Grampa bought "Otto" in 1955 in Alton Ill.. I have all the paperwork for him, including the trade-in papers for a '39 Olds opera coupe. Hand book with service records for 34 years. Original shop manual. Bill of sale. Original, brand new spare tire. (maybe even containing the original air).
Gramps would never let me drive him (smart man) until one Thanksgiving after dinner, when he asked me if I would like to go for a ride.
When we got out to the car, he flipped me the keys and said, "Why don't you drive?" I almost hurt myself getting behind the wheel,(even though I WAS a very "mature" 20 years old).
Grampa died a few months later. I think he knew.
For years and years I told my Grandma that if she would leave me the car, I would fix it up and never sell it.
25 years later, after Grams died, I ended up having to purchase it from her estate (with money she had left me) to get it away from my brother (who didn't care about the car) and my little sister (who didn't care about the car), and my older sister ( who, I think, totaled every car she ever owned).
Gramma liked to run into things, or get in the way of other cars. Otto was worth $300. when I became his caretaker in March of '89.
I paid about $1,200. Worth every penny to me.
Several paint jobs and one fine restoration later, here she is.
Love the trophies.
Love driving and sharing her with others even more.
Doing a 6,000 Mile Rt. 66 trip this September in Otto. Tacoma to Chicago - to Santa Monica and L.A., and then home.
My wife told me for some time that she didn't really care about the car, that it was "mine". But, after a few shows and cruise-ins, she has gotten with the program. Now when someone pulls up next to us, she just rolls down the window, smiles, and says, " 1955".
While I go get the food, I can see her with a smile on her face, telling some interested party about Otto's history.
My 5 year old grandson shows an interest in the old cars and loves "old Otto".
Hope to be around in 13 more years to give Otto to him for his graduation. What a day that will be. Fourth generation owner.