Junk mail can be pleasurable sometimes

Published 7:30 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

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A 1957 Ford Skyliner was pictured on the cover of a catalog advertising small die-cast replicas of cars and airplanes that showed up in my mailbox some time ago. I gave it more than a minute of my time before I tossed it in the recycle basket with other junk mail because I recognized the Skyliner and remembered how pretty I thought it was.

Half a page in the catalog showcased a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. It had hooded headlights and dual exhausts protruding through the rear bumper and sold for $2944 in those days, Ford produced 16, 155 of them. Also pictured was a 1935 Duisenberg SSJ Roadster that had a production run of two during those depression years. Gary Cooper bought one and Clark Gable bought the other.

After finding that fascinating information, I knew I would find some time with the catalog, not to order the replicas, but to look at some of replicas of the past and maybe learn a little about them. I hoped to find a 1934 Ford Coupe, the first car I remember from my childhood. My parents bought ours from a Ford dealer in Panama City, FL before I started to school. Seems during the war years, Daddy spent most of his weekends under it making repairs. I loved riding stretched out in the space between the seat and the back window when we took trips to visit both sets of my grandparents. The coupe was dark green with wide running boards and a hood that opened on the sides. For several years, my teen-age uncle begged Daddy to sell it to him. I understand why it attracted him. It was really sporting looking.

Perhaps tired of spending all his spare time under our coupe, Daddy finally did sell it to my uncle. Daddy came home from work one day driving a black 1938 Ford sedan. I thought it was the ugliest car I had ever seen. I couldn’t hold back the tears. As we stood in the driveway looking it over, Daddy put his arms around me and said “Honey, we had to get something more modern.” We laughed about that comment many times through the years, considering it was in the mid-forties when he got it. He named the sedan “Jabie” and kept it until he bought a beautiful, brand new Chevrolet coupe.

I had reasons to wax sentimental over the Chevrolet, too. First because I rushed to town with Daddy to get it on the day the dealership called and said it arrived. I even remember the dress I wore on that memorable day. Second, my parents loaned it to my husband and me for our honeymoon trip. My bridegroom’s newly acquired 1949 Mercury had expired the day before our wedding.

I don’t know when I ever received so much pleasure from a piece of junk mail like that vehicle replica catalog. Really, I was tempted to order a few favorites from it, but I decided I couldn’t jam even one more piece on my collector shelf.