Profile of A.J.P.: 12 Things I Love About Classic Cars

by | Nov 1, 2016 | 12 Things I Love About Classic Cars

A.J.P. is a private collector with a special appreciation for detail. Here he shares his enduring passion for Classics and automobilia.

1. Original Classics

I learned from the masters of this hobby, they were my mentors — Roger Morrison, Don Williams — also Jack Passey and Tom Powels, who are no longer with us. As an early collector, I saw how they took care of their Classics, and I developed a great appreciation for Classics as they were originally built. I prefer collecting original cars instead of having a “trailer queen.” That’s just my style.

2. Drum headlights

The shape appeals to me — some of them used Bausch and Lomb lenses, which were such high quality.

3. Bi-Flex Bumpers

They were an accessory item. Bumpers didn’t come into use until about 1925, although they were available as accessory items.

4. The artistry of Hood Ornaments

I have many favorites: the Pierce-Arrow archer, Minerva, Franklin, just to name a few. I own a series of Lincoln greyhounds and it’s interesting to see how the hood ornament evolved over the years.

5. Buffalo Wire Wheels

Buffalo wire wheels were from Buffalo, New York and coachbuilders used them on the more expensive cars. I like Rudge Whitworth wire wheels, too. Rudge is even more rare but they’re also more delicate. The Buffalo wire wheels are sturdy.

6. Chaise Lap Robes

The ultimate collectable! What a wonderful accessory, you don’t see many of these. It was one of the most expensive interior accessories one could buy back in the Classic era. I have a vintage pamphlet that showed Lincoln’s offerings, and it was the priciest. Years ago my good friend Tom Powels encouraged me to buy these, and I’m glad I did.

7. Disc wheels

I have a car that I’m going to outfit with disc wheels. It’s an early Judkins coupe that I’m restoring, a two-tone grey car. You don’t see disc wheels very often on Lincolns, although I have come across them frequently in photographs. I like the effect.

8. Early Wood Steering Wheels

They are beautiful in their simplicity. I also like collapsible wood steering wheels. By 1930 wood steering wheels were over, manufacturers used bakelite instead. I miss details like that.

9. Hubcap Designs

I have always admired the beauty of the Classic-era hubcaps. They’re beautifully made in various materials — brass, nickel-plated or chrome-plated, depending on the time period. Packard made beautiful ones — so did Pierce-Arrow, Lincoln and Cadillac. Someday I’d like to research who made them. I’m told there were one or two companies responsible for all of them, but I’m not sure that’s the case. I do know they were all very well-done. I have an original Leland Lincoln hubcap which is edged with a wreath, I have also found some rare original ones. Cunningham, Hispano-Suiza, I’ve been collecting them for years.

10. Lincoln Advertising Art

Lincoln did an extraordinary series with Stark Davis, the bird series, along with their Boulevards of the World ads. They are all striking. Packard and Pierce-Arrow also created exceptional ads.

11. Town cars

As far as body styles are concerned, this is my absolute favorite. Town cars were the most expensive and the most exquisitely detailed.

12. The Nethercutt Collection

This museum in Sylmar, California is a sleeper and a “must see.” There are two adjacent buildings to visit — make sure to book a guided tour of the four-floor Collection in advance. It’s an exquisite re-creation of the automotive Grand Salons of the ‘20s and ‘30s, designed by J. B. Nethercutt and Tony Heinsbergen, Jr. — Tony was a very dear friend of mine. The museum curator, Skip Marketti is terrific and a wealth of knowledge. J. B. Nethercutt, the museum founder, was one of the greats in the Classic Car hobby. You’ll see automobiles and collectibles like no other. Photo by Dennis Adler, courtesy of The Nethercutt Collection.

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