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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

8 cars from the Hagerty staff's personal stables

We celebrated Collector Car Appreciation day last week, on July 9, but we thought we'd continue the festivities all week with a series of articles showcasing the majesty of the automobile and its hold on our imagination. What better way to kick that off than a window into our own garages?
https://www.hagerty.com/media/driving/8-cars-from-the-hagerty-staffs-personal-stables/
76 REPLIES 76
Snailish
Engineer

I'm not sure all readers/posters here are recognizing how daunting it would be to put a personal vehicle out there on a site like this as an employee. Knowing the audience will be highly informed and potentially critical.

 

Most don't do that (post pics of our cars) as a member/site lurker. Most of the ones that are posted are either fresh barn finds or immaculate vehicles (best in show types). If you know your car is amazing and viewed that way by many it is easier to be brave. The risk of negative comments in social media causes many to hide behind masks and/or not participate in general. We don't need that atmosphere here.

 

So kudos to the Hagerty staff that stepped up and did this. More of your story for the vehicle would actually be interesting. I know some of you have other stuff, and other staff have cool things too. Sajeev for example could probably fill a whole forum just on the vehicles he's had, worked on or wants to work on next.

 

If you don't think someone's car is cool, that is fine. Personally I like that the Hagerty forums are very devoid of drama and negativity. No good comes from being that comment poster.

RG440
Technician

Thank You for the great article ! And the great cars and employees that make Hagerty and it’s community what it is ! There is nothing more satisfying to me then reading how special something is to someone and what it really means to them good or otherwise. There is always a story there and that has always peaked my interest in how special the automobile is to all generations and what the individual story is to each and every individual. In creating this article you peaked in me an interest I have always had in the automobile and what it means to purchase, maintain, drive, road-trip and just create memories with that special machine that gets you from point a to point b, that is to this day more reliable than a computer and yet now becoming one itself. I do not look forward to the day of self driving cars and let the wife know if we ever did get one the first thing I would do is paint the windows black as I don’t want to know what it’s doing, just turn the green light on when I get to point b. How good would those articles be? Thanks for the great article and keep them coming !
SJ
Technician

Love the Model A. My best friend bought a Spitfire in high school, a '65 I think. First time we took it out it ran out of gas, tapped on the Smiths Gas Gauge and went from 1/4 tank to empty. My first exciting introduction to jumping a positive grounded car. It did corner like a rail and he beat the crap out of it, it was down about 50% of the time. Oh and the seams at the bottom of the quarter panel were covered with this metal strip that held dirt and water and rusted out quickly, among other things.
KeninFL
Intermediate Driver

SCS, saying WeatherTech mats are a customization is like saying galoshes are fashion accessory. Get a set of proper Mini mats for crying out loud.
Snailish
Engineer

weathertech stuff is nice though... my wife just got one of those cell-phone cup holder things. I expected rinky-dink --it seems solid.

Greg_I
Hagerty Employee

Not a full-time writer, but I'll add my 08 Honda Civic Si into the mix here. Sold my 69 Grand Prix last year and bought this instead. Couldn't be happier with the choice. 

 

08 Civic Si.jpg

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

I was on something of a similar path a couple of years ago, in that for whatever stupid reason, I purchased a '76 Ranchero with a 460 casually tossed in. This was by no means my first 'old' car, as I've owned a '40 Ford Tudor sedan, a 1956 Ford F100 (small window), and quite a few 1960's/1970's cars and trucks. 

But for whatever reason, this go-around...I both loved and hated the Ranchero. It was impressive in that the previous owner had done some work to firm up the suspension and make it handle better (large sway bars did the trick), but after I did a considerable amount of work on the car, such as a rebuilt Saginaw quick-ratio steering box, swapping in a set of 2008 VW GTI front seats...with the plaid...fixing all the stuff that the previous owner screwed up, including a $125 butt connector.

The connector didn't cost that much, but the tow bill to get it home afterward did.

I ended up hating the thing, simply because of how much work yet remained to do...and how many parts that it still needed, and weren't available anywhere.
I also still had brake upgrades to do, in addition to getting rid of the gas hog, smogger-era 460 and woefully inefficient C6 transmission behind it...

