Realrides Of WNY

RealRides of WNY - 1950 Pontiac

One of the first things Bunkie Knudsen did when he took over the Pontiac Division of General Motors back in 1956 was to remove the signature Silver Streaks from the cars' hoods and trunk lids — a styling cue which had started with the hood back in 1935 and then was also added to the trunk two years later. (Today’s trivia fact: Knudsen was born in Buffalo back in 1912 when his father wa

RealRides of WNY - 1982 Camaro

I knew that the annual Indianapolis 500 used to always feature a pace car, which was often made available in replica form to the general public, but I had to check the internet to see if that’s still the case. I guess I haven’t paid much attention these past few years. Turns out that since 2002 all of the pace cars have been Chevrolets — 14 of them Corvettes (including the last f

RealRides of WNY - 1952 Kaiser

Surprisingly, the back page of the brochure for this 1952 Kaiser Virginianhas a blurb at the bottom which reads: “Kaiser-Frazer Sales Corporation, Willow Run, Michigan.”I say surprisingly because the last Frazer cars were the 1951 models. Kaiser and Frazer were, as you probably remember, two distinct car lines… in name only. They were sold in the same dealerships, built on the s

RealRides of WNY - Taylor-Dunn "van"

My camera stamped these photos as being taken back in 2004, but that’s highly unlikely (I think it was a recurring battery problem with this long-gone Minolta). It was probably just a year or two ago at the most when we drove past American Harley-Davidson in North Tonawandaand came upon this Taylor-Dunn Roadmaster RO-380electric van sitting out front of the dealership. It’s sporting th

RealRides of WNY - 1957 Buick

When we came across this 1957 Buick Superjust over a year ago in Tonawanda, it quickly reminded us of another ’57 from Flint that we photographed in Farmersville back in 2009 — the Special4-door sedan in the bottom photo. Was Buick suffering from some sort of rear bumper bracket deficiency back in 1957? Lol… The Super was a notch up from the Special in the ’57 lineup; next

RealRides of WNY - 1982 Park Ave.

Seeing that this 1982 Buick Park Avenue Limitedis wearing a set of vintage dealer plates, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this isn’t its original owner who showed up with the car at one of last spring’s Cars and Coffee events at Wimbledon Lanes in West Seneca. I would imagine that the original owner, whoever it might have been, would be mighty surprised to see their

RealRides of WNY - 1956 Cadillac

When we came across this 1956 Cadillac Sixty-Twolast spring at a cruise night at the Charcoal Corral & Silver Lake Drive-In in Perry, the owner was offering it for sale. This one has the added bonus of factory air-conditioning, which you can see in the rear window. Cadillac said of its 1956 lineup, “…you will find them the most inspiring motor cars the world has ever seen!”

RealRides of WNY (on the road) - 1957 VW

What do I like best about this 1957 Volkswagen? (Besides its shape, of course. Who in his right mind doesn’t love an old Beetle?) I really like the paint job on this one — both the color choice and the obvious workmanship that went into it. Regular readers of this spot probably know my proclivity for showroom stock classics… but that’s not to say that I don’t appreci

RealRides of WNY - 1954 Bel Air

We found this 1954 Chevrolet Bel Airlast summer at a car show at the Crittenden Fire Hall in Alden. When the Bel Air debuted for model year 1950, it was Chevrolet’s version of General Motors’ new pillarless two-door hardtop body style. Starting in 1953 the Bel Air’s name was used for a series which also included two- and four-door sedans and a convertible. When the Impala showed

RealRides of WNY - 1961 Mercury

When I came across this 1961 Mercury Meteor 600this past summer it occurred to me how few Ford Motor Company cars you see these days from 1961. After thinking about it a little moreI added the other U.S. manufacturers into the mix as well. Where are they all? Was 1961 a down year for auto sales? I know 1958 certainly was. The Meteor name has an interesting history in North America. It was used for