William K

20 things to do before I die

My favorite memory of my classic 1970 Fiat 124 Sport convertible started about 20 years ago. My wife (at the time) and I decided to come up with 20 things we would each like to do before we die. On the lists were a number of really fun and interesting things to do including different vacations and things to save up for and own one day. Some of which I was able to fulfill and others I have not gotten to yet. But, number one on my list was to restore an old car.

Fast forward 20 years, I don't have that wife, but I still have the list of things to do before I die.

About 2 years ago, my Fiat was seen being driven into the local scrap yard to be crushed. It was on a flatbed wrecker and was about to be cut up into a million pieces. Although it looked like it had seen it's better days, there was something about it that I knew was special. I saw something through all of the rust, dirt, and grime. The windshield was not broken and it was not wrecked. I saw a diamond in the rough. I got to the driver of the wrecker before he entered the scrap yard. We worked out a deal for me to buy it from him for $400.00. I paid him $50 to take it to my house and my dream of restoring an old car was about to begin.

I found a 1974 motor from a junk yard to install in the car and the rest is time and sweat! My Fiat has been sandblasted, primed, painted to it's original luster. Now I have about a 90% restored classic car, buying parts for it as I save up the money. I wouldn't trade it for anything because my favorite memory of this car was actually driving it for the 1st time. The top was down and I felt like I was on top of the world. And I fulfilled a dream.

So, now every time I drive that Fiat, it brings me back to my list of 20 things to do before I die. Honestly, I really don't care if I get to the other 19!

2 Reader Comments

  • 1
    MariaB Winston-Salem, NC April 15, 2015 at 20:17
    Great story. I own several vintage Fiats and love them all. My favorite is my 72 124 Spider. Join a bunch of Fiat freaks at Fiat Club America for some fun at Fiat Freakout.
  • 2
    Vicki Leems Omaha, Nebraska April 16, 2015 at 11:59
    Nice story. Sorry about the loss of your wife.

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