Alan Stockland was 15 when he met his first love, an older woman, 20, glistening and shiny.
It was an on-and-off relationship. He had her for a while, then let her go, then got her back. And now he has her on display here at Union Station, so he can come and see her any time he wants.
She’s a car, of course. Whatd’ja think?
Stockland, who has been a resident of Ogden since 1970, recently loaned Union Station’s Browning-Kimball Car Museum his 1935 Hudson, a completely restored throwback to the day when cars were lined with plush fabric, cushioned seats and hard unyielding dashboards that dashed your brains out in an accident. Everything on it looks new, from the suicide doors and plush seats, to the glass windshield that cranks open to let in the air.
The amazing thing is that this is the same car he bought, for $100, in 1956. He’d tried to buy it the year before, when he was 15, he said, but couldn’t afford the then-asking price of $200. When the owners came down to $100.
Yes, $100 sounds pretty cheap, but that is equal to more than $1,000 in today’s money, and he was buying a 20-year old car. Would you pay more than $2,000 for a 20-year-old car today? No, although if you do, and hang onto it for another 50 years, it too will be a valuable classic.
He said he bought the car and drove it while he went to college at the University of Nebraska. “I had the second oldest car at college,” he said, bested by someone with a Model-T. A few years later, needing money, he sold it again, getting $200 and thinking he’d done pretty well by himself.
Life went on, he did well in life and started playing around with old cars. After a while he started thinking about that ’35 Hudson, his first car, and thought it would be fun to find another one. So he put an ad in the Hudson Essex Terraplane magazine and got a phone call from a guy in Texas.
“We got to talking and he described a few things on the car, and it turned out it was that car,” he said. So, of course, he bought it back, this time “for a few thousand dollars,” and home to Utah it came.
Mice had gotten at the upholstery, so he had that re-done. The engine, with only 35,000 miles, was still virtually new. It did need to be repainted, but other than that it’s pretty much still original.
Stockland admits he’s got “quite an emotional attachment” to the car, since it was his first, and since history seemed to conspire so strongly for him to have it back. As he’s aged and started thinking of thinning out his belongings, cars are an easy thing to let go, but not this one.
For some time he’s had it on loan to Union Station, and recently made the decision to go ahead and donate it. He could sell it for a lot of money, but then it would go somewhere else and “I kind of want to be able to come see it,” he said.