Friday, August 12, 2022 Aug 12, 2022
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AMERICANS HAVE AN inexplicable love affair with the automobile. We see cars as an extension of our personalities, and- intentionally or not-our cars express aspects of our character. The car a person drives can be a strong indicator as to how that person perceives himself, or how he wants other people to perceive him. Going on this assumption, D took a sampling of well-known Dallasites to find out what they drive, why they drive it and what- if they could have any car in the world- they would like to drive.

Stanley Marcus is a practical man when it comes to the car he drives. When in Dallas, Marcus drives a Cadillac. Considering the fact that he does radio spots for Sewell Village Cadillac, that’s hardly surprising. Says Marcus, “It’s an effortless car to drive. All I have to do is remember to turn the switch.”

At his home in New Mexico, he drives a four-wheel-drive American Motors Eagle. “You need a four-wheel-drive car in New Mexico, and the Eagle is the least objectionable of the available choices.” About his dream car, Marcus is more practical than frivolous. “It depends on where I’m living. I like to be close to a source of repair. If I was living on the continent in Europe, I would probably drive a small German car. If I lived in England, I would drive a Jaguar.”

We got in touch with Dallas restaurateur Gene Street on the cellular phone in his Mercedes-Benz. Street says, “I’ve always wanted a Mercedes, so when I realized I could have one, I decided to get it.” When his Mercedes is in the shop, Street drives a 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk.

Street’s dream car is a 1957 Chevrolet Im-pala convertible. Why? “Because when I got out of high school, it was the hottest car on the road. I guess I’ve always wanted one. But it would have to be fixed up like new, with a working air conditioner and a cellular phone.”

Linda Gray, who plays the sultry Sue Ellen on TV’s Dallas, drives a Mercedes-Benz 450 SL. According to her publicist, she got it because it’s the sturdiest and the sexiest car on the road.

Her dream car? She’s driving it.

Don Kreindler, co-owner of Exposure, Dallas’ elegant late-night spot, drives a 1981 BMW. He says, “It’s comfortable and sporty without being a sports car. It’s very dependable and very good for long trips.”

His dream car belongs to one of his college friends. “It’s a ’57 MGA. I used to drive it along Route 1 through the mountains in Northern California.”

Channel 8 sports anchor Dale Hansen drives a four-door Chevrolet Caprice. “I drive it because it’s a company car,” he says. His pleasure car is an Audi 5000. Hansen says, “It’s a four-door, but it’s sporty, and it’s not as expensive as some sports cars.”

About his dream car, he says, “I’m not much into cars, but my dream car would be a top-flight Mercedes. There’s a classy look about them; they’re mechanically better-very well-made. I’m very hard on cars. Some people need a full-time gardener; I need a full-time mechanic. I lose tons of money on cars. When I first came to Channel 8,I drove a 77 Buick Skylark. Its bumper was dragging the ground and was held onto the car with coat-hanger wire.”

Dallas developer Trammel] Crow drives a Cadillac Cimarron. Says Crow, “It’s a small, competent, good car. It’s easy to drive. But most of all, it’s an American car. I strongly believe in supporting the people who support me.”

As for a dream car, Crow says that he has none. He sees a car as a mode of transportation and nothing else.

David Davidson, founder and owner of Davidson Real Estate Co., drives a Porsche Cabriolet. “I have a Cadillac to take customers around in, but I normally drive the Porsche. I drive it because I like to feel like I’m driving a car.”

Davidson is also the sponsor of the Davidson Racing Team. The two Davidson Racing Team cars are a March/Buick and a Porsche 935. The March/Buick was the first American car invited to race at 24 Hours at Le Mans in 1984 and the fastest car on the Mulsanne straight. Davidson’s dream car is a vintage Cord.

DART chairwoman Adlene Harrison drives a 1979 two-door Buick LeSabre. She says she drives it because “at the time I needed a car, they gave me the best deal. At that time, I felt very patriotic, so I bought American.”

But what she’d like to drive, she says, is definitely a Jaguar. She has one reason for wanting one: “It looks neat!”

KVIL radio personality Ron Chapman has apparently found his dream car. “I drive a Cadillac Seville. It’s a comfortable car, and the service is good.”

Why is it his dream car? “I’m not a sports-car buff. I don’t ever want to own a Rolls-Royce. A Mercedes-Benz is nice, but I don’t need one. I’m very happy with my Seville.”

Tom Hughes, managing director of the Music Hall at Fair Park, drives a Buick simply because he likes it.

Hughes does have a dream car, however. “I would like a car and driver. Because if I could afford a car and a driver, I could afford a mobile phone; and if I had a mobile phone, I would have a Dictaphone in my car. And if I had all that in my car, I wouldn’t be wasting all that time driving around to appointments.”

Max Goldblatt, a Dallas City Councilman and longtime proponent of a monorail system for Dallas, divides his time between a Chevrolet Malibu Classic and a Chevrolet Caprice.

Goldblatt doesn’t have a dream car. He says, “I want a car that’ll get me where I’m going. I don’t have any ego about cars. Most people who have their ego wrapped up in cars are trying to hide their true personalities.”

Charlie Waters, former safety for the Dallas Cowboys, found the car with the perfect combination for him. He drives a white Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC. Says Waters, “I like it because it’s a sports car, but it has a back seat for my two boys.”

Regarding dream cars, Waters says, “I guess I don’t really have one. If I want a different car, I just go and buy it.”

Clarice Tinsley, week night news anchor for Channel 4, has fulfilled a longtime dream. She drives a Mercedes-Benz 450 SL. Says Tinsley of her Mercedes, “I’ve wanted one since I was 15. It’s a very sturdy car, and it handles fantastically! I also love convertibles.” Does Tinsley have a dream car? “My dream car is a Rolls-Royce Cor-niche convertible. I think it’s the ultimate in elegance, style and craftsmanship.”

Someone who gets true pleasure from his automobile is actor Ken Kercheval, who plays Cliff Barnes, the archrival of J.R. Ew-ing on TV’s Dallas. For going to and from the studio and for everyday travel, Kercheval drives a 1941 120 Packard convertible. He also has a 1939 12-cylinder Packard Coupe with a rumble seat and a 1941 Packard woody station wagon.

Kercheval says, “Several years ago, I was driving in New York, and I was rear-ended by another car. My three kids were riding in the back seat, and they were thrown into the front seat. Luckily, no one was injured, but the car was demolished. I decided then that I wanted a big car.”

Kercheval collects Packards largely because of his childhood. “My dad was a doctor in Indiana, and he drove a Packard. I bought my first Packard around 1965. It was a 1940 Packard sedan, and when I first sat in it, I realized that the last time I’d been in one of those cars I was standing up on the front seat. I think most people who start to collect cars start with cars that they remember from when they were young.”

Kercheval is preparing to restore his 1941 woody station wagon. “I’ve amassed all the parts necessary. I hate to be in the middle of a restoration job and realize that I don’t have a part I need.” He says that restoring a car teaches patience. “The thing you have to realize going into something like that is that the car doesn’t really care. It’s not going to help you out.”

There was no reason to ask Kercheval if he has a dream car. He owns three of them.

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