Saturday, August 31, 2013

Where in the world is my old 1969 Toronado?

Above, in Louisville, Ky in 1976, shortly after buying her.
And here she is ten years later in Los Angeles.  I took this picture for the Spectrum Vehicle Auction brochure.  Since I always got compliments on the car, I figured I'd find an appreciative audience at an auction.  I was to soon discover that was not the case.  I would have been much better off selling it by myself. Ever since that day, I've wondered just what became of my Toronado.  Most likely, I shall never know. There are companies that trace old cars but nothing can be found by searching the VIN numbers prior to the 1981 model year.

I bought this silver beauty from Brown Brothers Cadillac in Louisville for the thrifty sum of $1,125 (I managed to get a discount).  It was already eight years old but was in like-new condition with just  34,644 miles. I had test driven the 1971 Toronado (yellow with a black vinyl top) but it seemed a lot bigger and bulkier.  My father insisted it was not the most practical choice but I wasn't interested in being practical.  I simply wanted a car that was cool (and cheap).  I drove it to Los Angeles the following year and for nearly ten years hence it served as my daily driver.  I rarely drove it out of town, and though at times I could scarcely afford it, I did my best to maintain it. I replaced it with a 1986 Honda Prelude.  As it happened, I sold the Prelude just two years later when I moved to Europe for a while. 
The 1986 Spectrum auto auction brochure.
 There she is on the next to last row.

I was disappointed in the auction -- I only got $750 and had to pay a commission.  I'd never do that again. As I recall an older gentleman bought it, but I often wondered what became of her.  If you have a silver 1969 Toronado with a black interior and without a vinyl top and you're not not sure of its history, check its VIN number.  Is it 394879M 625745? If so, then then you own my old Toronado.  I'm not really interested in repurchasing it, but I would like to know how she's doing. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marilyn Monroe statue Palm Springs

While I was reading the sign above, I wondered if anyone had bothered to proofread it.  Honestly, Palm Springs, hire someone to correct the awkward phrasing and typos and make a new sign if this is going to be a permanent installation.  The first sentence is even missing the auxiliary verb. Essentially, it states the monumental sculpture of Marilyn Monroe is by American artist Seward Johnson, who also happens to be an heir to the Johnson and Johnson fortune.  The sculpture was inspired by the legendary scene in The Seven Year Itch in which Marilyn paused over a subway grating to enjoy the cooling updraft from a passing train.

Sculpture details
Material:  Stainless steel and aluminum
Height: 26 feet tall  (just for comparison, Michelangelo's David is just seventeen feet tall, not including his pedestal)
Weight:  34,300 lbs

Marilyn was first exhibited in Chicago, arriving in Palm Springs May 14, 2012.

I must say, it's a startling sight to behold as you're walking through Palm Springs' downtown.