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Lolly Jackson's classic car collection

Broadcast dates : 19th February 2006
25th February 2006


Most of us have heard of Lolly Jackson. Teazers strip club head honcho and a man famously trapped at 240-something on the N3 in a Lamborghini… on his way to church!

Lolly has the wherewithal to indulge in Lambos, Ferraris and Porsches and good luck to him.

But few people realize that his REAL passion lies with American cars, the great land yachts of the fifties, sixties and seventies.

One of the most prized possessions in Lolly’s vast collection of American cars is this rather innocent-looking Ford Fairlane.

It’s a 1957 model, denoted by the single pair of headlights. In 1958 EVERY American car went quad headlights - and the Fairlane’s a two-door coupe which already makes it rather special.

 
It’s fitted with a big 6,5 litre Thunderbird motor, which means it goes some, but that gold anodized Skyliner insignia on the rear roof pillar indicates to the cogniscenti that it’s one of the most collectible cars in the world.

It’s also fitted with a rare continental kit, which placed the spare wheel outside the boot. According to Lolly, this was so rich Americans could ferry their cars to pre-Castro Cuba, back before the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1959, and return home with the boot crammed full of goodies – probably plenty of Cuban cigars!

The Fairlane interior is fully optioned with push button AM radio, air con, textured two-tone seats and naturally, Fordmatic automatic transmission. The restoration job is remarkable.

The art-deco styling theme was in full swing in the fifties, with glitz often taking precedence over function. Lolly grew up with these cars, stretching out on the back seat as his father cruised the narrow black-tops in a fifties Yank-tank.

The piece d’ resistance is the fully retractable metal roof. We thought the Merc SLK was cool back in 1996. This ol’ Ford had the same gig in 1957 and works like a dream.

It’s back to the sixties and if you ever had to choose a baddies car for a movie, this black Pontiac convertible would be it.

In fact sharp-eyed movie buffs may recognize the car as it was recently used in a Nicholas Cage production shot in South Africa called Lord of War.

The black menace is actually a 1964 Pontiac Bonneville. All 6,7 litres of it. 

Not as iconic as a GTO, but quite beautiful in its detailed instrumentation and its fine handling for a car of that era.

This car was loaded with options, like the fake knock-off hubcaps, white leather bucket seats, pillarless window openings and the chrome center console complete with vacuum gauge, or a rev counter if the owner opted for that.

Look carefully and you’ll see the car had the stick selector for the auto box. Count on 345 horses for this baby.

The Bonnie name came from Pontiac’s successes at the famous Bonneville salt flats in America, where record breakers run hard and fast each year.

Running hard and fast was not something you were supposed to do in a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood stretched-limo. Buy try telling Lolly Jackson’s chauffer on the day, the fleet’s full time maintenance man, Reinaldo Rosario.

With a 365 cube V8, good for well over 340 horses, this behemoth can shift!

Lolly reckons it’s one of four in the country and they were brought in for state duties in the days of no sideburns, and cafes closed on Sundays.

You’ve got to realize, this was state of the art luxury in the bad ol’ fifties.

Air conditioning was virtually unheard of, so was electric seats. The Yanks had them all back then, two decades before the Germans introduced such items to the market.

The stretched configuration means there’s place for a cocktail cabinet and fully stretched legs, and Lolly likes to party in this vehicle on his nights off from the club.

No NASCAR spring rates here. But it did sport some of the most intricate grille work and rear valance detailing in the history of the automobile. Not to mention those dual Star Wars tail lamps.

The design intricacy on the add-ons – the grills, side-mouldings, headlight-clusters and the archetypal fifties fins – would probably consume the entire budget for the development of a modern car.

Now it’s the seventies. Big Bad Muscle Cars. And they don’t come badder than the Dodge Charger. 

The Dukes of Hazard are wrecking about ten each night on your movie screen right now.

The nose-down attitude of the Charger is what gives it its menace. Not to mention close to seven litres of Detroit muscle.

Bur for iconic cabs, the pink 59 Cadillac Eldorado convertible is IT,

These were not cars. These were mobile works of art, the Renaissance on wheels. The detail work on the grille would take a modern computer jockey years to suss out. Harley Earl and his team did it in pencil sketches and clay!
And as a final bit of trivia, the fifty-nine Cadillac Eldorado has the distinction of having the tallest tail fins of any car manufactured. Some 1,6 metres off the ground!

From there, fin-wise there was no place else to go but down. Unless your name was Batman.

Bluesman Johnny Hyatt penned a song called "Riding With The King" which perfectly epitomises the '59 Caddy. Elvis motifs add to the enduring rock ‘n Roll imagery for which the Caddy will forever be associated. Power seats, power hood, power steering… power everything.

Riding with the king indeed! And what better entourage than a mean black Charger, a statesman-like Fleetwood, a hoodlum Bonneville and an innocent Skyliner bringing up the rear. Roll on Lolly!

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