Ruminations Concerning the Best

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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
On my 16th birthday in April 1974 my mother and I went to Hermitage Missouri where I took and passed my driver’s exam and had diner with my locally famous grandmother, then on the way home we stopped at Darby Ford in Wheatland where I bought a nice 1966 Mustang 289 with a rebuilt engine. $700.

That taught me the importance of saving money. I had the $700.

But on that same lot was a 1973 Ford 460 4 barrel powered ex Highway Patrol Mercury, my mother and Darby steered me away from. I had the $1,000 it cost too, but they said it was too much car for a kid, drank too much gas, and was harder to insure. They were right, no doubt. But I got to drive the 1973 Mercury.

My mother’s brother, my beloved Uncle Jiggs, drove down the next weekend and inspected my Mustang and pronounced it good.

He then asked me to drive his 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV with a 460 4 barrel to Bolivar where we’d buy plugs and oil and a piece of sheet metal to fix a rust spot on the passenger floorboard of my Mustang.

Somewhere on the road to Bolivar that day I got addicted to the best there is. I can live with second best and good enough but there is always a reason the best costs more.

It’s worth more.

Today I got in the best pipe I’ve ever owned, yet.

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This cost $10 and was covered in stain but was unsmoked.

It’s a no name second of an LHS Silvercrest with three tiny pits filled in. It’s marked only Algerian and Imported Briar.

The silver band is hallmarked 1943 Birmingham England. The intent was to make one of these.

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The briar in my pipe was likely growing when Columbus discovered America. It is beyond description tightly grained, each line like a razor blade. It broke in on the first smoke, if you can call a slight pleasant taste of four hundred plus year old Algerian briar breaking in. I can’t describe how good it smokes after it gets going. The pipe simply doesn’t get hot on the outside. This is perfect, best of the best, ancient briar and the pipe is fancy, to boot.

Three smokes have colored it nearly entirely reddish black.

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I am usually happy with the very best, but I’ll have to settle for a box full of pre 54 Marxmans.:)
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
Nice pipe, and nice car as well! Although I prefer an '09 Mustang myself:

View attachment 276558

Twenty years ago, when my wife and I rode horses, I was at a horse sale and they started them off selling tack.

The auctioneer said, whoa, lookie here folks, this one even has Heerman Oak leather for the keeper, the geniune article! Hand made Hermann Oak!

I discovered for $200 that night there are hand made Hermann Oak saddles and second best saddles.

 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,836
13,904
Humansville Missouri
I also got in today a $19 barely smoked Victors Algerian Briar Hand Made, also a dynamite smoker.

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But the plainer pipe is like that 1973 Mercury 460 compared to a Lincoln 460.

My Mustang could run away and hide from an early seventies land yacht that weighed five thousand pounds.

But the big Lincoln was way, way better to drive someplace. There never again will be overstuffed velour interiors like those, sound deadener everywhere, a cloud like ride, and they cruised about at peak torque. Uncle Jiggs pulled a 34 foot Holiday Rambler all over America with his 72 Mark IV.

Luxury is a process of using only the best materials with the most care throughout the product.
 
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captpat

Lifer
Dec 16, 2014
2,277
12,170
North Carolina
What a coincidence I bought a 1966 Mustang 289 in 1974 for $500. A bad radiator led to an overheating condition and I replaced the engine with a 302, that car met my needs for several years before I moved on.