Name That Car

It’s as im­pres­sive now as it was then.

Reminisce - - Contents - BY JOHN SCHIERA • WORTH, IL

Hav­ing saved enough money at 17 from work­ing af­ter school and on week­ends to buy a car, my first choice was a new Corvette. But I soon re­al­ized I couldn’t af­ford to pay cash for one.

For­tu­nately, I quickly fell in love with the Corvette’s lit­tle brother. I bought it new—black ex­te­rior with red in­te­rior and all the op­tions I wanted. Be­ing a cool dude, I even added some bolt-on ac­ces­sories to give it a mild cus­tom look.

I’m long past 17 now, but that same car is still in my garage. It’s all orig­i­nal, in­clud­ing paint and in­te­rior, and de­spite the cus­tom touches I in­stalled, it can be re­turned to stock con­di­tion as I kept the orig­i­nal parts.

This is the car my late wife, Pam, and I dated in and drove on our hon­ey­moon. Our chil­dren, John, Dawn and Mike, came home from the hos­pi­tal in it af­ter they were born. It left an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion on our lives.

When I was still in high school, about 14 months be­fore I met

Pam, my car also left an im­pres­sion on some­one else. Dee had a new Thun­der­bird that was in the shop for re­pairs, and she asked me if I could give her a ride home from school.

I’m a car en­thu­si­ast, and I love to at­tend cruise nights. At one of th­ese events, on Aug. 15, 2013, I rec­og­nized Dee and re­minded her of the time half a cen­tury ear­lier when I’d given her a lift. She looked puz­zled at first, and then a smile spread across her face as she re­mem­bered.

Dee was on her own, too, af­ter the re­cent death of her hus­band. A short time af­ter that car show, Dee and I be­gan see­ing each other. I’m de­lighted to say our re­la­tion­ship con­tin­ues to this day.

Once again, my lit­tle car has served me well.

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