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Grandfather Says: A Look Back at the 29 Cars I’ve Owned

Original oil painting by: Grandfather’s wife

Grandfather says he has lived through most of America’s golden age of the automobile.

In fact, he’s owned twenty-nine of them over the years, some of them bought for one or another of his five children to drive.

Here’s the entire list, from oldest to newest (U=used, N= new):

  • 1936 Chevrolet (U)
  • 1946 DeSoto (U)
  • 1952 DeSoto (U)
  • 1955 Oldsmobile (U)
  • 1955 Plymouth (U)
  • 1959 Volkswagen (U)
  • 1960 Saab (U)
  • 1961 Saab (N)
  • 1961 Austin 850 (N)
  • 1963 Saab (U)
  • 1964 Saab (U)
  • 1969 Ford Van (N)
  • 1970 Saab (U)
  • 1970 Dodge (U)
  • 1971 Dodge (U)
  • 1971 International Scout (N)
  • 1972 Dodge (U)
  • 1973 Honda (N)
  • 1977 Subaru (N)
  • 1980 Subaru (N)
  • 1982 Toyota (N)
  • 1983 Nissan pickup (N)
  • 1984 Toyota (N)
  • 1985 Ford pickup (N)
  • 1987 Ford Bronco (N)
  • 1995 Subaru (N)
  • 1995 Dodge diesel pickup (N)
  • 1999 GMC Suburban (N)
  • 2017 Subaru Forester (N)

Grandfather’s all time favorites? The early Saabs. They had three cylinder, two cycle engines and he could get astride the engine compartment and lift them out by hand, which needed doing about every sixty thousand miles or so, when wear would cause a ring to catch in a port (no valves in those engines).

They were the most precise steering and great handling sedans of their time and their design was elegant simplicity.

The Dodge truck took him, Grandmother and the German Shepherd Jamby to Alaska and back, several times:

Some stretches of the Alkan Highway were not paved.

The road slopes down. Grandfather is not tipsy. Honest.


About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian from West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.

Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family

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