It's long gone now, replaced by a...1996 Ford Thunderbird with a V8. So while it's not a Honda, with the little bit of mod work that I've done to the car already providing some enjoyment, at least everything freaking works on it (and it's not so new that I'm locked out of large swaths of electronics), I fit in the thing, and it drives soooo much nicer than the ancient museum piece that was previously in the driveway: The T-bird has multi-link independent suspension on both ends, assisted by aftermarket Bilsteins and other bits and pieces, oh, and cold A/C is kinda nice.

Greg_I
Hagerty Employee

I got my muscle car fix and was certainly ready to try something new. In retrospect, I think it was the best decision ever. It'd do a lot of sitting this summer since filling that beast with non-ethanol premium would be cripplingly expensive right now. I do miss the raw torque of the 400 V-8, but the Honda is a more raw driving experience and the buzzy 4-cyl is a riot to rev out to 8-grand while rowing through the gears.

 

I never had the ricer kid experience growing up (millennial here). I really looked down on that stuff. Somewhere in the past 5 years or so, I had a change of heart and boy am I glad I embraced it. The Japanese enthusiast community is one of the most welcoming out there right now.

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Oddly enough, it's not that I don't appreciate Japanese equipment, it's just that I don't...fit very well in it (just imagine a slightly-more-pale-and-a-lot-more-obnoxious Shrek), and on top of that, given that I weigh as much as an average apartment building (I'm not fat, I'm from Northeastern European stock, and we're built like cave trolls), Japanese automobile seating leaves something to be desired ( for example, a 2000 Odyssey LX I bought for the family some years back would leave me pulling over and walking around, trying to get some feeling into my back after maybe 100 miles of driving it...but brilliant vehicle otherwise, if it weren't for diagnostic code P0740.).

The latest victim of this particular phenomenon of Japanese manufacturing in my household was a 2000 Lexus SC300 that I absolutely adored, especially after I did as God would have willed and straight-piped the exhaust at the very end (goodbye, cruel mufflers!), and was greeted with an exhaust note that sounded as if it were straight from any mid 1960's Jag XK series. And I didn't even care that it had an automatic transmission in it.

But since it doesn't register to the Japanese that any other human just might have a tall seated height (whatta bunch of jerks), my head went straight into the roof, requiring some interesting seat positioning to at least let me see out of the thing...and yes, even thought I didn't fit all that well in the car, naturally I bought it anywayl.

After one 50-mile trip and panic attack later (because of how claustrophobic it was), it sadly went hunting for a new home the very next day.

It wasn't until a year or so later...well after the SC300 was gone, and the drift tax started kicking in for these cars hot and heavy...did I discover that these cars had two floorboard layers, and I could have easily modified the top layer to free up some seated height.

Arrgghghhh.

Oldmanhiker
Intermediate Driver

Grace, you gotta do the Prancing Moose upgrade for your awesome wagon. Zero wrenching, dynamite results.
Grace
Hagerty Employee

I GOTCHU SIR except.... i apparently only take photos of Odin from the side that does NOT have the prancing moose. stay tuned. (there's a press car usurping the glorious swede in my driveway right now.)
britphil
Pit Crew

