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Kept the car and the girl

In June of '63, I was visiting my girlfriend Donna. We had been dating for a couple of years so I had spent a lot of time hanging around her house. I had become aware of an old hotrod in her next door neighbor’s garage and having been a car guy since I was perhaps ten or eleven (that’s another story) I was very interested in it. While visiting this particular day, the neighbor got my attention and said his wife was pressuring him to sell the car to clear up the garage. “Would you be interested?” “Yeah… I sure would but I don’t have much money.” You see, I had just graduated from high school and I was working a minimum wage job - making perhaps $1.50 an hour. “How much do you need to get for it?” If I recall correctly, he wanted $200.00… for a '32 Ford five window coupe. I know that sounds awfully cheap but to put it in perspective, a friend of mine’s father sold a cherry Mercedes Gull Wing around that time for $5,000.00. Fortunately, I was fairly frugal as a kid so I always had a stash of cash and I made the deal.

It was a typical late fifties/early sixties build: 331 Chrysler Hemi with a four barrel; '39 Ford gearbox with Zephyr gears; '40 Ford drive train, rearend and brakes; '57 Olds steering wheel; '34 Caddie dashboard; '49 Lincoln Cosmo gauges; '51 Buick taillights… you get the drift, clearly put together at the neighborhood wrecking yard. The rear fenders had been bobbed at the bottom of the trunk and the fuel tank had been installed in the trunk. The front fenders were intact. It had chromed diamond plate running boards, a white tuck and roll roof insert and what was left of what appeared to be snake skin upholstery. When I got it, it was in grey primer.

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