Hagerty member John Stover spoke with Licensed Sales Agent Reggie Horning and shared the story behind his 1957 Ford Thunderbird.
While in high school John had a part time job helping a gentlemen maintain his car. He would transport it to the train station for him to pick up and drive to his cottage in upstate New York. The car was a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, so John didn’t mind this little job at all and his employer certainly appreciated the help when he wanted to escape the city. One summer day in 1967 John got a call from his friend who advised the car would not start. John hustled down to the train station to help the gentlemen out. When he arrived he found the car was severely flooded and fuel was everywhere under the hood. The owner made one last effort to start the car and suddenly the carburetor caught fire as the old bird backfired. John quickly put out the fire and luckily there was no damage to the car.
After all the excitement the owner turned asked John, “Do you have a dollar?” John responded, “Yes!” And quickly handed the man a dollar from his wallet. The man took the dollar and told him, “Great! You just bought yourself a car! I have had enough of this old thing!” John took the car home and it became his daily driver. He later courted his high school sweetheart Irene in the car. Irene even learned to drive in the car and took her driver’s test in the T-Bird as well. John and Irene later married.
Needless to say they shared many memories in their “baby bird”! They kept the car, but in 1973 they bought a new Toyota Land Cruiser FJ, and parked the T-Bird. The car went into a long hibernation until 2015 when John retired and began a 1 ½ year restoration on the car, which he did all the work himself. With the car complete, John and Irene are now ready to cruise through their Golden Years in the car where their romance started. It’s safe to say John knows a good deal when he sees it and hangs onto to it, whether it is a $1 T-Bird or a the love of a good woman he found in Irene.
Coming out of long term storage-
With the restoration completed-
Let us congratulate John on his Classic of the Week win!