(CBS) — A childhood memory turned into a passion for a man now working to preserve a piece of history.
Bill Morris, who collects one of the finest cars ever made — driven by presidents and movie stars – is someone you should know, CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield reports.
Of the 247 million cars on the nation’s highways these days, the average age of the vehicles is 11.4 years, as more and more drivers are keeping their cars longer.
For west suburban resident Morris, that’s a meaningless statistic. He regularly tools around in a 12-cylinder Pierce-Arrow convertible.
The classic auto is 80 years old.
Morris says he first saw one of the models as a boy, during an antique car show.
“I was about 10 and some guy brought out a Pierce-Arrow, and I was dazzled by it,” he says.
And that inspired him to become a collector. He didn’t stop at one. In his garage next to the convertible sits a 1931 model, a sedan.
“We had to measure it and make sure it would fit in the garage before we put a bid on it,” Morris says.
“It’s like driving a locomotive,” he adds. “They’re really big.”
Riding in an 83-year-old car is pretty much like riding in something newer, except that this one is upholstered in wool. This year, Morris and his wife took a 2,300-mile trip in it.
“When we go on a trip like that I fill the back with a lot of parts,” Morris says.
With a price of $10,000 during the Great Depression, sales became sluggish. In 1938, production ceased.
“There are three ways of having fun with a car. One is working on it; two is the owning and displaying the car; and three is getting out and driving it,” Morris says.