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What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

The expression on the boy’s face? May you all find wheels which make you feel that way.
The expression on the boy’s face? May you all find wheels which make you feel that way.

I miss Pasteiner’s. The Woodward Avenue store was a mecca for car enthusiasts looking for that one elusive die-cast model or obscure Italian sports car coffee-table book. It also hosted a wonderfully casual Cars & Coffee on Saturday mornings. Even when winter was bitch-slapping us with salt and arctic wind, odds are someone would pull up in an old 911, shiny Aston Martin, or one of the myriad flavors of muscle car. Sometimes you’d even spot a 60s Datsun wagon. But the cars themselves weren’t even the most interesting part.

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The Platonic Ideal of a Jalop vehicle.
The Platonic Ideal of a Jalop vehicle.
If that Acty looks familiar, that’s because it’s the same one featured on Petrolicious a while back.
If that Acty looks familiar, that’s because it’s the same one featured on Petrolicious a while back.
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I think this is one of Lingenfelter’s special Corvettes.
I think this is one of Lingenfelter’s special Corvettes.
Quick question: which is rarer, the Dino or the Q1 behind it?
Quick question: which is rarer, the Dino or the Q1 behind it?
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Both the shop owner and the people shopping there were always ready to engage in conversation. Whether it was swapping wrenching stories, discussing the latest WRC or F1 race, or geeking out over that random Volvo, there was always car-talk bubbling away.

I haven’t really found any Cars & Coffee events to replace it since I moved back to the Chicagoland area (also, I lived like a five minute drive away from Pasteiner’s on 14 Mile Road). But when summer rolls around, there is something similar: Monday Night Car Shows.

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I’ve been critical of these shows in the past, but I can’t deny that they’re still a great place for fans of internal combustion to gather.

Ready for lift-off
Ready for lift-off
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Sure, the crumple zones are your shins, but that is a snazzy interior.
Sure, the crumple zones are your shins, but that is a snazzy interior.
Top speed is—I think—only around 70 mph, but I think the speedo measures “perceived” speed.
Top speed is—I think—only around 70 mph, but I think the speedo measures “perceived” speed.
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There’s a certain whimsy about a Messerschmitt KR200. I imagine the ride height does more to add to the sensation of “flight” than the road speed.

I think the KR200 would use this taillight as a guiding tower.
I think the KR200 would use this taillight as a guiding tower.
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And so the sun set on the Imperial.
And so the sun set on the Imperial.

Chrysler Imperial finds your lack of fins disturbing. As is the lack of swooping eagles announcing its presence.

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A gated manual deserves praise even from the heavens themselves.
A gated manual deserves praise even from the heavens themselves.
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Ferrari F355 Spider. Huh, someone told me those were pretty expensive once.

Hilariously, the owner had just bought this car that morning. He had to stop and buy fluids on the way.
Hilariously, the owner had just bought this car that morning. He had to stop and buy fluids on the way.
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

This Seven demonstrated that some stereotypes exist for a reason. Note the owner’s foresight.

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The owner had a thousand road-trip stories; a few of us talked with her for a good half-hour. She’s the kind of classic owner I aspire to be one day.
The owner had a thousand road-trip stories; a few of us talked with her for a good half-hour. She’s the kind of classic owner I aspire to be one day.
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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As much as I find the insanity over air-cooled Porsches, well, insane, they really are objets d’art.

I have nothing to add here except HOMINA-HOMINA-HOMINA.
I have nothing to add here except HOMINA-HOMINA-HOMINA.
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

The Alfa Romeo GTA was the first car to make me properly HNNNGG. It still does.

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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This is an original 1912 Indian, one of only 9750 Indians produced that year. Its 1000cc (61 c.i.) engine may have only made 7 hp, but it’s nothing if not resilient.

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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It’s also patina-d to perfection.

I’m going to have to apologize to you all about the next few photos. They simply do not do the car justice, but I tried my very best.

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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

The 1961 Alfa Romeo Gulietta Sprint Speciale. The closest thing possible to a road-going B.A.T. concept. Only 1366 were made, of which an estimated 100 still exist.

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And my word, was it beautiful. Though I will admit to having that Francis Bacon quote about strangeness in beauty’s proportion playing in my head.

I am not worthy to photograph this car. They should’ve sent a poet...or someone from Petrolicious.
I am not worthy to photograph this car. They should’ve sent a poet...or someone from Petrolicious.
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Bertone you freakin’ genius, you made a masterpiece.
Bertone you freakin’ genius, you made a masterpiece.
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Bel Air parked for size and style comparison.
Bel Air parked for size and style comparison.
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Sights like this are what inspire me to improve my photography skills. And I would gladly pay in body parts to be able to drive a car as exquisite as this.

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Also, there is never a bad day to post a blue Alfa 2000 GT Veloce picture.

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This bundle of snakes (safely housed in a De Tomaso Pantera) was ssssimply ssssculptural.

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So was this Cadillac’s grille.

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This Harley has an interesting history. It’s actually a one-off custom made for Harley’s Battle of the Kings competition.

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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

While many of these bikes are built purely to look good on a stand, bathed in lights, this one was offered for sale. The owner was a blast to listen to; I dearly wish I had more notes on the bike’s history. Just goes to show, even a Harley can be a sportsbike with enough time and dedication.

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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

Opel GT love!

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Car designers take note: this is what I expect to see in good interior woodworking. Exposed, touchable grain.
Car designers take note: this is what I expect to see in good interior woodworking. Exposed, touchable grain.

...I refuse to do the obvious wood joke here.

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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E-Type and a Morgan: a bit of Britain in suburban USA.

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I, like many people that day, was doing double-takes. It’s rare enough to see a JDM import (even in Chicago), let alone one I’d never even heard of before. Turns out, the Toyota Sera was basically a Paseo underneath, and though it was primarily sold to Japanese buyers, a small number were sold in other RHD countries.

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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This is one of the most 90s interiors I’ve ever seen.
This is one of the most 90s interiors I’ve ever seen.

The owner desperately needs to get a Radwood pass and let those doors fly.

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This Auburn Speedster may have been a replica, but who really cares when it looks this good?

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

Call me a basic hipster, but I love this kind of styling.

But I also love to see cool Japanese cars. And I can’t let the Sera have the limelight all to itself, now can I?

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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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The Honda Civic 4WD may be one of the best Snow Belt vehicles.
The Honda Civic 4WD may be one of the best Snow Belt vehicles.

I also have to give props to the engineering student who showed up in a car of his own design and construction. Though calling it a “car” may be a bit of stretch...

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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
Bodywork? Who needs bodywork?
Bodywork? Who needs bodywork?
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
I unfortunately can’t remember if that’s a lawn mower or moped motor, but I’m sure it’s more than sufficient.
I unfortunately can’t remember if that’s a lawn mower or moped motor, but I’m sure it’s more than sufficient.
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Still, this is how Colin Chapman started. Also, if anyone in the Chicagoland area knows how I can get in contact with the builder, please let me know. I’d love to get behind the wheel of this thing.

And finally, some more of my favorite details.

Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows
...remember when GM made cars that weren’t SUVs?
...remember when GM made cars that weren’t SUVs?
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Illustration for article titled What I Really Did This Summer: Monday Night Car Shows

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