I grew up in a household that was fueled by a passion for classic cars. However, there was one issue. That was the only fuel. And the fuel was often extinguished by economic factors. You see, my dad wasn’t a Wall Street Stock Broker. He wasn’t a doctor or a lawyer. I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. And our economy was fueled by coal.
However, in the 80’s coal was dying fast. The mines were shutting down and layoffs were as common place as the dust in the air. And, I learned at a young age that things didn’t always go our way.
Looking back, I really didn’t know it was hard times. I just assumed everyone was going through it. It wasn’t until I got older and realized what other had, and the things we didn’t. I knew we didn’t get everything we wanted, but my older sister and I never went hungry and my dad always found a way to make it work.
The cars were often sold to pay for Christmas, a trip to the beach, or on occasion medical treatment for my mom. In fact, I feel guilty today knowing that my dad gave unconditionally to buy us toys that would be mistreated and see their demise in the local landfill.
So, my inspiration for this book, came from my desire to find some of my dads old classics. But as the inspiration developed, I uncovered others who were searching and even some who have already searched out there “One That Got Away”.
It seems that everyone I spoke to had a friend or acquaintance who “wishes he still had a certain car” So, I will be sharing some of the stories. Hopefully, this book will also spawn more folks to seek out THE ONE…
But, regardless of what other kids had, my dad always had an eye out for a cheap classic car. In fact, the economy I grew up in was fueled by classic cars. While stock brokers were busy negotiating deals on inanimate stocks, my dad was constantly negotiating deals on rusty hulks of classic American muscle. And I believe that this is why I have a deep love for cars. They are a part of my roots.
He would drag home completely gutted and unrecognizable “junk” (to the neighbors…and my mom) and then spend a year or two massaging and restoring it to bring it back to life. Of course, then life would get in the way and the dreaded “FOR SALE” sign would emerge from the shed.
In this book, I want to tell stories about the ones that got away. As I grew, there were dozens of cars that I dreamed about driving, only to see another man come and take it home. But my dad never looked back, and he would always tell me we would get something nicer. He never showed regret.
A COLLECTION OF STORIES OF CAR ENTHUSIASTS WHO LOVED, LOST, AND WERE REUNITED
The Ones That Got Away