I had an interesting trip to a warehouse full of dreams this week. My brother, who lives in Canada, bought the car of his dreams. Before cutting the check he asked if I could take a look and make sure it was ‘as represented’ by the seller. Less than an hour’s trip each way, so no problem.
The car was on consignment at StreetSide Classics in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place that has a reputation for selling a lot of classic and performance cars. They have a good reputation so far as I could find through some simple online research. Certainly, the T-Bird was exactly as described. All well and good.
The facility is not a showroom, it’s a simple warehouse. Cars are parked door handle to door handle. It seems there must be a hundred of them. I didn’t count, but as you can see, there’s a lot. Many of them are classics. Muscle cars from the 60’s and 70’s. Corvettes and a few reproduction Cobras. Plenty of restored older cars, and many that are resto-rods of various flavors. Looking for a ’66 Chevy II with the 350 mill, Muncie 4-speed and positraction? Got one, and in pristine shape.
For anyone from the Boomer generation, it’s like a lifetime of Christmas’s, all at once. All the totally awesome metal you couldn’t afford as a teenager. If you’ve got the checkbook, you can be that teenager again, cruise the street in the ride of your dreams. It’s all for sale.
Then I started to wonder about all the people who were selling these cars. I mean each and every one was customized in some way. The proud owner must have agonized over the choice of mag wheels. Fat tires or ultra low profiles? Big block or small? Low rider or street racer? A million decisions to be made, each and every one deeply personal and reflecting the taste and aspirations of an individual. Now they’re stored in a big warehouse, waiting for someone with cash in their pocket.
What happened? I’m sure each one has its own story. Maybe the owner is just too old and can’t drive their hot rod anymore. Health care being what it is, it would be easy to imagine needing the cash for medical bills. Time passes and fortunes change, we all have different priorities at different stages of life.
Even so, there’s a certain feeling of melancholy when you see such amazing creations stored in a warehouse, sold for a lot less than what went into creating them.