Gear Head Tuesday – What’s In Mike’s Garage, Part III

Gear Head

Today’s post concludes our series begun HERE, with a second installment HERE, showing you some of the cars owned by Mike, a resident of Dixon, California. We may do a future post showing still more of his collection. He has many other cars, but is currently concentrating on ’50s American convertibles. In the second post, we showed you his ’59 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop. He has one of each year, a ’57, a ’58 and the previously-shown ’59. We begin today by showing you the ’57:

'57 Ford Skyliner '57 Ford Skyliner

In addition to the ’53 and ’55 Packard Caribbean convertibles he owns, Mike’s stable includes a ’53 Cadillac Eldorado and a ’54 Buick Skylark. You may recall that in 1953, GM introduced a “halo car” convertible in each of it’s three most prestigious divisions. Cadillac led off with the Eldorado. Buick got the Skylark and Oldsmobile got the Fiesta. Packard countered with its Caribbean series. The Cadillac Eldorado continued on in various forms for many years. Packard’s prestigious Caribbean continued through Packard’s untimely end in 1956. (The Caribbean was planned to continue in 1957 with the all-new cars Packard was unable to introduce.) Buick only offered the Skylark in 1953 and 1954. The Oldsmobile Fiesta ran one year only, 1953. The ’53 Eldorado Mike owns is stunning. There are only two flaws in its restoration: it is missing the cover for the Continental kit and the convertible roof color is incorrect. Otherwise the car is perfect – possibly even better than factory. It abounds in details that we can’t do justice to by attempting to show them here. This rare Eldorado is truly a magnificent car.

'53 Cadillac Eldorado

'53 Cadillac Eldorado

'53 Cadillac Eldorado

The Buick Skylark has special front wheel well openings, side trim, rear fender and trunk treatment not shared with the other 1954 Buicks.

'54 Buick Skylark

'54 Buick Skylark

'54 Buick Skylark

'54 Buick Skylark

'54 Buick Skylark

'54 Buick Skylark

We showed you the magnificent Pierce-Arrow in Mike’s collection, but here is a detail we didn’t show in the earlier photos. The Pierce has these beautiful cloisonné badges at the rear and on the front:

Pierce-Arrow cloisonné

Pierce-Arrow cloisonné

A “styling cue” for Pierce – one of the things that identified it as being a Pierce for many years – was that the headlights were flared into the front fenders. Pierce repeated this theme by also flaring the taillights into the rear fenders. Although we showed it in the previous week’s post, here is another look at this distinctive Pierce styling feature.

Pierce-Arrow headlamp

Pierce-Arrow taillamp

Pierce, in the 1930s, was the first car to use separate headlights for the high and low beams – a practice that didn’t become common until the late 1950s across the industry:


Reader “Chris-to-Fear” spotted this Honda CBX engine in the background of last week’s post where we showed the rare drive shaft Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Here’s a better look at the Honda engine:

Honda CBX

1000 cc, 6 cyl., DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.

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Donald Trump’s Limousine – the one-off Combovermobile:
(Hat tip to “B-Squared” for the image and to «Louis la Vache» for the caption.)


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1953 Packard Cavalier for sale

I was contacted by the owner of a very nice 1953 Packard Cavalier (a.k.a. “300”, though not officially so in 1953). Here are the details:

• Power Steering • Power Brakes • Ultramatic • AM Radio and Power Antenna ( neither work ) , Clock ( also not working ), black vinyl roof á la Derham, 4 BRAND NEW RADIAL whitewall tires, new control arm bushings, new front shocks, new king pin on right side, alignment, new muffler, new Interstate battery, power cut off switch, new ignition cables, points, & plugs. Carburetor needs cleaning or rebuild; nevertheless, the car runs very well, it has tremendous power but doesn’t always idle smoothly, absolutely no hesitations when driving. Door handles are pitted, new chrome bumpers and grille. brakes looked brand new when front end was rebuilt. solid floor pans no rust. Fender skirts are missing. $9,500 firm.

Contact: Maximilian Brand

MY 53 PACKARD & out the kitchen window 017 MY 53 PACKARD & out the kitchen window 019 MY 53 PACKARD & out the kitchen window 023 MY 53 PACKARD & out the kitchen window 024 Packard Cavalier Packard pics for Shannon 001 Packard pics for Shannon 002

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  1. Mike definitely has some beauties and you have shown these well. Great pictures of classics. I remember them all except the Pierce Arrow. The Buick Skylark I fell in love with as a teen ager. That one is the only one I saw in a dealership . I remember walking around it and sliding my hand over the chrome and especially the tail lights. Thanks for the education and the memories.


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