How do I love thee?





It’s no secret that many of us have a love affair with one or more of our old cars.


And yes, some of us do talk to them in very endearing terms of love and praise and occasionally utter a few disparaging comments when they act up.


It is amusing to see how people express their love for their cars in different ways. Not only the owners, but many nonowners can show love and admiration for a beautiful old car. It may be when they pass you on the road and give you a “thumbs up” sign or a toot on the horn and show a sign of No. 1.


Sometimes while stopped at a traffic light, they will make a comment like “nice car” or similar remark. When they ask questions, they always want to know what year it is and ask “What is it worth?”


Of course, at a show we hear all types of questions and hear stories of cars they have owned or that they knew someone who had a car “just like that one.” It is amazing the number of people who have pleasant memories of some LaSalle in their past. These people all have vicarious love affairs with old cars in their past.


As owners, we love these old cars for various reasons and in various ways. For some, it is the pride in showing them and winning trophies. For some, it is a “collecting thing” and they spread their love among many cars. Sometimes all their cars are from the same era, certain styles or specific years. Others by a particular make or in some cases, the more variety, the better.


In many cases, the love is in the actual restoring and hunting for the parts to bring the car back to original. Many times the love affair will cool down once the car has been restored and they have shown it and driven it a few times. The challenge is over.


Of course, you will find a few people who look at these cars as investments and get their kicks out of the buying and selling and hopefully making a profit. On the other side of the coin, there are those among us that once a car or parts are acquired, the only way they will ever part with it is through the estate sale.


A lot of us old duffers admire and love the pride of craftsmanship put into these old cars and our favorite saying is some form of “They don’t build cars like they used to.” The really ardent love affairs are apparent when you see one of us driving our “beauty” on a tour or just out for the pleasure of driving it. I have to admit that I enjoy the feeling of pride when people admire our old LaSalle and that they wished they owned one too.


There are some out there whose love is for a specific car that has been handed down to them from a family member. It has a particular sentimental value and brings back beautiful memories.


By now, you are trying to figure out into which category you fall. Don’t worry about it if you love your car for several reasons and even some I haven’t mentioned. If some people think you are a little crazy for being in love with a car, just remember, they have a problem, not you.


When they give you strange looks when you talk to your car, just forgive them as they know not! A little pat on the dashboard at the end of a trip with a comment of praise is kind of like a goodnight kiss after making love.


As for our ’40 LaSalle we love dearly, it is really hard to pin down the main reason we love her. We know there are many beautiful memories, the admiration of engineering and craftsmanship, the enjoyment of driving, the car’s noble history, her beauty and sleek lines, and on and on and on ad infinitum. I guess we just have to quote from an old classic piece of literature and say “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”


See ya next month.