Modified 'Ruth' skin-on-frame rowboat

A semi-chronological listing of vehicles I've owned

Click on  btn button below to see old photo - the real thing.

Austin Healey 100-6 (1957)
My first sports car, and what a treat it was. I had many wonderful adventures with that car and learned a lot about vehicle maintenance. I paid $600 for it, drove it for a couple of years and sold it for the same amount. That sort of thing never happened again.      btn

Austin Healey 100-6
Triumph TR-4  (1962)
This car had some interesting features; a racing-style gas filler in the middle of the back deck, red leather interior, and overdrive on all 4 gears. It started out white like this one but eventually I painted it a deep, dark blue and built a black, vinyl covered station wagon-like hardtop for it.    btn
Triumph TR-4
Jaguar XKE  Coupe  (1964)
2400 lbs and 250 horsepower - an incredibly fast car! Mine was light blue with gray leather interior. This is the car I was driving when I got my first job at Dow Chemical - as a janitor. The Dow Credit Union made it way too easy to buy and switch cars.  btn
Jaguar XKE
Austin Healey Sprite Mk2  (1965)
This was Linda's first car and a lot of fun. I learned to do a valve job in below freezing temperatures and installed a fake roll bar in it too. Never to leave  something that works just fine alone, I scrounged up an old Morris Minor steering gear and converted the car to right-hand drive. Made for scary riding for a passenger, especially when passing on a 2-lane road.
Austin Healey Sprite Mk2
Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint Coupe  (1964)
Ours was kind of purple and had a 5-speed transmission and power windows. Traded the Jaguar in on this when rust started taking it over but it wasn't a very good decision. It only lasted a couple of years before water began showing up in the engine oil. I tried to fix it but eventually sold it cheap letting the new (informed) owner figure it out.  btn
Alpha Romeo 2600 Sprint Coupe
BMW 600 4-Passenger Coupe (1957-58)
This cool little car had a flat 600cc, 2-cylinder engine and a top speed of nearly 80 mph. I bought it with the idea that I'd use its frame and drive train to build myself a Lotus Europa-like sports car. I sold the body to a fellow to use on an ice boat and eventually sold the rest to another experimenter.   btn 
BMW 600 Coupe
Austin Healey 'Bugeye' Sprite  (1958?)
Just a fun foray/diversion, these cars were notoriously under-powered but so much fun to drive. A younger couple saw it and couldn't live without it and I gave in - pretty easily.
Austin Healey Sprite
Lotus Europa Type 46 Coupe  (1967)
This was the most interesting and fun-to-drive car I've owned. 1,400 lbs., 1400 cc, 78 hp mid-engine and only 42" high. A totally unique driving experience. It regularly got over 40 mpg - which is good because it had a small gas tank. Lots of great memories of driving this one. Sold it to help fund our move to the UP.   btn  btn
Lotus Europa

Sears Allstate (PUCH)  (1968?)
My first motorcycle experience; 50cc 2-cycle engine with a top speed under 30 mph. I bought it in Midland and rode it home to Coleman - probably 35 miles by back roads and it seemed to take forever. The most I can say is that it got me started with bikes. My Dad even gave it a ride.
Allstate 50cc motorcycle
Triumph 650 Tiger  (1970)
What a nice riding bike! I put a lot of miles on mine including a ride to the Upper Peninsula with another couple. After a few fun years I had some scary near misses on 2-lane highways and sold it.
Triumph Tiger 650
Triumph 750 Trident  (1972?)
I got over it and bought this three-cylinder, 750cc road bike. It was a little smoother riding and had a lot less engine vibration than the 650 twin. Really a fast bike; 0-80 in less than 6 seconds but actually I just rode it easy. I sold it to help pay for our land purchase here in the UP in 1976.   btn
Triumph Trident 750

A few notes:

The dates given are probably pretty close but maybe not quite accurate. Obviously I've owned many other vehicles since 1976 but none as much fun as these listed.

When I was 14 my Dad let me buy a 1948 Chevrolet FleetMaster convertible. I used $100 of my savings and he contributed $20 for Bondo and paint plus $80 to buy four new tires. Yes, $20 per tire kind of dates the transaction. I pretty much learned to drive in that car on the back roads near our family cabin near Farwell, MI.

If I could have any of these cars now ... I'd probably go for the Jaguar or Lotus. - -
- The Jag was in some ways an old English car by design; manual choke, starter button on the dash (& another under the hood), mechanical hand throttle and wonderful smelling leather interior. And such a beautiful, drivable sculpture!
- The Lotus was English also but much less sophisticated; Non-adjustable seats, snap-in plastic side windows, pretty noisy, but absolutely the best handling car I've ever been in. Every trip was a temptation for adventure and I gave in to that temptation for many memorable adventures.


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