"I'd drive this car to California tomorrow!" the owner said.
I've been interested in vintage cars since the usual classroom - sitting next to Dad in the family car, listening and learning on drives whether on daily errands or highway holidays. And like a lot of folks, I was interested in cars of my generation - in my case the sixties.
However, after the years and the cars in them went by, they didn't have the sense of style that appealed to my wife. She persuaded me to begin looking at the earlier classics. I found Glamour Girl on the internet and, persuaded by the stars in my eyes and the promise of a trouble free trip across the country if I should choose to take it, I found myself in Florida looking over the car. She was born in late1940 as an early 1941 model year car, spending her first years in Virginia and eventually ending up in Alabama in an infamous 'factory' for patchwork repairs on these cars. Then to Florida where the wonderful man that bought her for his wife had a shop begin a few little repairs which ended in the completion of the biggest job of all - "...While we're at it...". Lots of attention lavished in some areas while strangely some were completely ignored in favor of a shiny coat of paint.
From the first time I saw her hindquarters I knew I'd own her no matter what. And I was right on all counts. July is a beautiful month, and Florida is a beautiful state. Together they form a certain panache especially in an un-airconditioned garage. Though the car had been restored some years earlier, then subsequently passed to the current owner, it was then that after showing the car allowed her to fall into a benign neglect. I rescued her just in time though not before she learned that steel wool isn't a substitute for gentle cleaning.
Our first journey together was across the state in the aftermath of a tropical storm and we learned together just how it was to drive completely blind from wind and truck driven rain for double digit seconds at a time. Only one hiccup from the Stromberg AAV26 carb and we arrived intact but unbeaten at the shop of the man who completed her restoration some 16 years prior. He did some work on her and she was ready to be shipped to Washington state. In the years since there's been much reversal of the neglect, repair of what is needed, and some small improvements.
As my first classic, from our three years together I've learned about the value of time for the car to tell me what it needs as opposed to thinking that I know it's agenda. I've learned the value of belonging to the appropriate clubs (and insurance company when I needed help with a different vehicle) and the fun of being out and about with her. Mine is the car a small child can be allowed to sit in (under mom or dad's watchful eye of course) and that proudly wears our country's flag in remembrance of the events shortly to follow. She still has a long way to go but her former glory shines through as bit by bit she's put back to how she once was and should be again.