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(Kansas.com)   A last ride in a 1941 Packard for a man who loved cars   (kansas.com) divider line 42
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7584 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Apr 2013 at 1:33 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-06 01:41:09 AM
On his last drive, a friend followed him in one of Dick's other classic cars, a long, black 1941 Buick sedan.
Dick was close to his home when the Packard crashed. The friend who was following in the Buick tried to revive him.
His family takes comfort in knowing that he wasn't alone, that he apparently died instantly, without suffering, Zongker said.
"He was doing his favorite thing," driving a classic car on a beautiful day, Zongker said.
"If you've gotta go, what a way to go."


I cannot wrap my head around this.  Guy who's too old to be driving crashes car into a building when he stomps on the gas and brake at the same time, dies instantly, friend tries to do CPR on his dead body... and everyone is happy that he died violently in a car wreck instead of gently in his sleep?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
 
2013-04-06 01:42:10 AM
Okay, that is just sad.  I thought it was going to be an article about a car collector riding in a classic hearse for his funeral, not about dying while crashing his beloved car.  It's sad to read stories like that one.
 
2013-04-06 01:42:54 AM
No pic in the article, but here's what a 1941 Packard convertible coupe may look like.forums.aaca.org
 
2013-04-06 01:43:24 AM
Apparently the local farmer's market isn't open on Thursdays.
 
2013-04-06 01:45:58 AM
When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did -- in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.
 
2013-04-06 01:46:27 AM

HotWingAgenda: On his last drive, a friend followed him in one of Dick's other classic cars, a long, black 1941 Buick sedan.
Dick was close to his home when the Packard crashed. The friend who was following in the Buick tried to revive him.
His family takes comfort in knowing that he wasn't alone, that he apparently died instantly, without suffering, Zongker said.
"He was doing his favorite thing," driving a classic car on a beautiful day, Zongker said.
"If you've gotta go, what a way to go."

I cannot wrap my head around this.  Guy who's too old to be driving crashes car into a building when he stomps on the gas and brake at the same time, dies instantly, friend tries to do CPR on his dead body... and everyone is happy that he died violently in a car wreck instead of gently in his sleep?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.


When I die, I want to go quietly in my sleep, not screaming like the passengers.
 
2013-04-06 01:48:20 AM
Willie the Wimp was buried today,
They laid him to rest in a special way.
Sent him off in the finest style
That casket-mobile really drove 'em wild
Southside Chicago will think of him often
Talkin' 'bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin,
Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin
 
2013-04-06 01:50:15 AM

HotWingAgenda: and everyone is happy that he died violently in a car wreck instead of gently in his sleep?


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
 
2013-04-06 01:52:08 AM
...I can understand loving cars, and I can understand wanting to drive your classic cars when you are older. But endangering life, limb and property for others while killing yourself? That's bonkers. If you've lived as long as you want to and would like to do yourself in before you start to fail health-wise, kindly do it by some means other than automotive. No sense bashing up a nice car just to dodge the anti-assisted-suicide laws.

Anywhere past 80, you might want to consider getting a membership at a track for your motoring and asking a younger relative to drive you when it comes to the public roads. If my grandma can bring herself to yield the wheel to someone whose vision, reflexes and ability to tell the brake from the accelerator are a bit sharper, than surely it's not unreasonable to ask seniors to get their abilities evaluated annually after 75. (Grandma drives only on the track or low-speed-limit scenic roads now and has given up night driving, though she and some of her other old-lady pals run a small traffic school through their church, which lets various teenagers earn their behind-the-wheel practice and community-service hours by driving seniors around.)

Funny how all of these 'unintended accelerations' which 'may be mechanical,' keep happening to the elderly, and how some of them occur shortly after a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or something equally terrible. 'Taking the Thelma and Louise ending' may be the cleverest end-run around assisted-suicide and life-insurance-payout policies I've ever seen.
 
