Classics I almost bought… but didn’t – Jim Van Orden @Hemmings


[Editor’s note: We’re more than happy to have Jim Van Orden back out of his retirement with some more stories from his lifetime of encounters with cars.]

Classics I almost bought… but didn’t

Remember the cars you wanted to buy—many of which are now “classics”—but didn’t?

There were lots of them in my life…in fact, almost as many as the cars I bought. No sooner had I purchased my first car, a 1951 Mercury, than I lusted after a 1952 Oldsmobile 98.

It was faster than the Mercury because it sported a 1959 Oldsmobile V-8 displacing 394 cubic inches. Its owner claimed it had a 1939 La Salle three-speed transmission. On the test drive, shoulders pressed into the seat, the torquey V-8 lifted the front end and tires burned holes in the pavement.

“Double-clutch!” the owner yelled as I attempted to shift into second, grinding noises joining his curses. It was obvious the tranny’s synchronizers were shot.

Knowing a little about double-clutching, I made several attempts and finally got the shift lever, which flopped side to side, into gear. The car lurched again and snapped our heads. The owner’s expletives convinced me this wasn’t the car for me.


Read the rest of the article here

Classics I almost bought… but didn’t

Related – Classic Cars How to Choose the Perfect Classic Car for You

Categories: Classic Cars, Hemmings

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