And here I thought that I was the biggest car fan around! Turns out I'm not, not by a longshot. A certain Cort Stevens, who I have not yet had the pleasure to meet but have exchanged with for years, outdoes me big time. He is the creator of one of my favourite Facebook pages, 'Old Cars, Strong Hearts'. Cort himself posts plenty of photos and stories, but he also lets page members post their pictures of old cars and advertisements and toys, and even shares ads for cars and parts for sale.
I get a real kick out of the mix of automotive wonders he posts, from old American classics to quirky Japanese sports cars to unidentifiable European oddballs. If it's car-related it's allowed, and as a result you never know what you're going to find. There are great sites out there for specific types of cars, but none are quite as good at showing such a broad range that will appeal to your typical old car fan.
When I first got to know Cort he was a massive Chevrolet Monte Carlo fan, and had owned many of these legendary RWD coupes. 'Monte Carlo' may evoke images of a rich, sunny gambling paradise to Europeans, but a tried and true North American gearhead knows that it's the name of a large traditional sports coupe from the 1970's and 1980's. While he still has a Monte, these days he is more of a Chevrolet Caprice Classic fan, with a 1979 sitting alongside a 1989 in his garage. The Caprice is a legend in its own right, and is the kind of roomy RWD landbarge cruisemobile that is no longer built.
(As an aside, I personally have a troubled history with the Caprice... it was my dad's 1988 Caprice Classic station wagon, kitchen-appliance white with a burgundy interior... sitting in the rearward facing third row of seats, watching the road roll out from underneath the rear window and trying not to throw up... but I digress...)
For those that don't eat, breath and sleep cars, Cort likes to share his vast musical knowledge too. He regularly provides 'CD Showcases', with links to great old songs that one can easily imagine blasting while out on a roadtrip. Many of the songs are well known, but quite a few are true hidden gems that I only discovered thanks to the 'Old Cars, Strong Hearts' page.
Ah yes, the heart. This is the part that makes this online group even more special. I don't know all of the details, and wouldn't dare try to tell his story, but Cort is quite open about the fact that he has been through multiple heart surgeries. He recently posted a story on his 'OC,SH' page about a fellow heart-surgery friend who passed away last week. It was a touching tribute that spoke of their meeting as Cort enjoyed the experience of a lifetime, a "Coast-to-Coast" roadtrip across the US in 2011. What better way for someone who loves cars, and music, and people to spend their time than driving across the country in a car he loves, music blaring, meeting dozens of people who share his passions and trials and joys?Cort, if ever you want to get some attention, ship your shiniest Caprice over here and organise a European roadtrip! I guarantee that you'll turn some heads, and I'd be more than happy to join you for the ride. I'll drive and you can be DJ! And that's at the heart of being a 'car guy', right?