My father could literally fix anything. I started to notice this every time we worked on cars. Cars have always been part of my life, from my dad's 66 Impala wagon with a 'vette 427 mistakenly installed by the factory, to the 66 GTO I bought as a 17 year old.
When I started looking for my first car, I was drawn to Pontiacs. My father had a 63 Catalina when I was born, maybe the ride home from the hospital set my thoughts in motion. I can remember the first GTO I laid eyes on at age 15 was a 65 Tiger Gold 4speed. Unfortunately the sum of $1500 was more than me piggy bank had accumulated. But from that point on, I was on a guest.
I found a 65 Tempest convertible behind a old used car lot, it would not start, the top was missing and it had snow tires on the front. Any self respecting Californian would want snow tires... I gave the man $150, towed it home and began the journey of bring it back to life. Lucky for me, dad could fix anything! I think we rebuilt every system on the car, installed a new top, put bucket seats, and as a 16 y/o I attempted to drive the wheels off the car. Until that fateful day, sitting in the parking lot of the local grocery store was a black 66 GTO. My heart stopped, I got lite headed, tiger eyes struck again. The car was a tri-power 4 speed, it was everything a 17 y/o could desire. I had been working so the piggybank had grown some, even with the money spent on the Tempest.
I plead with dad, promised my first born, assured him I would never drive fast and set the hook. With dad's help and his perseverance with the DMV I became the proud owner of that car. Sadly I lost my dad a few years back, but I still have the old Goat. Every time I work on it, or drive it, I sense may father and the knowledge I gained. Now, I hear familiar lines from my son's, "Dad how do you know how to fix that.." which ultimately leads to stories of my father.
People who grew up around cars understand the emotional connection. It is more than a mode of transportation, it is a reminder of a moment in time wrapped in sheet metal, and decorated with memories.