Eclectic Car Collection Part of 2016 Carmel Artomobilia
From a 1969 Indy 500 Camaro Convertible Pace Car to a 1973 AMC Gremlin, this collector has a little bit of everything. Artomobilia’s Jon Pitz speaks with Tom about his eclectic collection and his upcoming participation in the 2016 Carmel Artomobilia August 26-27, 2016 in the Arts & Design District of downtown Carmel, Indiana.
If you are a fan of 70’s platform shoes, shag carpet and disco, then Tom’s 1973 AMC Gremlin with Levi Straus denim interior is your cup of tea. With a love-it-or-hate-it body design and 28 mpg, the Gremlin is considered by many to be the first American made subcompact. Tom loves to show it off because “it always gets a reaction”.
This collector is a fan of “orphan cars”, those models whose manufacturers have ceased to exist, like the Gremlin, Bobcat and DeLorean. His Mercury Bobcat, a cousin of the Ford Pinto, has a V6 engine and woodgrain side panels. Despite having a hard time finding parts, these orphans have found a home in his eclectic garage.
“I like pace cars or cars that have a festival heritage,” Tom says as he shows off his 1969 Indy 500 Camaro Convertible Pace Car. With its Dover white exterior and Hugger orange graphics, this is one of the most popular pace cars around. “This is the car I remember seeing and loving!”
Chevy recreates the same color scheme for the 2011 Indy 500 Camaro Pace Car. Tom has one of those sitting right next to his 1969 model. He also has a 1971 Dodge Challenger Pace Car. None of the Big Three issue a fleet of pace cars that year so a group of four local Dodge dealers (led by Eldon Palmer) step in to create 51 limited edition cars.
The only non-American car in the bunch is an Aston Martin Vantage. He hadn’t been looking to own one of these beautiful cars but once the dealer cranks it up and he hears the engine, Tom is hooked. “It is the first and only time I bought a car because of the way it sounded. All we had to do was talk price”.
You look around and see that Tom is an owner who follows his heart when building his collection. Each of his cars have a special meaning or story behind it. The garage is more a gathering of old friends than an assembly of automobiles. Isn’t that what true collecting is all about – our passion for the cars?
Artomobilia is a two-day celebration of automotive art and design and the unending passion we have for our classic and collector cars. The weekend festivities kick off Friday night with Fuelicious: A Celebration of Wheels + Wishes, an exclusive event on the grounds of the Lucas Estate, featuring 50 distinct collector cars, all in support of the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund. Saturday the streets of Carmel’s Arts and Design District come alive with music, food, shopping and some spectacular cars on display. We hope to see you there!
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