on the ground and our minds in this part of the world are tuning back to, and you guessed it – our cars. Last week I watched the Barrett Jackson and Mecom auctions on TV, later I went to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and visited a swap meet put Hosted by the Walter P. Chrysler car club. Coming up I’ll be visiting Autorama, and the boat show. These events combined with some bench racing among friends and I’ll be able to get my car itch scratched a little until spring time finally arrives.

Auctions That Establish Car Prices

I usually find the TV auctions very entertaining, especially the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday broadcasts of Barrett Jackson where you can find more of the “regular gals and guys cars” as opposed to Saturday when most cars sell for six digits and some for seven. The Barrett Jackson TV coverage this year was frustrating to say the least, it was covered on three different networks, two of which I had. The other thing, I wish they would focus more on the cars on the block instead of some of the other features they do and the seemingly endless commercials. Every 5 minutes they break for 5 minutes of the same commercials over and over again.

Mecum Auction house on the other hand has many more regular people’s cars and while not as glitzy as Barrett Jackson however the TV coverage was much stronger. You see more cars on the block and less fluff, the cars are a good quality yet are still attainable by the average collector. I like the Mecum Auctions and am looking forward to attending their May auction in Indy.

Detroit’s Grammy Awards

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit was as large and glamorous as ever. One thing that is apparent to those of us over 50 is that the manufacturers now use this time in the spotlight to introduce their new models to us instead of the wild concept cars we use to see twenty and thirty years ago. While the new models are exciting I do miss the wild styling exercises of the concept cars that gave us clues as to what was coming in the future. The NAIAS is so large and has so many displays that I can see how difficult it is for the manufactures and models (cars, not girls) to stand out.

The technology from all the manufacturers is amazing and the styling, fit and finish is better than ever. The thing that stood out for me is how the manufacturers across the board are doing such a broad array of finishes. Not like the wild colors of the Dodge’s and Plymouth’s of the late 60’s and early 70’s, a little more subtle than that. I saw cars with solid color gloss finishes, solid color flat finishes, light metal flake gloss finishes, light metal flake flat finishes, and even heavy metal flake gloss finishes rivaling those of the Bradley kit cars of the 70’s but much, much nicer! I was not a big fan of the flat finishes, that is until I visited this year’s NAIAS and saw the way they are doing them now and I can say I instantly became a fan.

Swap Meets, A Winter Time Cruise In

In addition to doing some shopping or selling the winter swap meets are a great opportunity to talk to people to hear about winter projects, catch up on some new trends, and run into some friends and acquaintances. I had intended to get a table and try to find new homes for my many left over parts but the swap meet was sold out. While disappointed that I couldn’t get the garage cleaned out it was great to be able to walk around instead of being stuck at my table. The sold out swap meet shows how strong the car hobby remains.