(Words and Photos by Joe Grippo) – The year 2020 and its evil sister Rona conspired to royally screw up our automotive fun season and unfortunately had some success. After the AACA had to kill the Mecca of all car events, the Fall Meet at Hershey, they scrambled and put together a special show to make up for it as best they could. Historic Gettysburg, Pa was the chosen location and amongst the famed Civil War battlefields is a cluster of hotels with expansive parking lots which are ripe for car showing. The diversity of Antique Automobile Club of America shows is second to none. We previously showed the beautiful and unique rides of the 1920’s, ‘30’s and ‘40’s, and this time around we will spotlight the next decade, the fabulous 1950’s, the era of big cars, big fins and big chrome. From pedestrian Ford sedans to opulent Caddies and Lincolns to some potentially forgotten orphaned makes, the variety of cars and trucks is simply killer. One striking thing we noticed across this cool collection of vehicles is the beauty of the color palettes inherent of the era. Searing reds, turquoises, deep blues and lots of two-tone were the order of day.
A few standouts for me were the coolest 1952-ish Ford Tow Truck complete with appropriate side panel signage, a stunning ‘59 Continental Mark IV drop-top and the simply off the charts 1957 Eldorado Barritz. The 50’s iron was well represented in Gettysburg, the miles of mirror like chrome was mind blowing. I’d guess a solid 40% of the chrome was on the 1958 Buick Caballero Station Wagon alone. This amazing restoration is absolute perfection, no hyperbole. It was recently awarded the AACA Zenith Award, the highest level that can be attained in judging, heady stuff. The quality of these cars and trucks must be seen to be believed, so seek out your local AACA Region and make it your business to attend, you won’t be disappointed.