2013-04-06 01:52:22 AM

HotWingAgenda: I cannot wrap my head around this.  Guy who's too old to be driving crashes car into a building when he stomps on the gas and brake at the same time, dies instantly


He may have had a heart attack or something, which would explain both pedals down.  Also possible is a mechanical problem I had that led to me getting hit ten years ago when I tapped my brakes a few days after they had been worked on and the pedal sunk to the floor, and wouldn't let the brakes off the rear tires.  (Something with the ABS failed, I forget what, so even though I hit the gas the tires had the brakes on, which isn't a safe way to drive a pickup.)

If his passion was driving his cars, at least it was quick.  If your dad/husband/friend died, wouldn't you be happier that it was quick than over 6 months of morphine soaked cancer eating them alive?
 
2013-04-06 01:59:35 AM
I love cars - 40 or 41 Willys coupe for me - Gasser!
 
2013-04-06 02:01:13 AM

SpiderQueenDemon: Anywhere past 80, you might want to consider getting a membership at a track for your motoring and asking a younger relative to drive you when it comes to the public roads


Not all 80 year olds are the same.  I've known two who were pilots, and both flew until they were in their mid-80s.  One failed an eye test, the other miscalculated his fuel needs and had to land unexpectedly but safely and decided that maybe he should sell his plane at about 85.

I've also known some people in their thirties who just shouldn't have a license, but age isn't the only factor.

I'm totally fine with testing people under 25 and over 75 more often though.  I think it's weird that I haven't owned a car since 2009, and the only road test I've passed was when I was 22.  And my license is valid for six more years, at which point I'll pay a fee and get a replacement mailed to me (if mail still exists) from an internet order.
 
2013-04-06 02:13:27 AM
Jay Leno: take note.

And all your money, honey won't another minute buy....
 
2013-04-06 02:34:39 AM
Apparently he was quite a Dick.
 
2013-04-06 02:50:45 AM

phantomerick: Apparently he was quite a Dick.


Yes, Dick and Jane.
 
2013-04-06 02:56:31 AM

Thrakkorzog: I love cars - 40 or 41 Willys coupe for me - Gasser!


I saw a '41 that went the opposite route from the usual Gasser - it was bagged and slammed and had a flat black paint job with red steelies.  God DAMN that car looked good!  (It's the lone Star Round up this weekend - place is crawling with hot rods!)
 
2013-04-06 04:02:15 AM

davidphogan: If his passion was driving his cars, at least it was quick. If your dad/husband/friend died, wouldn't you be happier that it was quick than over 6 months of morphine soaked cancer eating them alive?


I lost my great uncle to cancer.  I didn't want him to die at all, but if I had the godlike power to choose how he went, I'd prefer the method that gave me and the rest of our family a chance to say goodbye.

Personally, if I can't solve the issue of immortality and invincibility by the time I'm 100 or 110 or so, I'm going to sneak into the warzone du jour with a bunch of black market weapons, and go all Rambo until I go in a hail of gunfire taking out an enemy machine gun nest.  But I'll say goodbye to my peeps first.
 
2013-04-06 04:07:53 AM
Thresher:  it was bagged and slammed and had a flat black paint job with red steelies

'40s car guy slang... or 2000s porn director slang?
 
2013-04-06 04:08:59 AM

davidphogan: Not all 80 year olds are the same. I've known two who were pilots, and both flew until they were in their mid-80s. One failed an eye test, the other miscalculated his fuel needs and had to land unexpectedly but safely and decided that maybe he should sell his plane at about 85.

I've also known some people in their thirties who just shouldn't have a license, but age isn't the only factor.

I'm totally fine with testing people under 25 and over 75 more often though. I think it's weird that I haven't owned a car since 2009, and the only road test I've passed was when I was 22. And my license is valid for six more years, at which point I'll pay a fee and get a replacement mailed to me (if mail still exists) from an internet order.


Oh, elderly pilots are a breed apart. (My husband's flight instructor is 72 and considered a 'young feller' by some of the pilots we know. Husband is practically a fetus in pilot-years.) Thing is, up in the sky there's a lot less to hit, and pilots do have the FAA medical, which catches a lot before it becomes a serious problem...but pilots tend to skew towards the highest percentiles of competence and health anyway. Your least competent pilot is still going to be two quartiles of competence above your average driver.

