My Dream Car
Submitted by Brad & Joanne Fluyeras, New Berlin, Wisconsin
Growing up in the 1940's and 50's in Duluth Minnesota, was relatively uneventful weather wise. You see, Duluth had only two seasons, 4th of July and winter. As a result, there were not too many convertibles driving around. In the late 40's, when 2 door hard tops arrived, it seemed a new era dawned - open air motoring with a top. Being a life-long car guy, I loved those sleek new models.
Along came 1955 and 1956 and the Ford Crown Victoria. A sleek looking car but I didn't like it because of the "B" pillar. This was nothing more than a fancy 2-door coupe.
Fast forward to 2017 and I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I am now older and wiser (but only about cars according to my wife). Now I look at a Crown Vic and I see sheer beauty. It was then I decided to buy one. Good luck! When I did find a nice one, it wasn't for sale. I joined the CVA and got a roster. "I'll find my dream car" I thought. The roster, however, didn't list members' cars. Now the hunt for the car gets interesting.
In February of 2019, we took our usual month-long trip to California to escape winter. I checked my route and looked up members along the way. I found 13 of them. I started calling them 1 by 1. This took 3 evenings because when you talk to a car guy, the conversations last quite a while. The first 12 either had 54's, 55's, station wagons or sedans and were not interested in selling. The 13th call had exactly what I desired, a '56 Peacock and White Crown. However, he did not want to sell. I asked if he would at least let me look at it when I arrived in southern California. Affirmative! On February 28, 2019, I first laid eyes on this gorgeous car. I had a magnet in my pocket to check for Bondo. One look at this car, and I said to myself, "Bradley, don't embarrass yourself - leave the magnet in your pocket". The car was more than I had hoped for. Why wouldn't it, built in San Jose and stayed in California the whole time. The best part comes next -it was now For Sale! Sometime between our first phone conversation and this day, he decided to part with it. After a test drive a deal was made and she was mine! It took about a month before it was delivered to my door. This car had a 1974 drive train transplanted into it. A 302, C-4 and 8" rear. It had been refurbished to include new paint, upholstery and both bumpers were rechromed.
I have made some improvements and upgrades to my liking. It had a Continental kit which I removed. I already have a 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Convertible with a Continental kit. I understand there is an unwritten law that "only one Connie kit per family is legal".
The car is equipped with power steering, power brakes, 4-way power seat, electric wipers, washers, electric fuel pump, AM/FM cassette radio and rear antenna. I added a trailer hitch to protect the rear bumper. My car is a blast to drive. Every time I look through the windshield, I feel like I am 18 again. By the way, I was 18 in 1956! I hope you enjoy the photos I have included with this story.
The CVA is a very nice club, very helpful when problems arise. I would like to thank Toby Gorny and Norbert Doll for their assistance these last few years. The FOMOCO TIMES is an excellent publication. Travis, my hats off to you for a superb monthly.
Brad & Joanne Fluyeras
New Berlin WI (CVA #9388)