- By David M. Kinchen
For dyed-in-the wool car collectors — and even for people who don’t have the cash to indulge in their dreams — there’s nothing like a big fat Hemmings Motor News arriving in the mail or at the local newsstand. The February 2014 issue is the 60th anniversary edition of a publication that began at the beginning of 1954 with a 4-page mimeographed bulletin by founder Ernest R. Hemmings in Quincy, IL.
In the 544-page anniversary issue, Hemmings writer Mike McNessor writes that in addition to the usual content, the anniversary issue on newsstands since January 14 contains “some great Hemmings-related recollections from readers (including the story about the De Lorean in the bedroom previously featured here); biographies of the men who built and kept Hemmings Motor News alive -– Ernest R. Hemmings, Terry Ehrich and Ray Shaw -– stories about working at HMN from some of our longest-serving and most valued employees, as well as a two-page tour of our facility in Bennington.”
That’s Bennington, VT, in the Green Mountain State, and the cover features the magazine’s three iconic 1936 delivery trucks representing the Big 3 automakers: A Ford, a Dodge and a Chevrolet.
McNessor writes: “There’s also a smattering of the usual stuff: coverage from the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel; a sports car profile about a 351 Cleveland-powered Iso Grifo Series 2; and a cool Tools and Supplies page showcasing old automotive diagnostic tools found in our own museum. If nothing in Hemmings‘s 112-page magazine section excites you, you can always find something that does in its 400-plus pages of classified ads!”
At $5.99 a copy, the issue is sure to become a collector’s item, but I’ll read it with thoughts about the cars rescued from junkyards by my late and much missed brother, Jerry Emke, restored by Jerry, the mechanical genius and master car painter and sold to me in the 1950s when I was in high school at bargain prices, like the 1937 Buick Century opera coupe pictured here — or the 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe with the original V-12 engine. I don’t have a photo of the Continental, but it was painted black. Jerry believed in only two colors for vehicles, black and white. He did make an exception for my second car, a beautiful 1941 Buick Special four-door fastback sedan. Its burgundy paint was still good, so he cleaned it up and sold it to me for $75.