Thursday, July 21, 2011

Retractable Ford Hardtops -- 1957-1959 Ford Skyliners -- Come to Dayton; the future of the car hobby?

Quite a show -- top up or top down?

I hope your wife doesn't have too much luggage!

A dash I remember from childhood.

1958 Models are by far the most rare of this bunch!

1957 Retractables outsold 1957 Chevy Convertibles!

Hi folks -- blazing hot today in Dayton, Ohio. The Retractable Ford group is having its annual meeting and cruise this week, and so I decided to stop by the Marriott where they had their cars on exhibit and a swap meet today. Some nice folks and very nice cars in the Marriott lot, but not many folks around in this heat to browse and learn about a very interesting automobile design. Great paint jobs -- and many trailer queens. Dedicated wives out sunning or under tents that provided some shade.
What was so striking is how old these folks were. Who will carry the torch once this generation is gone. Who will possess the technical knowledge to repair these cars? Younger people need to get more involved -- but rarely do they. One way is to teach a course like I have done at the University of San Diego and the University of Dayton. Car collecting is so expensive that young people just starting out, particularly in this economy, are restricted from entrance, unless they inherit cars from a family member. More needs to be done to ensure that a next generation of enthusiasts who truly appreciate the design and engineering of these vehicles and others emerge on the scene.

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