Saturday, September 8, 2012

Daily Drivers

Car shows are great. You get to see row after row of incredible machinery. Ferraris sit next to Mustangs, and Packards mingle with F-100s. But there's something about seeing those same cars on the road as daily drivers that I personally love. Sure, the car gets dirty and you have to be more careful, but in the end it's worth it. You're driving a vehicle that's fun, and you're improving your driving experience, as well as everyone else's. Here are some of the coolest machines I've seen being used as everyday drivers.

A daily driver needs to be capable of handling almost any situation, so a pickup truck is a wise choice. This 1953 Chevrolet 1500 shows its age, but also its character. It's clearly seen better days, but it's still a hardworking machine.
The Ford Falcon is an ideal car for urban living. It's big enough to be comfortable, yet small enough to be practical. This particular Falcon is a 1963 model. It could use a car wash, but otherwise it's a solid car. Plus, it looks good in red.
If you want something more spacious, take a look at this 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air Sedan. The Bel Air model offered a terrific combination of luxury and performance. This particular example has seen some wear and tear over the years, but despite that, the lines of the car still look great. It's elegant and sporting, an impressive feat for a car getting close to fifty years old.
The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia's styling is hit or miss. It's either sporty and cute or bulbous and fat. Personally, I like it. The stylish design seats two, has plenty of luggage space under the hood, and uses the dependable and efficient VW air-cooled engine. This one is a 1964, and looks pretty good. The headlight covers are a nice personal touch, and the paint, although worn, still catches the eye.
The Ford Mustang has been around for years, and is now a household name. But this classic example harks back to the days when the pony car was just an infant. The Mustang's debut in 1964 was a huge success, and the car sold extremely well. This 1966 Coupe wears plenty of custom addons, including aftermarket wheels, Shelby-style stripes, a hood scoop and a modern sound system. All of these things make this Mustang a sporty stallion indeed.
No, it's not a GTO. This is a 1967 Pontiac Le Mans, the GTO's little brother. Apart from a different taillight design, the Le Mans and the GTO are almost identical aesthetically. The difference was in performance. The Le Mans was less geared for performance. This one, though, looks like a serious street machine. It's rolling on Cragar wheels, and has a super cool two-tone paint scheme. A nice car for sure.
This 1972 Chevrolet Blazer looks ready for anything. The green paint goes well with the white top, although the top is detachable for those sunny fall afternoons. On the road, the Blazer is small enough to be a very usable daily driver. Leave the pavement, however, and suddenly it's a hardcore off-roader. It's the best of both worlds.
These vehicles are all interesting cars. At a car show, none would be the star attraction, but out on the streets they're real eye-catchers. They do service every day as dependable workhorses, rain or shine. Consider this: When these cars were built, however many decades ago that may have been, they were built to be everyday machines. So why can't they still be? It's a question worth thinking about.

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