I work across the street from a large car dealership in Sioux Falls, SD. The block on the left houses hundreds of late-model Hondas. The block in front of my work window has its own lot and showroom, much smaller than Big Dad across the street, and houses a much more eccentric collection of two and four-wheel vehicles. I ventured across the lot and entered the show room for the first time today. Inside there were vehicles stacked front to back and side to side with only enough room between them to open a door. Among the “weird kids” this day (a term I use with great affection and respect with both cars and human beings) were six…count ‘em, six…spotless 1970’s Pontiac Trans Am muscle cars. Three of the five were 1979 models, each sporting the iconic “Firebird” decal. The word “Iconic” seems to fit, as it is inclusive of those who love the ‘Bird’ as the talisman of auto muscle, and those who find it quite possibly the most grotesque piece of car decoration ever. While historically I’ve leaned closer to the latter, time has taught me that like people, you deal with automobiles where you find them, not where you’d like them to be.
A salesperson rushed over to me, apparently not used to having some dude walk in off the street and immediately start snapping photos. Seeing I wasn’t a disgruntled customer, a private investigator or a burglar casing the joint, he was quick to add information on the three ‘79’s. He said one of them was originally sold in Deadwood. I replied with the dumbest question of the day: “So Deadwood once has a Pontiac dealer?” “Apparently”, he deadpanned.
On the opposite side of the showroom was something, well, opposite. Next to each othere were a 1947 and 1948 Indian motorcycles. The salesman said what made them interesting is that while they had been completely refurbished on the inside, the outsides hadn’t been touched. In fact, they hadn’t even been washed. On the outside you had two dusty, slightly oily and rode hard Indians, while on the inside you had two completely refreshed bikes. Yes, by today’s standards they are primitive (and with suicide clutches quite dangerous), they remain the real deal. More cool old stuff from lot soon.