Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quality is the key at Wagner's Classic Cars

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to check out the inventory at Wagner’s Classic Cars in Bonner Springs.  I really like going there, because they have some of the nicest cars around.  But I held the story back so I could present it when I had fewer car shows to write about.  But believe me, this place is as good as any car show.  Let’s take a look at some of the exceptional cars that were on hand during our visit.

This ’60 Impala convertible was just crazy nice.  Not only did it have a 348 with three carburetors, but it had a super-rare four speed.  Power steering and a power convertible top are other notable features.  You could eat off of the bottom of this car—it was that perfect.  This color is called Taso Turquoise, and it fits the era of this car exactly right.  It’s hard to imagine today that this long, conspicuous convertible was commonplace.  New Impalas don’t seem to make such a bold statement anymore.

If you’re a MOPAR fan, you’ll probably like this ’71 Plymouth GTX.  Finished in Sherwood Green Metallic, this was a serious muscle car.  Of course, a big part of that is the 426 Hemi V8 under the Air Grabber hood.  And, if the sound of the engine didn’t do it for you for some strange reason, there was an unusual 8-track stereo player under the dashboard.  I’ll bet you have to turn it up really loud if you want to hear it, though.  Wagner’s is understandably proud of this rare Plymouth, because it has a price tag of $135,000.

1939 was the inaugural year for the Mercury division, and this ragtop here is a pristine example.   You can just feel that late-‘30s vibe with this car.  The rich maroon paint combined with the real leather interior come from an era when things were crafted with quality.  They also happened to have a ’40 Ford convertible in the same color on display while we were there.  Now, I think the Ford is better looking (mainly because of the weird rear wheelwells that ’39 Mercs had), but when you compare things like the finished steering column and other details, you can see that the Mercury was aimed at a more discerning clientele.

They had a couple of nice ’69 Camaros on display, including this pretty Daytona Yellow ’69 RS/SS.  That yellow contrasted nicely with the black vinyl top, hockey stick stripe, and interior.  The only thing missing for me would be houndstooth upholstery.  This one also had some kind of aftermarket air conditioner, which I didn’t love.  But that air conditioner was powered by a 396 big block, which I did.  Like most of the cars here, this one was just as nice underneath as it was on top.  Any Camaro fan would want a car like this.

Finally, let’s look at this 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe two-door hardtop.  You don’t see many non-convertible ’51 Chevys restored to this high standard, but we have the exception here.  This would have been like a top-of-the-line “Impala” of its day, and featured options like power steering, center-mounted clock, and deluxe steering wheel.  Under the hood, we’ve got a 235-c.i. Stovebolt six, mounted to a fairly uncommon Powerglide automatic transmission.  I especially love the chrome “top bow” strips.  The $36,500 takes it home.

Check out all of the cars on display at Wagner’s Classic Cars in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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