CARS gallery

Ken’s Fleet History

Our family car, when I started driving legally, in June of 1959, was a silver & white ‘56 Chev Bel Air coupe. Six cyl, Powerglide, and an AM radio. Beautiful car! My first car, purchased just before college graduation in 1965, was a 1963 Corvette Stingray split-window coupe, 327-300, 4 speed, AM radio, saddle tan in & out. It was a wonderful car; should have kept it. Two and a half years later, I just HAD to have a new 1968 Corvette roadster. Was silver, white soft top, silver hardtop, black interior, 327-300, 4 speed, AM- FM … going high-tech! It was a major disappointment, being an early-production first-year model, best described as a loosely-assembled kit car. After 51 weeks of fading happiness, got rid of it, and have never wished I’d kept it. (home in background is where I grew up) That explains the first three cars on the grid below. The narrative of the ones that follow can be found by scrolling down the page. To view the gallery, click any pic to enlarge, then use arrows to move right & left. Page may load slowly as it has to load a lot of thumbnails for the photo gallery below. Click any photo to enlarge - use control arrows to move to next or previous photo
Next up was a ‘63 Porsche 356C, Super 90. It was a lovely little beast, but had a very typical heater for an air-cooled car at the time, which is to say that it was almost non-functional. I had purchased it in November, and living in Minnesota, it provided me with a lot of cold rides to and from work. Fun, quick, handled like it was on rails, but had to dress in what now would be snowmobile attire. That spring, I decided to move back to Upper Michigan, with the closest dealers and shops that could service it about two hours’ drive away. Nixed that idea, sold it. In the spring of 1969 I picked up a ‘65 Impala Super Sport convert, 327 V8, Powerglide. First automatic I’d ever owned. Would have preferred a 4-speed, but it was a great deal, It was my primary car for a couple years; I kept it for several more years as a second car. In the fall of 1970 I acquired a Camaro RS, also as a great deal (it was a demo), 350 V8 with an automatic. Nice car, but quickly got bored with the slushbox and the typical GM paint job of that era … it was peeling off before the car was 3 years old. A friend had owned a car I wanted, and had traded it in. Another friend worked for the dealership where it was now sitting, and I convinced him to make an even trade because I reasoned he’d have an easier time selling the Camaro. That was in the fall of 1974. I had now become the proud owner of a car that was once said by Car & Driver to have “all the grace of a Ferrari at one-tenth the price.“ It was a 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, a gorgeous little red Italian roadster with a superb 1600cc DOHC engine and 5 speed transmission, first I ever had with 4-wheel disc brakes. C&D was right! Contrary to reputation, it was well-built and reliable. However, its Achilles’ heel was rust, and by the time it was 5 years old, that was starting to show itself here and there. It became a fair weather car when another surprise came along. That was a 1975 VW Rabbit, 4 cyl, 4 speed, 4 door, and … cruise control! That car was a delightful!. Bought that from a friend who was a VW dealer. As a hatch with fold-down rear seats, it was incredibly spacious. The seats were superb; the combination of cruise and manual transmission was a revelation. I’ve had several manuals with cruise since, including my Mustang and my current Jetta. Had a 1978 Audi 5000 for a couple years, once again an automatic, A/C, cruise. Nice car, but had several bad experiences with the dealer on what should have been routine service. Dumped it in the summer of 1981 for something much more my style. That was a 1981 VW Scirocco S, 5-speed. I’d seen this exact model and color at the Twin Cities auto show, and knew I had to find one just like it before the less- appealing ‘82 model arrived. West Side VW had a demonstrator, and I bought it late that summer, another great deal. Put 180K on it, sold it to a friend when I bought my Quantum in ‘87, and he sold it back to my son at about 200K miles; Kris put another 20K or so. Next VW was a 1984 Rabbit convertible, 5-speed, A/C. Another excellent car, and the top on this one was lined in a white vinyl.. Couldn’t see the bows and folding mechanism, so looked like any other car from inside. It stayed a bit warmer in winter than a single- layer top, and also a bit cooler in summer; have had black convertible tops before, and they heat up quickly in sunshine. So this bit of extra insulation helped; plus, this was the first air-conditioned convertible I owned, and that was terrific on days when it was too steamy to have the top down. Nice! In the summer of 1987, I purchased an ‘87 VW Quantum Syncro wagon; it was a factory program car with 7K on the odometer, driven by corporate folks, so I was the first titled owner. Never thought I’d own a wagon, but one spirited drive in this thing on some seriously twisty roads had me saying “Gotta have this!” It had the Audi 5000’s 5-cylinder engine mated to its AWD driveline, 5-speed gearbox. Audi used this in the performance version of their 4000. VW (same company) used it in the performance version of the Quantum wagon; it was astonishingly sure-footed in rain, mud, wet-grass, snow, any conditions. I drove this one to about 225K before an assortment of little things added up to a decision to replace it in 2003. It had become primarily a winter beast after I acquired the Mustang, next paragraph, in 1998. The ‘88 Mustang 5.0 GT convertible, 5 speed, A/C, was purchased in 1998 from a friend who’d bought it it new. It had about 80K miles, was immaculate, fast, and loud. Perfect! This car took me many laps around Road America during the “touring” sessions at vintage events. It’s parade laps at highway speeds; they have pace cars and warn about any careless driving; it’s fun to see the track from a driver’s perspective. I drove the Mustang to 195K, at which point I needed a car with a back seat capable of hauling our growing 9 year old triplet granddaughters around. That was summer 2013. Those sweethearts would be the only good reason to part with such a delightful ride! It went to another friend, a semi-retired corporate jet pilot, who flew me home in his 1947 Cessna (same age as him) after I delivered the car to him in Iola WI. Get a better look … CLICK HERE When the Quantum finally had to be replaced, in 2003, a loaded 1994 GMC Jimmy with about 80K found its way into my garage, and that lived along with the Mustang until 2013; I sold it just after the Jetta arrived. It had 4WD, auto trans, A/C, cruise, sunroof, roof rack, cargo cover, alloy wheels, and was an exceptional utility hauler … could carry my kayaks on top or just stuffed in the back for short hauls. I don’t recall the mileage, but it was upward of 150K when I sold it to a young guy, and I’d often see it around town for several more years. Purchased the 2001 Jetta GL from a neighbor in 2013; 5-speed, A/C, cruise, sunroof, leather, Monsoon sound system (well-named), and just 92K. Three full- sized rear seats with belts and shoulder harnesses to keep the aforementioned triplets secure, huge trunk, simply delightful to drive, just like every VW I’ve owned. Had about 183K by sumer 2021, the girls were 17, and they each had their own car … a fleet of PT Cruisers! One learned to drive the Jetta’s 5-speed, too! But the Jetta was needing a growing backlog of work, and it was time for a newer everyday car. I added a 2013 Impala LTZ to the fleet in August 2021; not my typical ride, but was low mileage, extended warranty, automatic (ack!), and, practical (gulp!). Got the Corvettes, Porsche, Camaro, Fiat, Audi, etc. out of my system long ago, but still would prefer to drive a car that doesn’t try to do everything for me, I parted with the Jetta in August 2022.

