Hagerty member Cheryl Goodman recently spoke with Licensed Sales Agent Reggie Horning and shared the story of his 1979 Cadillac Deville.
We often find a special car becomes a more than just a car but a part of the family. This is definitely the case with Cheryl Goodman’s 1964 Dodge Polara 500. Cheryl’s oldest brother Bernie bought the car in 1971. Bernie was a huge Mopar fan, having owned a 340 ‘Cuda and a Charger, and he was even a technician at the local Dodge dealer. Bernie unfortunately passed away at a young age after getting ill while serving in the Army. The family took the loss very hard, and Cheryl’s other brother Dave purchased the Polara from his parents to preserve his older brother’s memory. Dave was still in high school and the car became a fixture at Vassar High parking lot, where Cheryl and Dave went to school, and was even used for the homecoming parade. The car was infamous in Vassar Michigan and even memorialized the high school yearbook on the Homecoming page. However, Dave realized driving it daily was taking its toll on the car. He reluctantly traded the Polara at the Dodge dealer where Bernie had worked in 1977. The dealer in turn sold the car to the owner of another Dodge dealer in the Detroit area who put the car in his personal collection.
Fast forward to 20 years, Dave was still regretting selling the car and wanted to try and purchase it back to help preserve the memory of his brother. With Cheryl’s help they located the car and collector. The gentlemen initially did not want to sell the car but after hearing the story he decided to sell it back to Dave. Dave took the car out Colorado where he now lived and restored the mechanicals so it could be safely driven. But now Dave had a family, and there just was not the time to drive the car nor the money to further restore it. He considered selling the car and offered it to his sister Cheryl. She quickly agreed and scrambled to get the money together to buy the car. Well Dave had second thoughts and called Cheryl to cancel the deal. Cheryl was heartbroken, but she understood. Luckily Dave had a change of heart and called his sister two weeks later and offered her the car again. She didn’t waste any time getting out to her brother’s house with a trailer, before he changed his mind again.
Once the car was home she and her husband gave the car a complete restoration, one that would have made her brother Bernie very proud. The car is now back cruising the streets of Vassar and each year the high school calls Cheryl to have it featured in the high school Homecoming parade. And once again it has found itself in the pages of the high school yearbook with the Homecoming queen riding along. Cheryl doesn’t have any plans to sell the car, however, if she does she has an agreement with her five remaining siblings, they all have first rights to buy it. So it looks like Bernie’s car will be making memories for a longtime.