5 Cars To Steal From Your Grandpa..Now

The exploding vintage car market is one of those subjects like New York real estate, that if you think about ‘what would’ve been if you just held on’, you’ll make yourself crazy.  But, unlike New York real estate, all is not lost in the car market.  There are still some real gems out there and I refuse to let you, my beloved reader, lose out on this lucrative game. So here’s the plan. First, stop & drop everything (if it’s a baby, drop it gently) and then go to your grandpa’s house and raid his driveway.  I’m not implying that you steal anything, but if you have to I’m behind you 100%. The reality is, if your grandpa loves you he’d like nothing more than to see you appreciate his vintage ride. So buckle up, put on your best shirt and get ready for some war stories, because Grandpa’s got the goods but you’re gonna have to work for them.

Here are the Top 5 Less-Obvious Categories Worth Pillaging:


#1 Old Pickups

Your grandpa probably has at least one in the back of his place. Maybe it’s parked in a field or in a barn, maybe it’s filled with mice, rats or a family of raccoons.  Well, toughen up! Put on your big boy undies, slap on a pair of gloves, grab the keys and drive it home.  Pickups were once the pure embodiment of American grit and gusto–at a time where we had remarkable things like pride and a work ethic.


Your homie’s F-150 may be aluminum and your boyfriend’s Denali may be able to tow a fleet of sailboats, but they will never ever be as cool as your grandpa’s early Ford V8 pick up. Period.  So bake your grandpa a cake and beg him for the title. You will thank me later.

#2 The Coupe Utility


I don’t care if it’s a El Camino or the beloved Ford Ranchero (pictured above).  Even if you’re lucky enough to have an Australian grandpa and he’s got an old Holden Ute– then buy a plane ticket and maybe a cargo ship.  This is that critical! Coupe Utilities are back and better than ever. If you don’t know what a Coupe Utility is, it’s basically the automotive version of a mullet. Business up front and party in back, or a car with a truck bed. Like the mullet they are an acquired taste, so it is taking a long time for people to remember how cool they actually are.   So snatch one up, before they skyrocket.

3. Anything with Fins


Of course, everyone knows and already appreciates cars like the Chevy Bel Air, the Cadillac El Dorado and the Lincoln Continental because of their magnificent, borderline deadly appendages.  But not every car sporting tail fins has been painted and buffed into perfection…yet.

Mercury Meteor

Maybe your grandma loved her Mercury Meteor but shelved it after impaling a chicken or two, I dunno. Who cares! Just tell Grandma that you’re ready to take it on and let’s get this show on the road!

4. The pre-SUV suv


Although we like to think of the suv as a Modern Suburban American phenomenon, we all know that they were created in the 1940s for military purposes, and have been recently adapted for excessive shopping purposes. Perhaps your grandpa got in the game early with something like the spectacular Jeepster Commando (shown here)

Jeep Commando

or maybe he’s got an FJ40 Land Cruiser, even if it’s an OJ-era Bronco, just get it in your driveway, before the dreaded Millennials start knocking on his door, offering “to tow it away for free” because you know that apocalyptic scene is on its way.

And finally, the vehicle you need to steal from Grandpa is..

5. The Japanese Classic


Growing up, my father was berated by our neighbors for having “Jap cars”– oh yeah kids, racism was real.  (For the record, my parents were no exception, we went to “the Chinks” every Sunday night for dinner, but luckily Dad’s racism didn’t extend to cars) Perhaps your grandpa dug the early Datsuns or Hondas as well.  A 510 wagon?  Maybe a few Z cars? (shown here) I don’t care, just get your hands on them before you spot them at Barrett Jackson.


Don’t kid yourself, this won’t be easy. You are going to have to listen to some lectures about politics, “the damn Internet” and how things “in his day” were better/easier/cleaner/whatever.  You may even have to admit that you were wrong. Yes, that truck is cool.  Grandpa may even be right about a few other things like tattoos, seat belts and the beauty of a hot afternoon with a cold beer.  If you’re really smart, you’ll settle in and realize that, like his truck/Zcar/ute/whatever, your Grandpa is the real American classic and deserves equal, if not more, of your attention. Give him a big kiss from Mama!


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