It's like any population, statistically. You'll get a bell-curve of incompetence to competence with every age of driver, with most people being in that big bump of 'okay.' As you go towards the extremes of youth and age, the curves will skew more towards 'incompetent' for various reasons, but there will be 2nd and 99th-percentile outliers of absolute-crap and absolute-awesome at any age. I expect we'll see more good, qualified centenarian drivers as time goes by.

Thing is, frequent re-testing is about the only way to tell whether you have an average, safe driver, a really crazy-good one or a completely incompetent, should-not-be-on-the-road public-safety hazard. People are horrible at guessing their own abilities, especially in matters that relate so closely to one's independence, reputation and which are valued so in our society. You might as well ask a fifteen-year-old boy to honestly rate his sexual competence as a senior citizen to guess at their own skills behind the wheel. Until you actually go and get impartial third-party verification, you just don't know for sure.

Luckily, for most older drivers, the test will inform them that they are doing quite well in X and Y, could do with a longer stopping distance to tune up Z a little, might want to adjust their seat some, and in some cases, they might want to get eye exams more frequently than before. Most teenagers could not hope to do so well as the average senior driver will do on an impartial knowledge-and-skills test, but those outliers can be deadly, so we do need to catch them.

I also think that police should be able to issue tickets that call for a re-test or 'check-up' rather than a fine. If you miss a harmless stop sign, fail to signal, go less than seven over or twenty under the limit (or similar,) you get the ticket, go to the DMV or a licensed driving-teacher, get re-tested, and if you pass, that's the end of it. One could charge a flat $75 or $100 for the one-hour test, so municipalities would still get their revenue, but instead of being about revenue, it'd actually be about safety.

I know for a fact that my grandma's one friend and my one college roomie got several 'warning' tickets before their big wrecks (because who wants to fine a cute little old lady or an attractive and polite young woman,) when a 're-test' ticket would've stopped the problem at one. Roomie was flat-out reckless in refusing to wear her glasses while driving and going too damn fast, but little-old-lady was close to legally blind with her prescription-specs on (macular degeneration can be sudden with some common geriatric health issues,) hadn't adjusted the seat to account for her shrinking frame and was still on the highway through just not realizing anything was wrong.

You could also set up little traffic-safety events once or twice a year, like at county fairs and high-school football games, and let people take the test for free or a small donation to charity, just to see if Dad and Grandpa can get a better score on the knowledge and skills test than 16-year-old Junior or big-brother home from college. Make safety-skills a competitive game, and people will happily hone and take pride in verifying those skills. Hell, I'd be in favor of using a DMV-grade driving simulator as an amusement-park game for prizes and such. Whatever makes a safety skill valuable is a good thing.
 
2013-04-06 04:09:10 AM
At least he died doing what he loved... driving, screaming, swearing, panicking...
 
2013-04-06 04:20:03 AM

HotWingAgenda: Personally, if I can't solve the issue of immortality and invincibility by the time I'm 100 or 110 or so, I'm going to sneak into the warzone du jour with a bunch of black market weapons, and go all Rambo until I go in a hail of gunfire taking out an enemy machine gun nest. But I'll say goodbye to my peeps first.


I intend to see all of my relatives and friends, say goodbye to those who will understand, take a large overdose of something heart-related and fast-acting just before I step onto a roller-coaster, ditch the container into the weeds below the lift hill and die on one of my favorite rides. I shall also leave an unopened note from my doctor telling me not to ride such rides because of my heart somewhere my family will find it and assume I hadn't read it in time, so the insurance will still pay out and my family won't do something stupid, like sue the park.

I know you're thinking "but the poor kids who run the ride!" Well, I was one at one point in my misspent youth, and trust me, they've seen worse. An elderly regular dropping dead with a big grin on her face after tipping them all lavishly? Not as bad as That Time With the Seagull or the Burrito-Eating Contest Guy, I promise you. Ride-operators see some crazy shiat. They'll tell every newbie who follows that I'm alternately haunting or working as the guardian-angel of the 'coaster. And so I shall. It's important to have a retirement plan. That, and 'visiting Great-Granny's final resting-place' will actually be something the descendants look forward to.
 
