Love your ride? Let others know

March 7, 2013 

People love showing off their beloved cars and trucks, so we have something up our sleeve that should gladden the hearts of auto enthusiasts.

Today the Sun-Star is launching a regular feature called My Favorite Ride. It needs the support of the car community to succeed. It's a reader-driven project and should be a fun read.

While we have a lot of interest in vintage cars and classics, we're not limiting this feature to such vehicles. If it's your automotive baby, we'll happily consider it.

We have come up with nine questions that car owners need to answer, and then schedule a photo to accompany the survey.

Key questions include:

1. What are the key features of your vehicle?

2. What did you have to do to get it in its present state?

3. What else do you want to do to it?

4. How did you acquire your vehicle?

5. Why did you pick that particular vehicle and what do you find appealing about it?

6. What started your love affair with cars?

7. What advice would you give others about starting such a project?

8. Do you have any other collector vehicles or project cars?

9. What's your favorite memory about this ride?

Car buffs are detail-oriented. They want to know what parts and pieces are on your 1941 Chevrolet. They are curious about the work involved in turning your ride from a pile of parts into an attention-getter.

It's said that car projects are almost never done. There are always other things you want to do to your car and truck. That depends on time, skills and the number of quarters in the piggy bank, so to speak.

The vehicle aficionado wants to know how you acquired your car or truck. These days, with a fragile economy and the Internet realm unfolding, how one comes upon their pride and joy may be different from methods of years past and involve an interesting tale to share with others.

Why did you choose a 1958 Ford as opposed to a 1960 Valiant? People's tastes are diverse, and the freedom to choose your own path is a benefit of democracy. Besides, that's captivating information our readers will want to know.

Hindsight sometimes is 50-50, and we think readers will want to know what advice you can give others about starting such a project. They might suggest buying somebody else's car, not buying a given part, or all manner of different strategies differing from what they initially planned.

It's a safe bet that many area car buffs have more than one auto, from vintage models to newer rides, and we're curious about other collector vehicles or project cars sharing garage space. Everybody likely has a favorite memory about their car. It could be something you rode in as a 5-year-old, drove to the prom or used to bring your daughter home from the hospital.

I have been amazed over the years at the level of enthusiasm in Merced County and environs for vintage cars and rides of all kinds. For a relatively small populace in the overall scheme of things, the greater Merced area can sustain large car events and several thriving car clubs. That's impressive.

To have your favorite ride featured in the Merced Sun-Star, please answer all of the above questions and include your name, address, telephone numbers and email address.

Send this material to dhill@mercedsunstar.com or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

Please limit answers to each question to 50 words or less. We'll edit answers to meet space limitations and a time will be scheduled to take pictures of your vehicle at the newspaper office. Photos and the article will appear in print and online.

I can hardly wait to get this going. It should be a fun endeavor. I'm eager to read all the stories that go into owning a 1950 Studebaker or a 1964 Buick, maybe even a 1958 Citroën or something newer.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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