My Favorite Ride: Reader wonders about 'pretty old Saab' and 'very, very old truck'

·3 min read

So this appears in my email a few weeks ago:

"What I think is a pretty old Saab as well as a very, very old truck (maybe 1930s?) are in the parking lot of the Jaguar dealer (?) in Harrodsburg where Popcorn Road tees into South Gore Road ... just a few buildings south of the post office."

The front end of an old truck seen in Harrodsburg that a reader is wondering about.
The front end of an old truck seen in Harrodsburg that a reader is wondering about.

It's messages such as this one, from reader Terri Greene, that sometimes send me off on an impromptu road trip. Since this location is close by and in Monroe County, I took the long way home from town on a recent Wednesday afternoon to check out the aforementioned vehicles.

A Saab, model and year unknown, seen parked in Harrodsburg and wondered about by a reader.
A Saab, model and year unknown, seen parked in Harrodsburg and wondered about by a reader.

As I passed by the post office on the right, the scene became familiar. I have been to the corner of Popcorn and Gore roads before, exactly 10 years ago, while reporting a story about rural post offices facing reduced hours and closure because of funding issues.

More My Favorite Ride: 'Maggie's car' keeps mother and sons connected through Pontiac Catalina

I saw some interesting cars parked outside and inside the building at that intersection back then, and talked to Jeffrey Huntsman, an emeritus IU English professor, about the vehicles.

I was delighted to see a cool car this past week that was parked there a decade ago, when I described it as a "faded-red right-hand drive 1966 Jaguar 3.8S, a five-seater sedan that has seen better days."

Seen in Harrodsburg, a fading 1966 Jaguar
Seen in Harrodsburg, a fading 1966 Jaguar

What's left of the paint has since faded to orange. Chunks of automotive body putty continue to fall from the car's rough surface. It may have a flat tire. I didn't linger this visit; the building doors were locked and no one was in sight. I may have been trespassing.

A close-up view of an old Jaguar, from the back.
A close-up view of an old Jaguar, from the back.

I took some pictures of the old truck and the bright-blue Saab Greene asked about, and also a few of the '66 Jag. Its staying power is admirable, parked there by the front door as if waiting for someone to come out and drive it away. I suspect it's not going anywhere without help from a tow truck.

Still there in Harrodsburg, 10 years later, sits this 1966 Jaguar.
Still there in Harrodsburg, 10 years later, sits this 1966 Jaguar.

About a dozen cars are parked outside the building, several of them under covers that tempt me to peek at what's beneath. A few more, one going back a century I'd say, are parked inside. Yes, I peered through the windows.

When I interviewed Huntsman back in 2012, he explained how his motley collection of foreign-made cars started small, then grew. And grew.

“It seems," he said then, "I am in the process, the immensely slow process, of restoring a bunch of cars. I never set out to have as many of them as I do.”

That column mentioned "what appears to be half of a 1930 heavy-duty Model A truck (possibly the one pictured here?) and two 1967 Saabs, one a Model 95 station wagon and the other a Saab 96 sedan ... and a 1988 Jaguar XJS out back with removable roof panels and rusted-out rear fenders."

I think I saw that XJS this last visit as well. Or maybe it's a different car.

I sent Huntsman a message saying I was happy to see the old Jag still in one piece. "The body has far more Bondo than I first realized, though, so others have been getting more attention," he responded.

"Inside are a (Jaguar) 1.5 E-type, a '37 Buick, and a '52 Citroen Traction  Avant," he said. "Among others."

But what about back about that truck and Saab? I await word.

What to expect at the fair: Bloomington family's demo derby tradition continues at Monroe County Fair

Next week: My live-eye report from the 2022 Monroe County Fair Demolition Derby and more about brothers Matt and Aaron Crane's cars and how they performed.

Have a story to tell abotu a car or truck? Contact reporter Laura Lane at llane@heraldt.com, 812-331-4362 or 812-318-5967.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: My Favorite Ride: What's the story about that blue Saab and old truck?