The 1927 LaSalle (no, I never had one)

The introduction of the LaSalle brand in 1927 by General Motors was revolutionary, in that the car had features that had previously been found only on cars built by custom coachbuilders. The brochure was considered to be a classic example of fine automotive promotional literature. I have an original, and have scanned it, along with a related article from Car & Driver … CLICK HERE to view. The theme song from “All in the Family” contained the line “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great!”

Ken’s Fleet History - Cars

Our family car, when I started driving legally, in June of 1959, was a silver & white ‘56 Chev Bel Air coupe. Six cyl, Powerglide, and an AM radio. Beautiful car! My first car, purchased just before college graduation in 1965, was a 1963 Corvette Stingray split-window coupe, 327-300, 4 speed, AM radio, saddle tan in & out. It was a wonderful car; should have kept it. Two and a half years later, I just HAD to have a new 1968 Corvette roadster. Was silver, white soft top, silver hardtop, black interior, 327-300, 4 speed, AM-FM … going high-tech! It was a major disappointment, being an early-production first-year model, best described as a loosely-assembled kit car. After 51 weeks of fading happiness, got rid of it, and have never wished I’d kept it. (home in background is where I grew up) That explains the first three cars on the grid below. The narrative of the ones that follow can be found by scrolling down the page. To view the gallery, click any pic to enlarge, then use arrows to move right & left.. Page may load slowly as it has to load a lot of thumbnails for the photo gallery below. Click any photo to enlarge - use control arrows to move to next or previous photo
CARS gallery
Next up was a ‘63 Porsche 356C, Super 90. It was a lovely little beast, but had a very typical heater for an air-cooled car at the time, which is to say that it was almost non-functional. I had purchased it in November, and living in Minnesota, it provided me with a lot of cold rides to and from work. Fun, quick, handled like it was on rails, but had to dress in what now would be snowmobile attire. That spring, I decided to move back to Upper Michigan, with the closest dealers and shops that could service it about two hours’ drive away. Nixed that idea, sold it. In the spring of 1969 I picked up a ‘65 Impala Super Sport convert, 327 V8, Powerglide. First automatic I’d ever owned. Would have preferred a 4-speed, but it was a great deal, It was my primary car for a couple years, and I kept it for several more years as a second car. In the fall of 1970 I acquired a Camaro RS, also as a great deal (it was a demo), 350 V8 with an automatic. Nice car, but quickly got bored with the slushbox and the typical GM paint job of that era … it was peeling off before the car was 3 years old. A friend had owned a car I wanted, and had traded it in. Another friend worked for the dealership where it was now sitting, and I convinced him to make an even trade because I reasoned he’d have an easier time selling the Camaro. That was in the fall of 1974. I had now become the proud owner of a car that was once said by Car & Driver to have “all the grace of a Ferrari at one-tenth the price.“ It was a 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, a gorgeous little red Italian roadster with a superb 1600cc DOHC engine and 5 speed transmission, first I ever had with 4-wheel disc brakes. C&D was right! Contrary to reputation, it was well-built and reliable. However, its Achilles’ heel was rust, and by the time it was 5 years old, that was starting to show itself here and there. It became a fair weather car when another surprise came along. That was a 1975 VW Rabbit, 4 cyl, 4 speed, 4 door, and … cruise control! That car was a delightful!. Bought that from a friend who was a VW dealer. As a hatch with fold-down rear seats, it was incredibly spacious. The seats were superb, and the combination of cruise and manual transmission was a revelation. I’ve had several manuals with cruise since, including my Mustang and my 2001 Jetta. Had a 1978 Audi 5000 for a couple years, once again an automatic, A/C, cruise. Nice car, but had several bad experiences with the dealer on what should have been routine service. Dumped it in the summer of 1981 for something much more my style. That was a 1981 VW Scirocco S, 5-speed. I’d seen this exact model and color at the Twin Cities auto show, and knew I had to find one just like it before the less-appealing ‘82 model arrived. West Side VW had a demonstrator, and I bought it late that summer, another great deal. Put 180K on