Kyle - Your photo, of your ’30 Model A, made me smile! – as I focused on the hub caps. After the First World War, times were hard in the UK (as everywhere) and to get a better life for their families, in 1923 my Grandad and his older brother left Coventry (yes – the Detroit of the UK) and got on a ship and went to Windsor, Ontario. Having got a place to stay in Windsor, my Grandad called for his fiancé to come over from Coventry. Within an hour of her getting off the ship they were married in All Saints Church in Windsor in the November of 1923. At the end of that year my Great Uncle had got a job in the Ford Rouge Plant, in the Toolroom as a Grinder Hand. In January 1925 my Grandad also got a job with Ford, also in the Toolroom – at $0.85/hr – good money! Nine months later he transferred into the Lathe section and in August 1926 became Shift Foreman of the 30 man lathe section – at $0.95/hr. Good timing for the birth of my Dad in 1926 in Detroit. In May 1928 (when my Uncle was born), my Grandad became Leader of the Lathe Section – at $1.05/hr (again, good timing to feed the Family and also to buy a Dodge car) and getting $0.05/hr raises for the next two years – even in December 1929, following the ‘Crash’. Throughout their employment with Ford, my Great Uncle, as a skilled Tool Grinder, was always earning $0.05/hr more than my Grandad – but that was to change once the Depression hit.
Ford had been building Model T’s in Manchester, UK, since 1912 and in October 1931, to consolidate their position of building vehicles in the UK, their newly completed production Plant at Dagenham near London rolled the first Model AA truck off the line. In late 1931 my Grandad, Grandma and the two boys left Detroit and moved back to the UK, near Dagenham, where my Grandad had got a job with Ford. I don’t know how Dagenham pay compared with Detroit, but in the 4 years following the ‘Crash’, my Great Uncle’s wages dropped 40% to $0.75/hr; but hey!, he still had a ‘good’ job – millions didn’t. In September 1933 my Great Uncle left Ford and the US and the family moved back to Coventry.
Why am I telling you all of this? My Dad told me a long time ago that my Grandad made the tooling for the hubcap on the Model A Ford. This would have probably been in the ’28 to ’30 model year’s era. I originally thought that this was the V8 type hub cap, but the Model A Ford Club of Great Britain were very helpful in appraising me of the various styles of hub caps throughout the years and told me that the V8 cap was for Model A’s after my Grandad left Detroit. In fact, MAFCGB kindly sent me an ‘old stock’ cap of the 1928 type. This is in the process of being affixed to a wooden stylised spoked wheel plaque that my Dad (Pattern Maker, Cabinet Maker & Joiner) and Nephew (loves woodworking) are constructing, for me to hang in my garage – as part of our Family history.
This Hub Cap Plaque will keep my ‘second mid-life crisis’ car, my ’65 Mustang V8 ‘Springtime Yellow’ Coupe (that I imported from Phoenix AZ in 2010) company, and also my ‘third mid-life crisis’ car, my ’67 Pontiac GTO Convertible, that has lived in the UK all his life, that I acquired 5 years ago as a non-runner. The ’67 model year GTO was introduced in the UK at the London Motor Show in October 1966. That car was the Signet Gold colour. My GTO was first registered in the UK in November 1966 – also Signet Gold. He is fully spec’d., (compared with UK produced cars of the era), with power top, power windows, power disc brakes, power driver’s seat, tilt steering wheel, Hurst His and Hers Shifter, air-assist rear suspension….. I can just imagine the guy who bought it - it was actually a man, not a lady – his jaw must have dropped when he saw it and he must have said to the Sales Representative - “I’ll have one, when can I get it?”
I intend to get more information of the build/order data of my GTO – there was talk that my car could be the London Show Car, but there is another gold GTO in the UK that was claiming that. I have recently been told about ‘Pontiac Historic Services’ to trace the build history and will contact them.
I must also thank the kind and extremely helpful lady (Cynthia) at the Ford Corporate History Dept. in Dearborn MI, back in 1999, for her wonderful help in providing me with information about my Grandad’s employment history (I did call her directly the day I received a 4-page fax from her at the Holiday Inn where I was staying). Also, the staff at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village Research Center in Dearborn were very helpful in searching-out and photocopying photographs of the Model A production line, toolroom and lathe shop in the Rouge Plant in the late 1920’s and also a photo of the car line in Dagenham in the mid- 1930’s. The helpfulness of these people encouraged me to find out more of why my Grandad (and his brother) started new lives in America and what he actually did – and to ask my Dad ‘things’ to record for my Grandson.
And my first ‘mid-life crisis’ - you ask? Back in the early 1990’s I was working in Manchester – coincidentally in the Trafford Park industrial area, where the Model T was built and in around 1929/30 when the Model A was briefly built, before production moved to Dagenham. I wanted to get a 1935 Morris 8, like my Dad and Mum had in the 1950’s in which my Sister and I were taken out on picnics in the countryside; but those cars offered for sale were all basket cases. However, I came across an advert for a 1936 Humber Twelve and, coincidently again, in the late 70’s I worked for Chrysler UK in Coventry, in Humber Road …. you have guessed it, where the Humber Twelve was made. I had to buy him and the boxes of bits on the back seat/floor! It took me 6 years to restore him: bodywork, new electrics, spraying him and my Dad making the moulds and producing replacement ‘rubber’ parts for the perished rubber bits on the car. The Coventry Transport Museum was very helpful, allowing me to crawl all over a Humber Twelve they have in the Museum to see how/what parts I needed to fit.
So Kyle, whilst I have not previously heard of Collector Car Appreciation day, from me seeing the hub caps on your (Dad’s) ’30 Model A, I felt compelled to tell you and your readers (at least those who may be at all interested in my family story related to the Model A), how such a little piece of a car, any car, can stir up emotions and an impression of what it must have been like to be there in the Rouge Plant on a shift fitting the hub caps at a rate of 9000 vehicles a day. Without the network of retro-production companies, service and spares suppliers, museums, clubs, magazines/websites and not least archivists, we wouldn’t have a hobby and I wouldn’t have of 30’s motoring and the ability to keep two icons of US Muscle and Pony cars going.
p.s. I like the Triumph Spitfire best – my first car was a ’63 Triumph Herald, based on the same platform as the Spitfire and built in Coventry – but that is because I am of a ‘certain’ age and all the other cars are too modern.
Tinkerah
Engineer