2013-04-06 04:33:09 AM

Thresher: Thrakkorzog: I love cars - 40 or 41 Willys coupe for me - Gasser!

I saw a '41 that went the opposite route from the usual Gasser - it was bagged and slammed and had a flat black paint job with red steelies.  God DAMN that car looked good!  (It's the lone Star Round up this weekend - place is crawling with hot rods!)


This is the basic look I like: Blown = even better.
http://www.midwesthotrodsandmusclecars.com/images/41%20willys%20coup e% 20body%20small.JPG
 
2013-04-06 05:26:32 AM
like most single vehicle fatalities, suicide
 
2013-04-06 05:47:50 AM
Was the engine in that a 12 cylinder inline? Anybody remember?
 
2013-04-06 06:02:37 AM
When you reach 70, license yanked. No exceptions. Use the county senior's ride share program or call a cab. Don't be callin' me every time you wanna go for a ride.

/Ain't nobody got time for gramps!
 
2013-04-06 06:53:35 AM
82 yr old mom, can't walk, is in a wheelchair, can have seizures any time. yes, she is seriously pissed that shes not allowed to drive, dwells on it regularly. she had her license taken by a policeman after she blacked out and crashed up on someones lawn. senior citizens that visited in the hospital from her clubs were all up in arms about this, "how dare he" etcetera. unfarkingbeliveable.

illannoyin: When you reach 70, license yanked. No exceptions. Use the county senior's ride share program or call a cab. Don't be callin' me every time you wanna go for a ride.

/Ain't nobody got time for gramps!


this is way overdue. our batshiat loonie mom had three adult children a phone call away, we've made it known we would drive her anywhere any time. but nooooooooooo.
 
2013-04-06 07:35:27 AM
What no airbags?  No seat belt?  84 year old driver and a 72 year old car that had not been driven for close to a year.  Who could have seen that coming?
 
2013-04-06 08:05:02 AM

gnoshyt_sherlocque: Was the engine in that a 12 cylinder inline? Anybody remember?


Well, Packard never made an inline-12... don't think anyone ever did.  They did make V-12s for a long time but I think they quit putting them in cars in the late 30's (not sure on that).

The car in the article probably had an inline-8.
 
2013-04-06 08:27:48 AM
I would prefer dying in bed after a wild night of sex, and have my body found laying beside two well satisfied young women.

But that's just me.
 
2013-04-06 08:33:59 AM

HotWingAgenda: I cannot wrap my head around this. Guy who's too old to be driving crashes car into a building when he stomps on the gas and brake at the same time, dies instantly, friend tries to do CPR on his dead body... and everyone is happy that he died violently in a car wreck instead of gently in his sleep?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.


davidphogan: I'm totally fine with testing people under 25 and over 75 more often though.

 
2013-04-06 08:47:46 AM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: I would prefer dying in bed after a wild night of sex, and have my body found laying beside two well satisfied young women.

But that's just me.


However, instead your dead body will be found between two very pissed off middle age women, who chose to kill you.  One of which used to be a dude.

SpiderQueenDemon: davidphogan:


I don't know the age of the woman other than she is elderly, but she drove into a business near where I work.  She claimed she hit the breaks only to hit a pillar hard enough to bend the girder inside.  I would guess she hit the gas by mistake, then panicked slamming the gas pedal all the way.  Now as a counterpoint to that: a teen girl at the same place was going out of the same driveway turned right to go up the inclined driveway only to never straighten her wheels and drove her large body Jeep on top of a small white car.  Where she drove off the driveway, the path is the same elevation as the roof of the car she stopped on.  I agree age isn't always a factor, but these two age groups are the most likely drive into your house.
 
2013-04-06 08:51:45 AM
If you crash into a stationary object it's a sign that you shouldn't be operating a vehicle. If you crash into a house you have been driving for years when you should have had your license taken away. I'm surprised he didn't take someone out with him. But hey, let's romanticize the whole situation rather than addressing the issue that people are on the road who are one dimented thought away from driving through a flea market.
 
