Mr. Shirley W

Ms. Elizabeth

One morning about 15 years ago, I was driving in an east Denver neighborhood and I saw an open garage door and a beautiful 1977 T Bird caught my eye.

I stopped and introduced myself to the owner and told him how much I admired his car.

He told me he won the car in a golf tournament on his 34th wedding anniversary. His name was Lou and his wife's name is Elizabeth. The golf tournament contest was a 'closest' to the hole and as he continued around the course, the girls following the players would yell out, 'you're still the closest' Lou.

When the tournament ended, Lou had won this beautiful mauve colored '77 T Bird Landau with all the 'bells and whistles' from the Hover Ford dealership in Denver, Colorado. Lou called Elizabeth to tell her he had won the car and she replied, 'you didn't have to call'. I knew you would win.

As he told me the story in 1999, I marveled at his beautiful relationship he shared with his wife. Now they had been married 56 years and Elizabeth had been the proud owner of the 1977 T Bird for 22 years.

We continued seeing each other from time to time and each time I saw him I told him how much I admired the 'Bird'.

We moved 625 miles south into New Mexico in 2004 but, I continued to keep in 'touch' with Lou. When I had a chance to see him, I would always stop and we would look at the 'Bird' and admire her. She only had 19,809 miles on the odometer.

Lou knew how much I admired the car and he would always tell me that Elizabeth was not ready to part with the car. Finally in March of 2012, Lou called me and said, 'Woody, come and get your car'. I was delighted. A friend drove me to Colorado to pick up the car. She sat in the driveway and looked beautiful. A plaque on the dash read 'designed especially for Elizabeth B. Cilento. Lou asked me if I would keep the plaque on the dash. I assured him the plaque would stay.

Elizabeth had become quite frail but she wanted me to know the car had never been through a car wash. She had always been the one to wash the car and if she were caught in a rain storm, she would always wipe the car down after putting her in the garage.

It is now July 14, 2014. Lou passed away in May of 2013 and I continue a relationship with Elizabeth having just seen her last Month. Elizabeth and I had a warm visit and she is very happy to know the care I give her T Bird. She told me she had always been the car 'buff' of the family. She celebrated her 90th birthday a couple of months ago.

Just two weeks ago, I showed 'Ms. Elizabeth' at a car show and everyone thought I was kidding when I told them she only had 21, 434 miles on the odometer.

I would not want anyone to have the car without knowing the history and would pledge to honor the memory of Lou and Elizabeth.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

S.R. Wood (

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