Secret Crushes

Colin-Date-head-shotHow about you? Do you have any secret crushes? I suppose if you told, they wouldn’t be so secret anymore, would they? Don’t sweat it – this little editorial isn’t intended to get you into any kind of hot water. Well maybe, depends on how willing you are to bare your feelings. What the heck am I talking about? Secret crushes on cars, of course – what did you think I meant?

I’ll lead off with a good example; I know a dyed-in-the-wool Tri-5 Chevy guy. He’s owned them (all three of ’em) over the years and has sworn up and down to having never strayed the course. “The only real Chevy is a Tri-5 Chevy”, I’ve heard him proudly proclaim on more than a few occasions. Except one day, in a hushed, don’t breathe a word of this tone, he admitted that he used to own a ’67 Mercury Comet. And, get this, that he missed that car – a lot. Wow. Judging from the look on his face, he appeared to be greatly relieved in finally getting this off his chest – like it had been some incredible weight killing him slowly all these years. He swore me to secrecy – so, I’m not naming any names here, or even geographic locations. After that confession, I didn’t know what to do. I felt like an attorney whose client just admitted he was guilty of some ghastly crime. Wait, it is just cars we’re talking about here, right? My friend has never breathed another word about this since.

Those of you who read my column here even on a semi-regular basis know that I pretty much love all cars. I have my favorites for sure, but I’m not so stuck on any one particular model that I have to secretly admire another one.

A while back, I shared an experience I had about 20 years ago. I was photographing a 1970 Chevelle back in Oregon. When we were wrapping up the shoot and heading back to the owner’s place, I asked him if he’d been a Chevy man all his life. When we pulled up to his three car garage, I saw what filled two of the bays – a ’69 Mustang Boss 302 and a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner. He told me yes, he was a Chevy man. But he was also a Mustang guy and “secretly” loved Mopars. Go figure.

How about you? Guilty as charged? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one. Any responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality, of course! We’ll even publish your response under a John or Jane Doe if you wish. Email me at

Onto this issue! Our first feature car belongs (I should say, used to belong) to a good car show buddy – Gary Robbins. We photographed Gary’s Cranberry Red ’70 LS6 Chevelle last summer in Oklahoma. Gary has since parted ways with this beauty, but his memories live on! This “King of the Muscle Cars” story starts on page 6. Next up we have a feature on a wild ’55 Pro Street Chevy. I met owner Hilbert Osborne at this past February’s Winter National in Orlando. His car is almost window-shattering loud! Check it out on page 14, but put in your earplugs first! Starting on page 18, you’ll find a feature on three Chevy A-Bodies. I met Bill Whorley at the Winter National as well. He’s a great guy who shared the story of his Chevelles (and his El Camino) with me. Then, on page 20, we have a piece on a ’56 Two-Ten Wagon. This car has belonged to owner Lloyd Malsam for over 50 years, and as you’ll soon find out, has been extremely well cared for. Our centerfold (and cover) car is the pride and joy of James Deason. I also met James at the Winter National in February, and he’s got a great story to tell! Check out “The Replacement”, starting on page 26. Rounding out our feature car department, you’ll find a super sharp Super Sport ’64 Impala residing on page 36. Owner Paul Lizun tells about his journey with his first new car – pretty cool!

There’s also some good event coverage in this issue. Page 9 brings us a story on last year’s Gambler Classic River Run in Laughlin, NV. Also in the Silver State – all the happenings at last year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas – begins on page 22.

Tech centers around quarter panel replacement (page 32) and fixing stuck vent windows (page 34). Both good things to know! We also have an update on our Project ’55 – see page 38.

Happy Spring!