President's Message - Oct 2017
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Rob, living his dream
My name is Rob Robison, and I’ve just turned 61 years old. I have been afflicted with old-car disease for most of my life. I was born and raised in the Harrisburg, Pa., and Philadelphia areas.
When I was 10 or 11 years old, my stepfather and I visited Gene Zimmerman’s Automobileorama in Mechanicsburg, Pa., just a few miles from our home. On that day, I fell in love with old cars and the old-car hobby, which then consisted of cars from the inception of the automobile through the 1930s. At that time, most cars from the 1940s and newer were just used cars.
While growing up in the muscle car era, unlike my brothers and friends, I was mostly interested in Model A Fords and 1930s cars. Of course, growing up in the Harrisburg/Hershey area, I was able to attend the AACA National Fall Meet in Hershey, Pa. My first “Hershey” was in 1968, and that visit cemented my love for the old-car hobby.
A few years later, girls became as much (or more) of a preoccupation than cars. So, when I came of driving age, I needed to have a “cool” car. Having attended the original Hershey Hill Climbs in the late 1960s, I acquired a taste for British sports cars. But first, training cars! My first car was a 1962 Volkswagen, then a 1967 Oldsmobile F-85.
After the Olds came my babe magnet! A 1970 Triumph Spitfire. But, by then, I had already met my dream girl for life, Chevonne String. I soon gave up on the Spitfire, got married and bought three more Triumphs, all not too roadworthy.
Life soon intervened, and Chevonne and I had an opportunity to start our own business. At 23 and 22 years old, we moved to Delaware in 1979 with full dreams and empty pockets. Our business was verifying, processing and wrapping coins for banks and armored car companies. For months and then years, we worked mostly seven days a week and were happy to be home in time to watch the 11 o’clock news. No time at all for my sports cars. The old-car hobby was just a dream for me for many years, and we sold our Triumphs in the late 1980s after not touching them for several years. Our business thrived, however, growing to have numerous offices nationwide. We were very successful, and I started to have time on my hands.
By the early 1990s, it was time to jump back into the hobby and buy an old car. Recalling my tumultuous experiences with British sports cars, I decided that I would purchase a car far removed from a British car—an American car! It was going to be a Packard, Cadillac or Lincoln. I fell in love with a two-owner 1947 Cadillac convertible, a car that I still own and love today!
I quickly joined the CLC and soon found out that it was one of the best moves I made in my life! I became involved in the Valley Forge Region, serving as its director from 2001–2002. I also became involved in the National CLC, coordinating the Hershey Tent (of course!) and serving as a National director.
Since I joined the CLC, my collection of Cadillacs has grown. In addition to my 1947, I own a 1933 Cadillac All-Weather Phaeton, a 1935 Cadillac four-door convertible, a 1941 convertible, a 1942 convertible, and a 1969 Eldorado.
Having sold our business in 2013, Chevonne and I are now happily retired. One of our current projects is the restoration of our 1935 Cadillac. My passion is keeping the originality of all Cadillacs for future generations in the CLC.