"One man's contribution to the rice farming interests of the United States dominates the entire history of that industry. Salmon (Sol)
1958 Wooden Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
Lusk Wright's genius in breeding new rice varieties in the prairielands of southwest Louisiana...has few parallels in the history of agriculture" (Mary Fontenot, "The Man Who Saved the Rice," Louisiana Life).
But that's another story.
1952-1953 Mercedes Benz 300
"Sol's only son, Salmon Lusk Wright Jr. "Salmon"...start(ed) Wright Laboratory in 1956 based on a rinse resistant rice coating process he helped pioneer. Salmon's only son, Salmon Lusk Wright III "S. L."...
1959 Mercedes Benz
joined his father in the family businesses (in 1957). The addition of S. L. in the business gave Salmon more time to indulge in his first true love for cars, boat building and all other manner of creative "projects" (crystalrice.com).
1949 Mercedes Benz 170S Convertible
(NOTE: A good friend who knows cars identified this as a 'BugEye' Sprite, not a '49 MB. Glad to have the error corrected.)
Some of Salmon's "projects" are on display in the garage on the property of the Crystal Rice Heritage Farm. Several of the cars,
especially a number of Mercedes Benzes, were driven by Salmon; others were purchased for his collection. Most seemed to still be in the condition they were in when purchased.
1950 Sunbeam Talbot
As our tour wound its way among the autos on display, I had the impression that this was a collection of autos that Salmon enjoyed, maybe for a
1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
number of different reasons, but with the goal that all would someday be restored to their original condition. Someday.
1952 Packard Patrician
But with Salmon's death in 1988, the plans for restoring these autos apparently have been put on hold--or abandoned altogether.
(Seeing this old LaSalle brings to ming the line in the lyrics to "Those Were the Days", the theme song for All in the Family: "Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.")
1955 Messers-chmitt KR200
Among the more unusual items in the collection is the three-wheeled Messerschmitt (the door on this one-person vehicle opens as a cockput hatch would), the Piper Cub, and the Rice Thresher.
1930-1935 Piper J-3 Cub
We look forward to the day that restoration of these cars moves past "someday" status.