The Triv ia l Pursuit sidebar on page 117 of t he December 2016 issue of
Unique Cars magazine brought back many memories. The microbusst yled t hing ca lled a Greenbrier was my family’s f irst car, a white 1962 model wit h si x-doors, an aircooled, si x-cylinder Cor vair engine and automatic transmission. ‘There is our car!’ my mother said when it was f irst parked in f ront of our home in October 1961.
It was a versatile vehicle for a family t hat was soon to have three young children. You could roll on the baby carriage (pram) or t he bicycles for a fa mily trip. The Greenbrier a lso did dut y hauling my fat her’s motorcycle and transporting the entire dining room set to a factor y for rehab. And it ventured from New York Cit y on road trips to Virginia, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, the New England states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario, Canada.
In 1973 by parents sold t heir Greenbrier and carr y ing on t he tradition, bought a new V W Bus. Lawrence Stelter Brooklyn, NY, USA
NICE TO HEAR from you Lawrence. And good to know Unique Cars has a following in the US of A. Though, clearly, it’s still being delivered on a real slow boat if you’ve only just read the last issue from
2016. Good to see, too, that we managed to stir some fond memories.
A Greenbriar must have been a blast to drive. I can just imagine those sketchy, 60s dynamics with a Corvair flat-six to power them must have been interesting. But I was lucky enough to visit the areas you mentioned last year when I took some time off from skinning my knuckles and peering at a computer screen and rented an apartment in New York for a week and then a Jeep for the next three weeks and had me a look-around.
I think my favourite part was Maine, where I stumbled across the Owls Head Motor Museum. I was so impressed, I actually did a little yarn for this magazine, and I’d dearly love to get back there one day. Driving in the US is great fun; you don’t see the same degree of highway-patrol action and you kind of have to be doing something pretty daft to get into trouble with the law. Unlike here, where a handful of klicks over the limit will see your wallet empty quick smart. I liked the locals in that part of America, too. They were laid back and just folksy enough, but even in New York, I didn’t really see anything of the legendary who-caresscrew-you attitude that New Yorkers seem to have earned for themselves. Oh sure, they’re pretty direct folks and won’t hesitate to tell you how it is, but by and large we all got on just fine. And a pastrami-on-rye at Katz’s deli (where the famous, ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ scene from When
Harry Met Sally was shot)? Heaven on a plate. Try the matzo-ball soup while you’re at it.