What the Heck are Dagmars? Road Trip to a Car Auction


Last week my friend Richard invited me and his other friend Wayne to the Leake Car Auction in Oklahoma City. We met at Richard’s office here in Tulsa and rode down the turnpike to the State Fairgrounds to a big huge barn of a building where the auction was held.


Richard and Wayne are car guys. They know a lot about almost every kind of car. Me, I like cars also but I can’t quote chapter and verse on them. I love the older “swoopy” style cars and the more fins and different colors, the better.


I know I hurt peoples feelings but I think most cars today look like Toyotas. Having said that I think modern day cars are lots better mechanically than the older cars.


Growing up we had cheap cars for me and my siblings to drive. Cheap was good but I was never quite sure if the car was going to start for the return trip. This was back in the days before cell phones and such. We had tow ropes in all cars and jumper cables and used them a lot.


So I love the old classic cars but let me keep my Kia Soul.


The other thing I love about old cars is a reminder of car culture.

1982 Toyota FJ240 Open Top

When I was a kid, car culture was king. Everybody I knew got their learners permit on the day they were eligible, and then a few months later you got your drivers license on your birthday. Nowadays, kids are a lot more casual about it.

1960 Studebaker Lark Police Car

I used to grab the car magazines, “Car and Driver“, “Road and Track” and devour the reviews and memorize the statistics. Horsepower, torque, 0 to 60 times, displacement, brake types,, everything.


People identified with the cars, or at least the cars they wanted. Me, I drove a Renault Dauphine, top speed of about 48 mph. The car I wanted was a Chrysler Hemi Challenger. I watched the movie Vanishing Point, over and over. The final scene where he crashes his Challenger into bulldozers is the greatest scene in movie history.

1930 LaSalle

So here I am, 47 years later, dreaming of Hemi Challengers.

47 Ford Super Deluxe Woody Wagon

Anywho, there were lots of car guys way back when. They worked on their cars, many of them took shop classes and learned how to modify their cars. Car culture is on the decline. Most of the attendees at the car shows and auctions I go to are about my age or older. I think it is kind of sad.

47 Ford Super Deluxe Woody Wagon

Of course nowdays it is hard to work on your car. Everything is computer controlled.

1931 Packard

So still I love looking at the old cars. They are beautiful.


Many of them are elegant.


I love the old IHS Scouts. Very rugged. The people I knew who owned them had to work on them constantly. Finding parts was a challenge.


I love this old Plymouth.


Richard pointed out to me that the hood ornament was a stylized sailing ship. Very art deco I would say.


One of the few Camaros we saw.


I loved the paint job. Wayne used to teach car painting at a local school. He showed me some of the things to look for in a paint job and the difference between slapdash and good.


Here is an old Henry J. Richard told me that it is pretty close to the Renault Dauphine that I used to drive.


Love the chrome, the shape, and the color and the covered wheel wells and the white wall tires.


Love the color.


So you may be wondering, what the heck are Dagmars. They are a car part named after an early 1950’s television actress named Dagmar. That is right, just one name.


Here is a closeup of a Dagmar. And a bonus selfie of me taking the photo.

Here is her photo. So, do you get why they call those bumper things, Dagmars? Let me know.

Anyway we three had a great time. Richard did all the driving and treated us to lunch.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

18 thoughts on “What the Heck are Dagmars? Road Trip to a Car Auction

  1. Ellen

    My teenage experience with cars is probably the reason I will only have a newer, well running vehicle now. I broke down so many times in that Buick and that white car that had the back window that rolled down. Then there was the Pinto. That gas tank would get clogged all the time. I remember having to hike somewhere to borrow a phone to call Dad so many times. Once my girlfriends and I had the car break down in line at the drive in movie. It was horrifying. I suppose it built character and problem solving skills.

  2. Gaelyn

    Fun to look at. My Dad was a car guy. I owned the fastest girl car in high school, 1968 Mercury Cyclone Cobra Jet. Only the Shelby could beat me off the line. Now, one car looks like another, Toyota. So which one did you buy?

  3. Driller's Place

    Now that’s a road trip worth taking. Yes, the car culture is on the decline and I also think it is partly caused by the complicated electronics in the new vehicles. Even though I’ve never had a real problem with my Nissan Frontier pick-up, I do carry a set of jumper cables and a few screwdrivers and wrenches with me. I’m pretty sure the screwdrivers and wrenches are pretty worthless when it come to roadside problems with the newer models.

  4. Sallie (FullTime-Life)

    Yup I get it, I get it (and actually I already knew it). Fun trip down memory lane (the ones that go back to the 1950s, I’m not quite as old as some of those beauties. But what great cars. It was easier for guys (usually –back in those days especially) to be shade-tree mechanics — those times are definitely over. So I think you’re probably right that is why the car culture is fading. Here in Fort Myers where the population skews old(er), especially during the snowbird season, there are car shows almost every weekend somewhere or other in the county. We don’t make a point of going but often stumble upon them. It’s quite fun to sit outside sipping on an adult beverage as you admire the cars of your youth!

  5. Christa

    I would love to own one of those shortbed pickup trucks with the round front, like the 1950 Chevy. BUT, I don’t know anything about cars and am horrified by the idea of being stuck somewhere in the dark (even with a cell phone)! So, I just dream about owning one and look for one whenever we pass by an antique car dealership.

  6. Cathy

    Amazing photos of classic cars. Now the cars I grew up with are “classics.” It’s nice to meet you. We lived for 3 years in Eufaula, OK. We loved to take day trips to Tulsa!

  7. Felicia

    Wow they were going to auction. I would be interested to know the prices they fetched. cool cars and yes ahhhheeemmmm dagmars.

  8. Pat

    It’s fun to look at vintage cars from different eras. So much went into their design. Now I know what Dagmars are…lol

  9. Lea @ Lea's Menagerie

    Beautiful! Wonderful!
    There is a classic car show here each year. It is outdoors, and the weather is usually hot as blazes, but I love to go see all the cars. I have never been to a car auction.

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