Cal Wagner, 84, of Cedar Rapids called me today to tell me my 13-year-old Honda with 230,000 miles does not impress him.

That’s because he drives a 1980 Cadillac DeVille that he says runs great and looks like it just rolled out of the showroom. The original engine has been replaced, but I’m still impressed.

Wagner also told me he served in World War II, doing underwater demolition, and was recalled for the war in Korea. He also served for more than three decades as a member of the Iowa State Patrol.

Again, I’m impressed.

 He invited me out to see it and I plan to take him up on his offer.

If you have a vehicle you just can’t part with, let me know.



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4 responses to “One-Upped

  1. Gave my 1999 Kia to my son last month. It has 291,000 on it and doesn’t use a drop of oil yet! It was purchased new December of 1999. I have had it serviced every 3,000 miles at Goodyear in Marion. The only major problem I had was a alternator that quit at 125,000.

  2. JimD

    An ’80 Cadillac deVille is a beautiful car – glad to here he’s kept it up all these years!

    I’ve got a ’67 Cadillac Sedan deVille with only 51,000 miles on it I can’t seem to part with. I also have a ’59 Cadillac Series 62 4-door with around 109,000 that I’m hoping to restore at some point, but even in it’s present original condition it still gets driven a couple of times a year. My wife and I drove both a ’94 Sedan deVille and a ’98 Eldorado to 190,000 trouble-free miles each. Both still looked and ran great when we sold them. I didn’t really want to part with them, but trading the ’94 for a ’75 Eldorado made it easier and after having our first kid, the ’98 Eldorado just wasn’t very practical as a family car.

    Last year I picked up a ’91 Cadillac Brougham we’ve been using on and off for the family sedan. The head gasket just went out of it, but I don’t wish to part with that one either so hopefully I’ll find the time to get it back on the road in the next month or so.

    I’ve also still got the ’68 Coupe deVille I bought when I was in high school. It’s been sitting in a barn for quite some time – not sure when I’ll get that one back on the road. Don’t care to part with it either.

    It’s tough to beat a Cadillac – make sure to post some pictures if you take Ken up on his offer to see the car!

  3. Bruce

    Cal is one heck of a good guy. I took a course on defensive driving from him and another patrolman over 25 years ago and still remember some of their teaching points.

  4. Larry Vogl

    If you have not met Cal Wagner, make it a point to go meet Cal Wagner. Bring your tape recorder, and don’t schedule anything for the rest of the day. I’ll bet that ’80 Caddy is not the only thing he has with a good story to tell.
    As a baby boomer, I remember Cal as a state trooper that would visit schools. He was friendly, personable, and was respected by all.

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