2013-04-06 09:12:23 AM

OgreMagi: HotWingAgenda: and everyone is happy that he died violently in a car wreck instead of gently in his sleep?

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


But could he do a triple Lindy?
 
2013-04-06 09:18:45 AM
May God Rest his Soul.
 
M-G
2013-04-06 09:31:29 AM

lack of warmth: She claimed she hit the breaks only to hit a pillar hard enough to bend the girder inside.


Too bad it wasn't one of these:
pool.theinfosphere.org

/hot like a steel mill


And who the hell voluntarily moves to Wichita?
 
2013-04-06 09:56:49 AM

dutchmang: No pic in the article, but here's what a 1941 Packard convertible coupe may look like.


That car in the photo is mine (well, I own the dealership that owns that car). 356 cubic inch straight 8. Hard to see how he could mistake gas for brake. Unlike modern cars they're on very different planes and fairly far apart. And while the big Packard has immense torque it definitely doesn't have the power to overwhelm its brakes which are fairly modern and quite good. I'm betting he was otherwise incapacitated when it happened or it was intentional.

Kind of weird how the family is saying this is a good way to go.
 
2013-04-06 10:13:56 AM

HotWingAgenda: Guy who's too old to be driving crashes car into a building when he stomps on the gas and brake at the same time, dies instantly


No, cause is unknown.  That is just a speculative guess by the police.  I'm thinking massive medical incident (heart attack, aneurism), where he was dead before he even hit the wall.
And while age increases the probability of that risk, it can happen to anyone and any age.
 
2013-04-06 10:15:08 AM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: I would prefer dying in bed after a wild night of sex, and have my body found laying beside two well satisfied young women.

But that's just me.


In the backseat of a '41 Packard Convertible?
 
2013-04-06 10:17:54 AM
Did anyone check for him in Miami?  Old people go to Miami you know
 
2013-04-06 12:25:29 PM
How about this, instead of dying in a violent car accident you could die like my great aunt a couple weeks ago.
She was 98 years young and suffered a stroke after more than a decade in an assisted living facility. The stroke was a big one and there was no hope of her recovering. She had stipulated that she didn't want to be artificially kept alive. So they took out her feeding tube and stopped giving her medication other than pain killers (STRONG pain killers).
Well, she didn't go as peacefully as doctors and movies will have you believe.
She actually started improving, responding to the people who came to visit her. She was able to use one side of her body to move around and try to take off the adult diaper they had on her. Frankly, knowing that having a stroke doesn't necessarily take your consciousness away, I was devastated to think she was alert and aware of what was happening but trapped in her body slowly starving to death.
Eventually her heart gave out but it took almost a week of not being fed or medicated for her to finally pass away.

Yeah, I think I'd rather go screaming it terror in a violent car accident than that way, thanks.
 
2013-04-06 08:09:17 PM

HotWingAgenda: I cannot wrap my head around this. Guy who's too old to be driving crashes car into a building when he stomps on the gas and brake at the same time, dies instantly, friend tries to do CPR on his dead body... and everyone is happy that he died violently in a car wreck instead of gently in his sleep?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.


Accelerator was likely stuck rather than a case of two-footed driving. Why he didn't drop it into neutral, push the clutch, or turn off the car is the bigger question than why he stomped on the brakes.
 
2013-04-07 11:23:08 AM

davidphogan: SpiderQueenDemon: Anywhere past 80, you might want to consider getting a membership at a track for your motoring and asking a younger relative to drive you when it comes to the public roads

Not all 80 year olds are the same.  I've known two who were pilots, and both flew until they were in their mid-80s.  One failed an eye test, the other miscalculated his fuel needs and had to land unexpectedly but safely and decided that maybe he should sell his plane at about 85.


A dear family friend flew PB4Ys (that's a B-24 with blue paint on it) for the Navy in the 40s. He'd had to abort a takeoff at NAS Kodiak when his electrics failed, and that ain't easy to do with that big farking mountain in your way. Still - fast forward 60 years, and he knew it was time to quit driving surface vehicles. He farked up the brake/gas, in time-honored manner. Just. Once. And handed the license over to his wife.
 
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