Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CAR CRAZY SAGA -My Continental(s)- 12:

1956 CONTINENTAL MARK II  (1991-1996)

The next day the pictures of the Pillsbury car arrived. Exquisite! 
I prepared for a trip to Portland. It was August 1991. Then I had an idea. I called the secretary of the local Lincoln Continental Owners Club for a member's name in that part of the country. I located a Willis Rob in Vancouver, Washington, who was more than willing to help. A two-hour telephone conversation that night filled me in.

It belonged to the Pillsbury clan for 22 years, being garaged in their winter home in Phoenix for 20 of those years. Then came a minor list of items that would need to be repaired.

I called twice and finally negotiated a deal: $34,500 with them also paying for the transportation. Done. Then it hit me: I now own two Mark IIs! I had doubts about buying even one, but now I owned two within four days! My Continental(s)! ("s" is in parentheses because having a second one was a fluke.)

The Pillsbury car got the nickname "Dough Boy" because of that connection. 

And because lots of my dough was going into this venture especially due to having two Continental Mark IIs.

I then threw myself into learning more about the cars' maintenance and repair. I recalled all the people we were helpful to me, telling them of my adventure. I was in desperate need to know about cars in general and the Mark II in particular. I got varying amounts of fluids, parts and information on good garages. I began making computer lists n my Macintosh.

"Dough Boy" arrived September 8, 1991, at a huge shopping center outside Washington DC. 

The driver would not drive into the District due to low-hanging trees for his rig was two cars high! The drive home was adventurous. It wouldn't go over forty miles an hour! Turned out the gas tank was rusty and had a lot of sediment.

But I had hundreds of wonderful experiences with "Dough Boy." 

People became ecstatic at the sight of her. It was a thrilling experience to have her. Like the time I was driving by the Smithsonian Institution when two men dressed in suits literally stopped and stared, watching me go clear down the street.
The Mark I and my Mark II.
MY Elvis pose!

"Mamie" on the other hand became a chore. She was finally finished after a year at a final cost of $55,000. I decided I did not want her. So the attempts at selling began. Jim had delusions of grandeur: $85,000, $100,000, etc.! But none came to fruition. Jim Benton of Decatur had died of a heart attack and his sister liquidated the business. "Mamie" finally went to a Kruse auction for personality cars. She only got $21,000 from a rancher in Oklahoma.

I decided to sell "Dough Boy" after five years of pure enjoyment. I was moving to a new city and had had my good times with her and would always remember her. I only got $28,000 from two car club guys in Canada. (They had to remove the hood ornament when they entered Canada. It was considered a dangerous weapon!)

I now realized that collector cars was a pure hobby, selling them was not a moneymaking operation. But I sure got a lot of enjoyment out of it. I am glad I didn't miss that spectacular experience.

Next, My Fiero.

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