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By Steve Reed

Hi. I'm Steve Reed, a new editor working with the CruZin' crew. I've been on wheels for most of my life. I first learned to drive when I was twelve and already tall for my age. I cut my teeth on a 1948 Ford 8N tractor tilling our orchards on Vashon Island. I graduated to a 1941 Ford ton and a half flatbed truck with stake sides, no synchromesh, and no windshield wipers (but always had a plug of Red Man chew in the glove box - all you seniors know why). My first car, not owned by my parents, was a 1937 Plymouth coupe I bought at age twelve for ten bucks. I never could get it to run. Next was a 1947 Mercury Convertible, gray on maroon leather with a white top. It had a 1954 Oldsmobile 324 Super 88 v-8 engine and Spalding Flame Thrower ignition system (I bought the car from the Spalding owners' son).

Then came a 1957 Ford Fairlane with a 312 v-8, followed by a 1948 Desoto Airporter that could carry a dozen friends but suffered from chronic vapor lock and an acceleration slightly slower than a snail. My high school dream car came next: 1958 Chevrolet Impala, black on black with fourteen coats of lacquer and a 348 Police Intercept engine, Corvette 4-speed, posi-traction and dump tubes. And then I graduated from high school.

Suddenly six miles a gallon wasn't going to cut it. I sold my Impala and bought a 1957 VW Beetle to drive to college. Years later I picked up a black 1953 Ford Crestline coupe with the last incredible 239 flathead, and a 1965 Dodge Dart GT coupe, black with tan leather, a peppy 273 v-8 and a 4-speed. I went British for a bit with a 1957 MGA red on black whose floorboards often caught fire on a long run. When I got into camping there was a series of beetles and Westphalias, but finally a return to the muscles of my youth when I found a one owner special order one of a kind 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible with no emblems, triple black with a hi-pro 350 W-30 v-8 and Rochester carbs, and a Muncie M21 rock crusher 4-speed. After I sold that car, I was relegated to slinking meekly around car shows ever since, doing my best not to drool on my favorites. When I joined the CruZin' team I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

Like most of you, I've always been drawn to good things; good classics, good memories, and good causes. Some of us favor Fords, some Chevrolets, other makes and models have fans too but there's one thing that ties us all together: our desire to contribute to our communities. Everyone I know who owns a classic is also committed to causes even grander than polished chrome. The needs of so many today is a grand scape to address, but with fund raisers and raffles, poker runs and pancake breakfasts, we manage to make a difference. All classic car clubs have a favorite charitable cause at your heart. Fly your flags high at your shows, and let us know so we can help too.


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