Wednesday, December 2, 2015

1965 Volvo PV544 Sport

Photography by Mark J. McCourt, and courtesy Ron Morehead Jr.
Lincoln Morehead, Sr., established Morehead Auto Sales in 1946, and took on a Volvo franchise in the late 1950s. Mr. Morehead added the Honda car line in 1974, and sold both marques out of his famous “windmill” building in Middlehope, New York, until giving up the Volvo franchise in 1998; they specialize in Honda today.
For various reasons, Mr. Morehead ended up hanging on to three brand-new, end-of-run Volvo models that the family would keep for decades. Longtime readers of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car will remember their 1981 Bertone Coupé, a 36-mile car whose full leather seats were still wearing the plastic wrappings installed at the factory for shipment. This car was sold overseas in 2007, and most recently appeared on the Volvo Cars Heritage stand as part of a special Bertone Volvo display at the 2015 Techno Classica Essen classic car event in Germany. It’s currently owned by a Dutch Volvo specialist, and shows 62 miles on the odometer. Also sold in 2007 was an 80-mile 1967 122S wagon, which the family held onto after repaired shipping damage rendered it unsellable. This car was soon purchased by Automobile magazine columnist Jamie Kitmanhis parents bought an identical model new in 1966– and he’s put more than 4,000 miles on it since. The last original, never-sold Volvo is now in the process of being recommissioned.
Back story: I remember Mr. Morehead and his son Ronnie telling me about this 1965 PV544, while I was photographing the Bertone in 2006. It had been traded to them by another Volvo dealer, and would be the last PV that the dealership had in stock. In the mid-late 1960s, the car’s 20-year-old design (dating back to the PV444, first shown in 1944!) and price (close to that of the larger and more sophisticated 122) made it a tough sell. This car sat in the showroom until 1968, when Mr. Morehead filled its trunk with spare trim parts and the remaining 544 showroom display paraphernalia, and tucked it away in his home garage, under blankets.
The 544 would remain in the home garage, sharing space with Mr. Morehead’s daily drivers, up to last month, when Ronnie and his sons Ron Jr. and Lincoln pulled it out and got it running again.
Years ago, this car incurred some damage in the form of shattered rear glass when a burglar broke into the family house via a garage window directly above the back of this car; a genuine replacement window was purchased at that time, but wasn’t installed until just after these photos were taken.
This garage storage meant the car’s undercarriage and engine bay were exposed to the moisture brought in by the daily drivers, so there’s some surface corrosion on the original components’ surfaces. Still, it’s refreshing to see exactly how these cars were when new and untouched, and this example is very likely the most original, lowest-mileage -4.5 miles!- example outside of the final PV544 that lives in the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg.
(Yes, that’s the oil filter this car left the factory with in 1965. And yes, the miles are genuine!)
It was delightful to watch this car start instantly at the twist of the key, and after adjusting the choke, to hear its perfectly smooth idle. Ron Jr. drove the car next door from the showroom in which it once sat so I could take these photos, and he said this will probably be as far as the car goes under its own power, for some time, in consideration of the 50-year-old Firestone tires.
The Morehead family is considering its options for the “NOS” PV544, and has mentioned the possibility of ultimately finding the car a new home, once it’s fully sorted. To see more of this unusual Volvo’s intriguing details, click the thumbnails below to enlarge.

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1958 Dodge Coronet

1958 Dodge Coronet - Image 1 of 1

Click Here to read all about this Dodge and to view other pictures.


1959 Chevrolet El Camino

1959 El CaminoLike some 115 other people, I've been watching this 1959 El Camino here on eBay for quite a while. It has a great look to it, although I'm a bit nervous about the rust. Five thousand dollars seems like a decent deal for a first year V8 powered El Camino, but it appears no one is quite willing to take the plunge and hit the Buy It Now button. If the engine were complete and running, I have a feeling this one would have sold a long time ago. The seller does give the option to make an offer, so perhaps they would be willing to drop the price a could thousand. If the engine is free, it shouldn't be hard to find parts for and get running, but that's a big if. I would want to inspect this one carefully before spending much on it, as the rust could be a serious issue. So would you leave this truck with its original "patina" or would you give it a proper paint job?


Vintage Travel Trailers

Photos courtesy California Automobile Museum, except where noted.
It might seem contradictory to coop up a bunch of old travel trailers in one place for half a year; after all, they were built to wander the highways and byways, to explore the countryside and to escape the constraints of the indoors. But, hey, the camping off-season’s coming up for most of the country, and besides, they’ll make a great exhibit for the California Automobile Museum.
“The exhibit came about because of the cross-section of two important things: Vintage trailers are very trendy right now, and the Sacramento area has a strong presence of vintage trailers,” said Carly Starr, the museum’s curator. “For example, a local collector is providing some early examples of production trailers which we are lucky and excited to have. Furthermore, Vintage Camper Trailers magazine and website is owned and managed by Sacramento locals and they have supported this exhibit from the beginning.”
Travel trailers date back to well before the invention of the automobile—think of the Conestoga wagons that took settlers further and further into the West or the horse-drawn vardos of the gypsies across Europe—but with the advent of the automobile they began to grow in size and take on more of the comforts of home, including self-contained bathrooms, integrated kitchens, and electricity.
The travel trailers in the Camping in Style: Little Homes on Wheels exhibit date from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and include a wide range of styles, from the 18-1/2-foot aluminum 1936 Bowlus Deluxe Road Chief at the top of this article to the tiny 1950 KampMaster “stand-up” teardrop-style trailer above. Other trailers slated to take part in the exhibit include a 1959 Shasta Airflyte and matching 1956 Chevy Bel Air station wagon, a 1948 Vagabond, a 1960 Ideal Trailer, a 1950s Airstream, a 1936 Luxury Liner, a 1947 kit teardrop, a 1956 teardrop barn find, a 1946 Curtis Wright Model 2, and a 1955 Aljoa Sportsman.
Photo courtesy Harley-Davidson Museum.
Among the trailers, the exhibit will include one vintage motorhome, a Brooks Stevens-designed Clipper that had previously been shown at Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson Museum.

The Camping in Style: Little Homes on Wheels exhibit will take place October 31 through April 10 of next year, with a sneak preview party —featuring camp food—scheduled for October 30. For more information, visit


1953 Chrysler Town And Country

1953 Chrysler New Yorker T&CIt's what's inside that counts, right? This 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon listed here on craigslist and parked in Frederick, Colorado and is priced at $10,800 and the inside has a lot going for it. According to the owner this is a 5 door wagon (series C56-1) and supposedly there were only 1,242 produced.

1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon Int. RearHow about this wood and stainless steel? It looks absolutely fantastic with this combination, let's just hope everything is still here!

1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon EngineHere is the 331 hemi V8 mated to an automatic 4 Speed Fluid-Matic which has a “Safety Clutch” feature, which is similar to a torque limiter.  The car is said to be running and driving with new master cylinder, brakes, clutch, fuel pump, ball joints up front, battery and a new set of Cooper tires.

1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon Left SideThe car has the original paint, we don't know the color code. You could get away with leaving it as is, but wouldn't it look great with some new paint?
1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon Int.Here you have NOS carpet, seat covers, new headliner and the original Wagon-Radio is said to work.
1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon FrontIncluded with this purchase is an original Chrysler shop manual, sales brochure, extra power steering unit, grill, stainless trim, generators and a few other parts. The owner says that this car has rock solid floors, body, rockers, etc.  We have seen restored units go for as much as $50K.  What are your thoughts, paint and re-chrome, or just keep her as a big cool grocery getter?