My best moment in a classic car was in July of 2002. It all began in September of 1976, when at age sixteen, I purchased a 1965 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible for $600. I drove the car for thirty two months until the State of Wyoming refused to renew my driver’s license in April of 1979 for medical reasons. I had been diagnosed with epilepsy.
During the next two decades I restored numerous classic cars, but could never drive them.
I could only think about driving them, and take pictures of my children sitting in them as they were finished.
It was a source of frustration, but also satisfying to build classics. I sold the Oldsmobile in 1985 and bought it back in 1986. I sold it again in 1992. Each time I gave the owner instructions “if you ever want to sell it, I want it back.”
On November 20, 1999 I had brain surgery at the Mayo Clinic. On August 8, 2000, age forty, I received my driver’s license for the first time in twenty one years.
I then began the process of convincing the current owner to sell the car. I had to approach his wife to get the job done. It had fallen into a sad state of repair and no longer ran.
By 2001, I had the car. And by July of 2002, I had restored it. We took it on a 2000 mile trip that summer through the Black Hills and Rocky Mountains. With God’s grace, this is by far the best moment I have had in a classic car. Every time we take it out is special, but not like the first time.