Monday January 16th, 2017
This morning FB had a pic of a 1958 Pontiac ( Bonneville (only available in the U.S.)). When people think of classic cars they generally conjure up an image of either a Larkspur blue or Surf green and white 1957 Chevrolet coupe. I think 1958 was a great year for General Motors ‘boat’ cars. I know talking about cars is contrary to our life as cruising sailors, so lets look at a classic sailboat design. Beautiful long, low and sleek. I sailed on a great old cutter rigged sloop named ‘Choice’. She was owned and skippered by Augustus J. Rogers III an economics professor from Michigan.
We sailed on her while Gus had the boat in Little Current and along with Henry and the Bailey boys we helped him return the boat to Michigan. We had an interesting if not harrowing trip but the boat made it and it was worth it. I clearly remember during the storm his IBM selectric typewriter came loose and bounced around the cabin. Those babies weighed 75 pounds. I remember it was hard work to short tack the old girl. She had running backstays that were tightened and released with 5 or 6 foot bronze levers that you had to release on the high side and snap down and lock the low side through the tack. I remember working the head stay while we knocked down the number 1 genoa. Drop two hanks and hang on as a wave washed over the bow. She went through waves not up and down. Classic!!
Back to 1958. In 1959 car designers seem to have lost their minds and the era of wings began and they lost my interest. Not all cars from 1958 were great. The Rollera is cute but not Classic, and luckily there are not many of them in the world.
But the 1958 cars were amazing. Please review my favourites below: