The year is 1973. The place: Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was a pimply-faced, angry teenager who had just lost my Dad two years earlier. My favorite person was my orthodontist, Dr. Stan Pastor. He collected antique cars and I thought anything he did was pretty incredible, so I was enthralled with his cars, particularly a mint condition 1955 white Thunderbird convertible. It had so few miles on it that he didn't let anyone touch it.
When prom week approached, I had no interest in any of the festivities and was kind of lost in my own world of pity party. Then the doorbell rang at Mom's house and there stood Dr. Pastor on the front porch. Behind him in the driveway was the immaculate '55 T-Bird. He said, "I want you to keep this car all week and I'm going to come by tomorrow and if you haven't put at least 100 miles on it, I'm taking it back!"
The idea of him having that much faith in me changed my life. I washed that car so many times that week, I'm surprised it had any paint left on it. I started collecting antique cars as soon as I could afford it (although early ones were a bit questionable…like a $75 Mercedes sedan or a VW Thing with bad brakes and a leaky top) and have had the bug ever since.
The only person I have ever let borrow my gorgeous '38 Buick Special convertible was Dr. Pastor, who was driving a friend in their wedding. After all, our love of old cars is the strongest when we give it away.