The year was 1973 and I was 9 years old, and I remember my dad wanting a project for the summer. So he asked if I would like to take a drive with him to look at some old cars, I was excited when he asked and couldn't wait to leave. Dad, mom and I left we had about an hour drive. We lived outside Columbus Ohio in a rural town, where we went to is still hazy to me, but as we pulled into the car lot, all I saw was a bunch of old rusty cars, and I thought these are the cars that the gangsters drove. We look around for quite a while, I think he was reminiscing, and he finally found the car. The car was a 1931 Ford Tudor Deluxe, and I remember him saying, “Son this is just like the first car I ever rode in”, my dad was born in 1936 in Spencer WV. I couldn’t understand his meaning because for me I always knew what it was like to ride in a car.
After about an hour or two, my dad finally bought the car for $300.00, and the salesman asked if we would like to drive it home, I couldn’t believe that this car would actually run, but the salesman found an old 5-gallon bucket and turned it upside down so my dad had a place to sit to drive it home, you see the front seat were in the back because they had no fabric on them they were just springs. The salesman gave dad the key and as I sat there and watch dad, he was pulling knobs, adjusting levers, and stepping on buttons, and with all this the little car came to life, with a little cough, spit and sputter, the sound of that motor putting away is one of my most cherished memories, as I looked at Dad just grinning. Dad looked at the salesman and asked if he had another bucket, he did and I couldn’t believe that seat was for me. The drive is something I will never forget, as I held onto the dash peeping out at the front of the car.
Over the next several years as I grew up, and I joined the Air National guard. Dad worked on the old car, completely tearing it apart and doing his own style of restoration, actually he restored the car mostly from remembering and read a few books, but there were times dad would asked if I could find this part or that part, I always found him what he needed, especially the original Stuart-Warner horn. I bought this horn and took it out to dad; boy did his eyes light up when he opened the box, like a kid in a candy store. We walked out to the garage to sit and talk about what dad needed next, boy the old car was starting to look good, I asked dad when he thought he was going to get it out and take it for a drive, because I wanted to be part of that, he just sit back and smiled and said sure like tinkering on this old car. I left dads a few hours later and before I could walk into my house, the phone was ringing, as I picked it up to say hello, my dad said listen to this all I heard was the blare of that old horn OOOOGAH, and dad laughing in the back ground.
Unfortunately I lost my dad in 2010, after 37 years of dad tinkering on that old car it now sits in my garage, I work side by side with dad every time I tinker on that old car, I finally found dad’s joy in the passion he had all these years.