by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Early Sunday afternoon, my wife, Edith, and I were enjoying lunch at On The Border, a Tex-Mex restaurant, and we marveled at the number of comments on last Friday’s blog…but not about airguns. Mostly comments about cars. Vintage cars, in fact. Edith is a gear head, and so is her brother, Bob. She volunteered to write today’s blog and give you a peek into her life.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

by Edith Gaylord

When I was about 12 years old, I built my first model car. I’m not sure which car it was, but I envision the shape as being an Edsel. Not one of the sportier models, but I added flame decals on the sides and hood. I didn’t spend a lot of time building model cars, as I was also interested in girlie pastimes.

My brother, on the other hand, continued to build model cars and planes and eventually graduated to real cars. Bob’s an oil and gas exploration geologist in Houston and is well-known in his field. A few years ago, I discovered that he was also well-respected. When the Israelis discovered oil, they sent the core samples to London for further research. Bob was one of the experts called to London to review the geology and geophysics.

Bob once told me that oil people are under immense stress and some sort of unrelated diversion is required for relief. So, he’d get junked bodies of pre-Stingray Corvettes and rebuild them. When he was done with a car, he’d drive it around a bit and then sell it. Within no time, another body would find its way to his garage, and the process started all over.

This went on for some time, but then Bob graduated to other car models and those that didn’t need to be completely rebuilt. When I visited him in April 2000, I took a ride in his latest acquisition: a 1957 Ford Thunderbird.


Sitting in my brother’s 1957 T-bird.

As we drove around in the car, people waved, screamed, hollered and pointed. It was as if we were in a parade all by ourselves. Bob said he felt like he was driving Sandra Dee’s car whenever he drove it.

Bob eventually sold the T-bird and got another, switching to other makes and models. A few years ago, he bought a car off eBay Motors, but the seller had been less than candid. When the car arrived at midnight, he picked it up but the headlights didn’t work — and he drove it home in the dark. The next day, the car wouldn’t even start. He worked on it off and on for about a year. One day, he backed it out of the garage and smoke started pouring out. It was on fire! He hit the kill switch on the battery, which stopped the fire, but all the wires were fried. That’s when he decided that he didn’t want a hobby that would burn down his house. Bob called the Salvation Army to donate “Satan” (which is what he named the car), and they picked it up within an hour. And that was the end of the line for Bob’s vintage car hobby.

Edith knows best!
I remember when B.B. and I had been married for a short period of time and didn’t actually know that much about each other, he was caught off-guard by my car knowledge. We were driving down the highway when an unusual car passed us. He didn’t know what kind of car it was and guessed at the make and model. I disagreed and said it was a Jensen Interceptor. I still recall his surprised look. He knew what a Jensen Interceptor was, but how could I know what it was? Even more incredulous, how could I recognize one as it sped past us? He put the pedal to the metal, caught up with the car…and it was, of course, a Jensen Interceptor.

Bob, B.B. and I continue to love older cars. We’re avid watchers of car TV shows such as “Wheeler Dealers,” “Chasing Classic Cars,” “Kounting Cars,” the occasional Mecum auction and even attending local vintage car shows.

B.B. and I have talked on and off about buying a vintage car. I have a survivalist mentality and would like a vintage car  as a get-out-of-dodge vehicle, so it can’t have any electronics. We’ve tossed around the idea of a 1950s GM delivery van, a vintage VW bus, and a deuce-and-a-half (since it can run on almost any fuel and can go just about anywhere). We haven’t done anything yet…but I think we eventually will.

Well, that’s about it. Tomorrow, the blog will return to airguns. On Wednesday, B.B. will be on his way to the Virginia airgun show.