I grew up in a close-knit community and had walked to school most of my life with my posse of girlfriends. We had been doing this since second grade, and now it was May of 1982 and we were seniors in high school! My friend, Jenny, began dating a boy who drove a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Indy Pace Car, and it must have been love because he let her drive it to school - our school, an all-girls Catholic school - without him. Although we only lived blocks away from the school building, Jenny would pick us up one by one until there were 6 of us in that awesome TA, and we would crank up the stereo cassette player with J. Geils Band songs Freeze Frame and Centerfold blaring. Nobody in our town had seen anything like this, and I was star-struck with the t-tops and the coolness of the turned aluminum dashboard and the pure joy of cruising the streets early in the morning before school even started! My friend Jenny married that boy and who could blame her? This year, we all turned 50 years old - all of us that you see in this picture - and we're all still the best of friends.
I never forgot the feeling of being a part of that car, a part of that era. I married too. Three kids and 22 years later, I bought my own TA Indy Pace Car. Life was more complicated at 40 than at 18 though. Health problems took their toll on my family, and I found myself a middle-aged single mom with one income and a mortgage. I hid in the garage and choked back tears as I watched the Pace Car drive away one fateful day after I sold it. I did what I had to do at the time.
Ten years later, I have no regrets! My friend who bought the Pace Car, Jamie, and his dad are in the middle of a frame-off total restoration. The Pace Car is being brought back to factory showroom condition. Jamie did some research and found out that this very Pace Car was the caution car in the 1980 Indianapolis 500 race, which made him decide to bring this car back to it's storied prime! I feel great that I am part of this car's history and the road it travelled, and it's eventual progress. She's not mine, but the car wouldn't be in this awesome situation without me having sold it to the right people at the right time.
I have spent 2014 celebrating 50th birthdays with these friends that have been part of my own prime in the '70s and '80s. Being with them, it's like time has stood still. Freeze Frame. The music, the comraderie, the friendship is still the same. The only thing missing besides our big hair was the car. So last week I bought a Sundance Yellow 1979 Pontiac Trans Am. It's not a special edition. It doesn't even have t-tops. But it's so familiar...the smell, the sounds, the contour of the body, and the bling! It's true love, again. Just like in 1982.