it, sold it to a friend when I bought my Quantum in ‘87, and he sold it back to my son at about 200K miles; Kris put another 20K or so. Next VW was a 1984 Rabbit convertible, 5-speed, A/C. Another excellent car, and the top on this one was lined in a white vinyl. Couldn’t see the bows and folding mechanism, so looked like any other car from inside. It stayed a bit warmer in winter than a single-layer top, and also a bit cooler in summer; have had black convertible tops before, and they heat up quickly in sunshine. So this bit of extra insulation helped; plus, this was the first air-conditioned convertible I owned, and that was terrific on days when it was too steamy to have the top down. Nice! In the summer of 1987, I purchased an ‘87 VW Quantum Syncro wagon; it was a factory program car with 7K on the odometer, driven by corporate folks, so I was the first titled owner. Never thought I’d own a wagon, but one spirited drive in this thing on some seriously twisty roads had me saying “Gotta have this!” It had the Audi 5000’s 5-cylinder engine mated to its AWD driveline, 5-speed gearbox. Audi used this in the performance version of their 4000. VW (same company) used it in the performance version of the Quantum wagon; it was astonishingly sure-footed in rain, mud, wet grass, snow, any conditions. I drove this one to about 225K before an assortment of little things added up to a decision to replace it in 2003. It had become primarily a winter beast after I acquired the Mustang, next paragraph, in 1998. The ‘88 Mustang 5.0 GT convertible, 5 speed, A/C, was purchased in 1998 from a friend who’d bought it it new. It had about 80K miles, was immaculate, fast, and loud. Perfect! This car took me many laps around Road America during the “touring” sessions at vintage events. It’s parade laps at highway speeds; they have pace cars and warn about any careless driving, a wonderful experience to see the track from a driver’s perspective. I drove the Mustang every day except in the winter, made it to 195K, at which point I needed a car with a back seat capable of hauling our growing 9 year old triplet granddaughters around. That was summer 2013. Those sweethearts would be the only good reason to part with such a delightful ride! It went to another friend, a semi-retired corporate jet pilot, who flew me home in his 1947 Cessna (same age as him) after I delivered the car to him in Iola WI. Get a better look … CLICK HERE Backing up a bit, when the Quantum finally had to be replaced, in 2003, a loaded 1994 GMC Jimmy with about 80K found its way into my garage, and that lived along with the Mustang until 2013; I sold it just after the Jetta arrived. It had 4WD, auto trans, A/C, cruise, sunroof, roof rack, cargo cover, alloy wheels, and was an exceptional utility hauler … could carry my kayaks on top or just stuffed in the back for short hauls. I don’t recall the mileage, but it was upward of 150K when I sold it to a young guy, and I’d often see it around town for several more years. Purchased the 2001 Jetta GL from a neighbor in 2013; 5-speed, A/C, cruise, sunroof, leather, Monsoon sound system (well-named), and just 92K. Three full-sized rear seats with belts and shoulder harnesses to keep the aforementioned triplets secure, huge trunk, simply delightful to drive, just like every VW I’ve owned. By 2021, had almost 183K, the girls were 17, and they each had their own car … a fleet of PT Cruisers! One learned to drive the Jetta’s 5-speed, too! Sadly, due to a growing backlog of needed work, I finally parted with the Jetta in August 2022, with just under 184K miles. I’d added a 2013 Impala LTZ to the fleet in late summer 2021; not my typical ride, but was low mileage, extended warranty, automatic (ack!), and, practical (gulp!). Got the Corvettes, Porsche, Camaro, Fiat, Audi, etc. out of my system long ago, but still love to drive a car that doesn’t try to do everything for me.

The 1927 LaSalle (no, I never had one)

The introduction of the LaSalle brand in 1927 by General Motors was revolutionary; it had features that had previously been found only on cars built by custom coachbuilders. The brochure was considered to be a classic example of fine automotive promotional literature. I have an original, and have scanned it, along with a related article from Car & Driver; CLICK HERE to view. The theme song from “All in the Family” contained the line “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great!”

Copyright 2002-2022 Kenneth J Anderson
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Maserati Bi-Turbo
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Copyright 2002-2022 Kenneth J Anderson