Greg Zyla: Readers weigh in on previous columns

Greg Zyla

Our mailbox is overflowing, so let's zero in on some reader response.

1948 Pontiac Torpedo original owners

Greg, I read the letter from Bill regarding his ‘65 Nova in which he asked you, “Would you say 47 years is a long time that he’s owned it?” My dad just celebrated his 85th birthday on April 12, and I drove him and my mom to a local restaurant in the first car he owned, a 1948 Pontiac Torpedo.

So here it is, 64 years later and my dad is still riding around with my mom in the same car they took on their honeymoon in 1953. The stickers of their trip are still on the windows, along with my dad’s stickers from Holy Cross College and Harvard.

Dad parked the Torpedo in 1956 and never drove it again until his birthday Easter Sunday in 2009, 53 years later! How many people can claim this? I’d love to know if any of your readers can top this! (See photo attached.) Our area newspaper, The Norwich Bulletin, ran a nice article about it on Oct. 5, 2009. Thanks Greg. Richard Ouellette.

A: My pleasure. What a joy it must be.

Another spectacular Harrell Camaro

Q: Greg, I bought one of the Dick Harrell Camaros in 1969 brand new with 13 miles on it. It was a great car, and thanks for all the articles you write about cars like this.

I live in Plainfield, Ill., and a person in Naperville found my Dick Harrell Camaro and did a complete frame off (restoration) on it. He took it to the Forge International Muscle Car Show in Kentucky and went down and met Val (Harrell) and Dale (Pulde) there. It was fun to see my old car looking so good. Thanks, Randy Krnac.

A: Thank you, Randy! What a beauty your Harrell Camaro is.

Getting it right with the Mercury Comet

Greg, I read your recent answer to a readers question of which Mercury Cougar you would like to own. I have a few comments to make.

The 1968 W code cars are not the rarest engine Cougars. Here is the list:

1968 W code = 357 cars; 1968 R code = 244 cars; 1969 G code = 169 cars; 1968 6 code = 31 cars; and 1969 Boss 429 = 2 cars.

All production numbers are from Kevin Marti's “Cougar By the Numbers” book. Thank you for including the Cougar question in your article. They are great cars. Randy Goodling, Chairman, Cougar Club Of America (

A: Thanks Randy - got to get it right, as there's lots of info out there to decipher!

Greg Zyla writes weekly for GateHouse Media and welcomes reader questions on old cars and old-time motorsports at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840 or at