One of Eric Taylor’s rides is a 1961 Corvair Rampside.

Langley Good Times Cruise-In: Quiet drives the best

The Langley Advance has profiles of local car buffs in the weeks leading up to the huge annual charity auto show.

Name: Eric Taylor

Resides in: Langley

What is your current ride? 1961 Corvair Rampside, 1963 Pontiac Lemans, 1971 Triumph GT6, 1939 Chev COE project

First car? ’68 Rebel Wagon

Worst car ever. What made it the worst car? I could speak endlessly about vehicles I like, but the ones that are terrible really don’t occupy any of my already overtaxed memory banks.

Tell us about your longest project, start to finish. My Lovely First Wife, but I’m far from finished with her… well, if truth be told, she’s probably made a lot more progress with me than I will ever make with her, but I can talk big about it.

What makes you reach for the swear jar?

Ignorance, stupidity and lack of respect for others.

What’s your perfect drive? Any of my old cars with my Lovely First Wife in the passenger seat, going somewhere at a leisurely pace.

If money was no object, what car would be in your garage tomorrow? 1965 ISO Rivolta. Italian engineering and design, Chevy drivetrain.

Need for speed or quiet country roads? Why? Without question, backroads are for me. I much prefer to see and enjoy the areas I am travelling through rather than to just get through them. That’s why my cars/trucks have windows. Some of the best parts of a road trip are the stops in some way off the beaten track gas station or store where a whole group of people stops to talk about ‘that weird truck you’re driving’ My most powerful car has 250HP and a couple of them have a lot less than that. I’m not a go faster.

Are you a regular at Langley Good Times Cruise-In, and why or why not? Of course I am! I have been attending it since I discovered it in 2000. I had bought my first classic car in 1999 and I had not been to a car show before. The Cruise-In was my first ever. I have attended it annually and have volunteered at it for quite a few years. The volunteer work has been very satisfying, and I suggest that anybody who has a passion for old cars should consider volunteering there.

What does your spouse think of your hobby?

I have the best wife in the world and she is behind me all the way. Not to say that I’ve never overstepped the boundaries, but we do this together for our mutual enjoyment. We love making long road trips around the continent.

Maximum number of cars you’ve owned at one time. I can’t say this out load, my Lovely First Wife may read it…

Most memorable road trip. A few years ago we took a trip to Denver for a convention in my Corvair. That was my first driving in that area and it was incredible. My Corvair being a little light on power just barely made it up the hill to Aspen, Colo., but we made it and carried on to a very enjoyable convention in Denver. After the week-long show was over we then started out on a road trip through Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California and then homewards. We met so many people with whom I have stayed in touch ever since, we saw so many things that we had never seen before, and we had so much quality time together, it was an awesome time. We took pictures of our Corvair in many places including the “welcome to” sign of each state we passed through and any notable monuments we passed. Las Vegas strip, Golden Gate Bridge, the big Redwood tree in California, the Dunes in Oregon, the summit near Aspen are all recorded in pictures of our truck.

One night in California, we stopped driving a bit late (1 a.m.) and started looking for a hotel.  Most were full. One we went to was full, but as we went out through the back way we heard somebody yelling and after a minute realized he was aiming his voice at us. It seemed positive enough so I stopped and talked for 45 minutes to a group of Australians who were on a tour of American car collections. They were in their last couple of days of a six-week tour of the continent and they had never seen a truck like our Corvair. That was a great time of day to be standing around in a parking lot talking to strangers, but it paid off. The desk clerk of the hotel came out for a smoke break and saw us still there and said that one of the rooms that was reserved had just come open as the people had missed their flight. We were able to use their room (already paid for by the people who cancelled) and we made some new friends from half way around the world with whom I still share regular correspondence.

Oddest question you’ve been asked at car shows? Did they make this truck like this, or did you custom build it? That is a common question actually to which I still shake my head and wonder. But, I guess if they don’t know, there is no harm in asking.

Which is better – driving a car or working in the garage? While I do love to be in my garage with my friends, the driving is definitely the best part of being the owner of an old car. Getting out and enjoying it and watching the responses of people as you go, fielding questions and showing them our vehicle.

Most costly project? My Lovely First Wife, and worth every penny.


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