I wouldn't mind Jay giving any of my rides a thumb up and his chinny grin!
MikeOD
Pit Crew

I wouldn't kick any of them off my driveway! My fun car is a Sunbeam Alpine Series 3. Less than 6000 total were built. Mine was built in August of '63 - titled as a '64 (the year it was sold) as they used to do back in the day. Total rusty wreck when I got it in 2010. 8 years of cutting, welding, grinding, etc. etc. etc. to get it finished up. The only thing I farmed out was engine machining. Ended up with a really fun car!
MikeOD
Pit Crew

I'll post a picture if I can figure out how to do it.
MikeOD
Pit Crew

Can't figure out how to post a picture - a little help - anyone?
Thanks.
MikeOD
Pit Crew

Figured it out!

DSC01099.jpg

Grace
Hagerty Employee

gorgeous!
britphil
Pit Crew

Hi MikeMO - nice car the Sunbeam Alpine - another old Coventry UK company that was absorbed into the Rootes Group, like Humber, before the Chrysler take-over. One of my old college mates had a 'sky blue' (the colour of Coventry soccer team shirts) car. We nearly were 'lost' on the Coventry Ring Road when the back end 'stepped out' - in dry conditions. Take care! - Happy Days!
Spookysgarage
Detailer

That Model A is so cool. Love those! And- the story of the adventures in the BMW 2002 was so damned funny- how fun is that?
49Ford-SBird
New Driver

Love the old and new!!!
britphil
Pit Crew

Hi again Mike OD - i just looked at the Paint Codes of the Sumbeam Alpine and remember my mate's car was Wedgewood Blue. I seem to recall it had both soft (white) and hard (blue) tops. A Tiger would be good to have now.
MikeOD
Pit Crew

I painted it a non- original color,  but wanted it to look period correct.   Non- metallic medium blue with a bit of grey.  One of the comments I hear the most is "I love the color!"

ZZZPR
Intermediate Driver

As others have noted, it's a diverse and somewhat unexpected group of rides owned by Hagerty writers.  We shouldn't be too surprised - the Hagerty community encompasses diverse tastes, and in the end, we buy what speaks to us tempered by what we can afford.

Having said that, here's the ride that speaks to me and that I can afford:

 

IMG_20210912_120226346_HDR (1).jpg

 

It's a 1972 Morris Mini Estate resto-mod.  It's fast (210 hp thanks to a Honda VTEC swap), nimble (like all classic Minis), and a hoot to drive (otherwise, what's the point?).  Not to mention, affordable.  Admittedly, not as affordable as it was before I poured countless hours and countable dollars into it over the past 12 years, but still cheaper than most new cars.  What's priceless is the look on peoples' faces when they see it (first the women and children, because it's so cute, then the guys when I pop the hood).  Best of all, it's always one of a kind at any (non-British) car show, and draws a bigger crowd than a Lambo!  

JT11
New Driver

I cant believe I don't see more Corvette C3's on this web site about cars. They are still cheap, they are V8 muscle, come in manual or auto. Are American made and have the body curves of a 1960's Italian race car. Maybe I am just biased since I own two of them but they are great cars and get lots of complements anywhere I drive them.
Mogowner1
New Driver

I bought my 1963 Morgan in 1991. Since that time it has been extensively reworked, or as they say, mechanically fully developed. It is still great fun to drive despite its unforgiving nature. This old friend still brings a smile to my face. Isn’t that. What the hobby is all about? Whether fixing, driving, part sourcing, or talking to friends-it doesn’t make a difference if the car is a pristine 1969 GTO or an old Peugeot. We should celebrate our enjoyment of all of our cars and leave politics and disparaging comments out of the conversation. Save the negativity for another forum.
Juanchico
New Driver

Hagerty's being American I am very surprised to see those cars. With all the wonderful American cars available to you, I'm flabbergasted. Beemers and Volvo's WTF?