Contact: Rich Kurz
Page content last updated May 23, 2019
THE CARS I GREW UP WITH
I am from a generation that loved cars.
They were more than a means of transportation, of getting from point A to B.
That was important, but that was not all there was to it.
The vehicle was an expression of oneself, of one's hopes and dreams.
They were an expression of speed and beauty.
They were many things and much more than just a collection of assembled steel and glass.
My dad loved his cars and grew up working on them - tuning them and washing them and waxing them and driving them.
And he was always looking to upgrade them, because his dream was to drive the latest Cadillac. But he never got there.
So I got to experience a lot of cars between he and his friends, who all grew up together in the same town.
And I formed my own preferences as I thought about what I would get for my first car,
and boy, did I go through them in my mind, trying to make up my mind which one was my favorite.
I do have one and I am in the process of making it, because you see, in the end, I became a designer because of cars.
So here is my life experience of cars, from the ones that have gone thru our family to the ones that are my favorites.
Enjoy looking at them, and then, we will have to sit down while I tell you why I don't like most of today's cars.
(L) Spring 1951 - love is in the air - my parents, pinned, and my Dad's '41 Ford
(C left) Spring 1955 - Now married & in training at Lowry AFB, moved up to a '52 Ford
(C right) The same, in front of the officers' quarters, with my grandfather's '50 Buick
(R) 1954 - now stationed at George AFB, my dad's 1941 Buick. He always had a 2nd car.
(L) 1954 - Dad told me it was a 1941 LaSalle, but it's really a '40 Cadillac 60 Special Coupe
(R) 1954 - I always thought this was the one he should have kept, and he did regret selling it.
(L) 1955 - A '46 Buick, again at George AFB. The finish was bluer than the slides show.
(C left) 1955 - Parked in front of our officers' quarters at George AFB
(C right) 1956 - The Buick and the Ford made the move to Ohio after Dad was mustered out.
(R) 1956 - In front of our new home in Kettering, OH. Blue Coral waxed on once a week is amazing - and arm-breaking
(L) 1959 - 1952 Cadillac Fleetwood. Imagine 4 parents and 4 children driving from Phoenix to Disneyland in a day. Bigger inside than it looks.
(R) 1962 - THIS was the Beauty I wanted! A forest green '51 Cadillac with matching leather interior. I was in love.
(L) 1962 - I wanted Dad to keep it so I could own it when I grew up. But he upgraded to a '55 Fleetwood.
(L) 1976 - 1972 Vega Hatchback, my mother's car(that is not her), dressed up here as a '57 Chevy for a '50s night party
(C left) 1976 - I really do enjoy my cars. I like having fun with them.
(C left) 1977 - In Lyons, France with a 1965 Citroen 2CV "Deux Chevaux". Incredible fun - you have to drive one to know what I mean. If you could roll it, Citroen would give you a new one.
(R) 1981 - My first new car, an '81 VW diesel pickup. 40 mpg city or highway and once got 50 mpg on I-80 'tween Salt Lake and Cheyenne. But it would emit smoke on the mountain grades.
(L) 1985 - '84 VW Rabbit GTI, I traded in my VW pickup for it. It's still my daily drive.
(C left) 1984 - Less than a month old
(C right) 1984 - Someday I hope to restore it to this like-new condition
(R) 1984 - 90 HP, 5-speed, 1800 lbs - it is zippy.
Dad's Friends' Cars
(L) 195? - 1949 Lincoln Continental on a street in Oakwood Ohio
(C left) 1957 - 1946 Cadillac Series 62, the same owner
(C right) 1957 - For chronological scale, it's only 10 years older than a new '57 Chevy
(R) 1957 - The same
(L) 1955 - My father's father's new Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Look carefully - my grandmother is at the wheel
(C left) 1955 - Father and son shared a love for the marque
(C right) 1955 - The same
(R) 1958 - Dad cleaning his Dad's 1958 Cadillac Series 62
(L) 1955 Lincoln Futura - This is the one that ignited my love of cars, and especially modern ones.
(C) 1962 Astro - For decades I only knew of one photo of this, a newspaper clipping. It's a can-do story by an immigrant named John Bucik.
(R) 1964 Firebird IV - I fixated on this one in junior high. All my sketches were variations on it.
(L) 1963 Monza SS - but this is the one that rose to the top of them all.
(C) 1972 Brubaker Box - on a standard VW Beetle chassis, and you could actually buy one. Only 50 were made.
(R) 1973 4-Rotor Aero-Vette - Boy did we ache in design school for GM to make this the C4 'Vette, and it had a chance, but alas.
And Still More
(L) 1960 - An old Rolls found along Route 66 on the way to Phoenix for a family vacation
(C) 1963 - A black Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the local sports car club did a rally for the children in the Cincinnati Children's Hospital
(L) 1967 - 1967 Ford GT40 P 1058 (I think). My grandparents nextdoor neighbor was the Ford dealer. I was too shy to ask for a ride.
(C) 1967 - Close-up view (Here's a link to this particular car.)
(L) 1969 - A 1955? Gemini Cadillac, residing at a Conoco along I-80 in Wyoming
(C left) 1969 - Love these custom-painted Beetles. This one ('64-'65-'66 or '67) we kept leap-frogging all day in Yellowstone.
(C right) 1977 - My brother and his BMW 2002 on the beach on Longboat Key
(R) 1977 - A 1971/1972 Cadillac on the street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati
Check back for more cars!
The 1950's - My Father's Cars
The 1980's - My Rides
His Friends' Cars