Classic Cars in the Wild

text and photos by Lynne Rostochil

Other than finding a mid-mod building I’ve never seen before, there is nothing that delights me more than driving along and stumbling upon a well loved classic car that is still in daily use.  I thought I’d share a few of my favorite “wild” finds with you this week.  First up is one of my favorites for several reasons:

This beauty was owned by an elderly gentleman named Ray:

We met Ray as we were wandering through the small hamlet of Wapanucka. When I was a kid, I used to visit family here and play on the even-then quiet streets, explore the old, abandoned high school with my dad, and enjoy great feasts prepared by all of the relatives. Unfortunately, these relatives are either dead or have moved away, so I haven’t been back to Wapanucka in about 12 years. It was sad to see that all of the downtown is abandoned now, the old high school that my dad and I spent hours exploring has been torn down, and the only sign of bustling life seems to be the corner convenience store/restaurant/gas station at the intersection of two rural highways.

This is where we met Ray. He was driving around town in his jadite green ’30s Ford truck and stopped at the convenience store at the same time we did. As droplets of rain began to fall, we started talking about his beautifully restored truck, and I asked him if he knew any of my family who grew up here. He immediately recognized my grandfather’s name and said that they played together often as kids. My grandfather was the one who broke up fights and kept the order among their gaggle of unruly boys, he said, and I believe it (my grandfather later became a teacher and served a very long term as chief of the Chickasaw Nation — really!).  It was quite a treat to meet someone who knew my family back in the day and to get to photograph his beautiful vintage truck.

Another one of my favorites is this shot I took in Tucumcari:

I’ve been through Tucumcari several times and have always seen the painted car but never the original — got lucky finding them both together on this day.

Here’s another fun find in Tucumcari:

That is one sassy Fury, aye?

Back in Oklahoma, I found this to-die-for Edsel in a grocery store parking lot in SWOKC — how perfect is this beauty?

I’ve met a lot of Squadders when I’ve stopped to photograph their cars.  This photo introduced me to my pal, Ray, and his gorgeous Riviera.  And what better backdrop can you find than the Founders Tower?

And, here’s another Squadder’s car in the wild — check out Jim’s stunning Cadillac in downtown OKC:

Some finds simply defy explanation, like this one in OKC:

And other finds like to play peek-a-boo, like this one in Chicago:

Some offer are purely magical moments of perfect lighting and friendly composition, like this Cadillac in OKC:

While others are good for their seeming ordinariness — is that even a word?  Just looked it up and, hot damn, it is!  Top photo was taken in El Reno and I found the El Camino in Coalgate:

For awhile, I played around with expired film and caught this gorgeous Mercedes hanging out at Mutt’s:

So pretty!  Here’s another one I shot the same day — gotta love an old hearse, right?

My husband loves this shot from Snyder because the car boasts OSU colors — go Pokes:

For you Sooner fans, how about this crazy pimped out Cadillac I found in Lone Grove:

Love Beetles?  Then, here are a couple for you from Santa Rosa, NM, and Jerome, AZ, respectively:

I love this bright green Cadillac covered in snow in Red Cliff, Colorado:

Check out these fabulous classic car butts that were partying in SWOKC one spring afternoon:

This 1965 Harvester Travelall 1100 was for sale when I visited Marfa a few years ago — oh how I would have loved to bring this ride back to OKC:

Another one I coveted was this sassy Nova on S. Robinson that was patiently awaiting its next adventure:

This one was in the shop at Penn and NW 30th getting a little sprucing:

It always delights me even more to find vintage foreign cars in the wild — they are rare finds, indeed.  I spotted the Austin Cooper in Wynnewood, the Triumph in OKC, and the Volvo in Angel Fire, NM:

These are just a few of my finds.  If you are a classic car stalker like me, please send photos of your finds and I will post them on a future Mod Blog.  In the meantime, let’s enjoy one last beauty riding off in the Oklahoma City sunset: