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Hagerty Employee

This Savoy is Mopar's link to super-stock stardom-and my connection to my dad | Hagerty Media

From 1961 to '64, my dad Fred worked at Al Roberts Plymouth in Garden Grove, California, where he managed the used-car lot. In the first year or so that he worked there, Al Roberts tried several times to get my dad to take a new Plymouth as a demonstrator that he could drive for free.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/this-savoy-is-mopars-link-to-super-stock-stardom-and...
56 REPLIES 56
gpsuya
Intermediate Driver

That's a great story. Thanks for sharing it with us.
HHCO
Intermediate Driver

my first car was a 63 savoy with slant 6,young dumb kid sold i sold it,brings back good memories.

neilternet
Pit Crew

My wife's first car was also a slant six 63 Savoy.
Jost
Intermediate Driver

I hear you, my first car was a 63 Dodge 440 with a slant 6 also  ( 4 door). I'll always want one of these, Dodge or Plymouth

DavidHolzman
Detailer

What a great story! I'm glad your mother lived a long life despite the strokes, and I'm sorry she's not around to see your Dad's car again, but it's wonderful to see you reunited with that car. So many of us have childhood cars we'd like to see again (in my case it's a 1965 Peugeot 404 station wagon https://www.hagerty.com/media/driving/a-60s-summer-in-paris-leads-to-a-search-for-a-good-peugeot-404...) and it's great to read stories where that happens.
gfviperman
Detailer

Love these Mopar stories!!! My father was a traveling salesman in the 50s and 60s. Settled on Mopars because the trannys held up. I became a believer and still am. Started with a '60 Valiant ... now running a 2002 Viper GTS along with a RAM and new Grand Cherokee ....
llawrence9
Intermediate Driver

Nice story to start the week with. Best of luck with it and and when do we get to see a recent timing slip?
Realmongo
Pit Crew

This was a really great story and the kind we as car enthusiasts should be seeing more often from Hagerty!
(As opposed to articles on new vehicles such as the 4 Door SUV that Ford hung the Mustang moniker on and tried to force down our throats as normal.)
lespri
New Driver

I agree with your Dad...they were/are a homely car but they had some great power plants....including the slant 6 that someone mentioned. Have fun w both cars!
Tomwas
Intermediate Driver

My brother had a 62 polara 500 in 67, 361 4 barrel torqueflite... Was so ugly it was cool...
bhankinsonn
Intermediate Driver

It's always nice to hear a "reunion" story and this one seems quite special!!
uweschmidt
Detailer

Oh what a wonderful Feeling a story Like this conveys I love all my American Friends But I hate Your Polititions that Government after government fails to give you a decent health System like ours so you would not get into these Heart breaking Situations to have to sell things that are Dear to you and often sell things to keep going
Jackrambler
Pit Crew

What is the point of a comment like yours, Uwe? Most car enthusiasts keep politics, religion, race, etc. away from the hobby. You are maybe German or Austrian? Probably shouldn't throw too many stones. Jack Rambler
uweschmidt
Detailer

Canadian and not meant to become Political just sad about Loss
Sledogpilot
Intermediate Driver

Nope, you just pay over half your income in taxes for “free” benefits
uweschmidt
Detailer

Nothing in this Life is Free
NightRanger
Intermediate Driver

I must say that as a Canadian, that line "had to sell to pay for medical bills" stood out to me too. We don't pay "half our earnings in taxes". In fact if you are lower income, you pay very little in taxes. I dare say many Americans pay half their salary in health insurance, (my sister is American) a large portion of which is profit to the insurance companies.
Rich8
Intermediate Driver

don't know ANYONE who pays half their earning toward health care! Free enterprise any day over ANYTHING the government has their hands in!
NightRanger
Intermediate Driver

Whatever. Fact remains he lost his beloved car because he couldn't afford his health expenses. 

63Avanti
Pit Crew

You do now.  Before my wife was able to reach age for Medicare, she was paying  $1,180 per month, or over $14,000 per year for health insurance.  That was with a $2,500 deductible, and did not cover another $2,000 of medications she needed.  This was without any major medical issues.

 

Her last year working as a Dental Hygienist, she earned about $28,000, resulting in $23,000 after taxes.  Dental workers for the most part do not get employer supplied health insurance.  The only given is that the Dentist usually will provide dental care to each employee.  When we did the math, after health costs she had $5,000 total.  I feel for this family, as I personally have seen too many cases of financial ruin due to medical expenses.

Zephyr
Advanced Driver

When I was 54 our company CPA pointed out to me that because our health insurance was "age banded" by age 64 I would be paying 2/3s of my after tax income for health care. I started looking for a new job not long after.
Bird52
Pit Crew

One of the best stories I've read on this forum.
Thank you
Tomwas
Intermediate Driver

Great story, Awsome mopar, God bless...
Shawnhearn
New Driver

Love this story! Thanks for sharing with us - this is what our passion for cars is all about!
63vette63
Pit Crew

What a wonderful story and kudos to the guy that searched for you and sold the car back.
42Plyguy
New Driver

I agree with the others, what a great story.
Enjoy both of those cars Dennis, keep the memories alive !
CliffRamsdell
Pit Crew

Love the story. I bought a 1968 Dart GTS 340 4 speed car from the original owner in 1980, great car for a 21 year old. Enjoyed that car till 1997 when I sold it and regretted it right away.

The years passed by and I would pine for my old GTS and last year for Father’s Day my son found the car, bought it and gave it back to me 23 years after it left. The car is still a matching numbers car and had traveled only 5k miles since it left and has been completely restored.

Cliff Ramsdell
JonathanA1957
New Driver

Dennis,

Thanks for telling your terrific story. So many of us either try to find our parents' cars or ones identical to them. As you say, with your parents gone, the car is the strongest remaining link to family.

You are luckier than most, having two cars that tie you closely to your Dad.
drhino
Instructor

There is only one disappointing thing about this story— no pictures of the Polara! What a terrible oversight!
stevecobb45
Detailer

Back about 1965 there was a guy in Seneca Falls, NY that had one of these max-wedge 426's & we would race many times. My 61 Vette had just a 283 with 30/30 Duntov solid lifter cam & series-E AFB carb, 4:11 gears w/4speed. These two cars were so close it was always a tossup on who'd win but I always had a lot of fun trying. Not a very attractive car but they were quick & that makes them beautiful.
PGA2
Pit Crew

I am not a Mopar fan, but that year was one of the prettiest Plymouths ever. Glad you were able to bring it home.

Phil in TX
Seisen
Pit Crew

Great story! So glad Dennis was able to re-connect -- on a few levels. Brings back memories of my '64 Fury with a 426 Wedge. 4 Speed (pretty heavy clutch and a tree trunk shifter) and manual steering. The torque was amazing! Years after we sold the car, I saw it (or its double) at a body shop inside a fenced in area. Went back a few days later and it was gone. Asked about the Fury, left my number. Never heard back or saw the car again. Like a few other have said: Never should have sold it. But the memories are still vivid.
MikeSS
Intermediate Driver

I probably saw that car race since I went to the drag strips in the LA area. Nice to hear about cars from that era. The super stock classes were my favorites since they reflected cars that were street able and were driven to high school! I had a 58 Impala with the tripower 348 and powerglide trans. Still have a Lions trophy in my den! Replaced that car with a new 1968 SS427 Impala that I still own.
Sledogpilot
Intermediate Driver

Even though this isn’t my cup of tea, it’s such a great story I thoroughly enjoyed it. Wishing you many years together!
Fatcat32
Intermediate Driver

What a great "lost love" story. I had a '63 Sport Fury, with the LA series "semi hemi". There wasn't a big selection of speed equipment for that engine, but I was able to get an Isky cam, high rise four barrel intake, and headers. The cam was special order, the manifold was Edelbrock, and the headers came from Warshawski's. With the push button Torgueflite, it ran some real respectable times.
61Rampy
Advanced Driver

Warshawski's, huh? I'll bet you're from Chicago area? Everywhere else it was J.C.Whitney. They used to have amazing prices on good quality stuff! Sometimes...
PRScott
Detailer

That story is kinda special. And I don't even like Mopars
Punk
Detailer

What a sweet story and what a sweet ride!
MrBill-1943
Intermediate Driver

Plymouth what a wonderful line of cars, maybe not the most exciting but good cars.. My first was a 1953 4 door Cranebrook that I bought while in the service stationed in Spangdahlem Germany from 60-63. Good old Flat Head 6 that could hold 6-8 GI's. Great story about family and our old cars and many thanks for sharing. I am glad I too have done some of the same with my children when I hand them down my 87MC SS.
OkJustOneMore
Intermediate Driver

What a Great story! Proud for him. Special bond between a father/son.
VancMike
Pit Crew

Could your smiles be any bigger?! Love the story.
bikefoole
Pit Crew

I think it’s a great looking car. Amazing it was that fast with a push button shift. Can you imagine how fast it would have been if it were a little more aero. I would love to own an example like this great story.
TransAm-forever
Pit Crew

Great story. When I was in my teens I had a 1964 Plymouth Fury convertible 383 4 speed. Never did any mods to it. Often wonder what happened to that car. Traded it in 1973 for a "brand new ordered from the factory" Firebird Trans Am in Brewster Green that I still have.
It really is a shame that your Dad had to sell the car to pay for medical bills. As a Canadian the first thought I also had while reading this story was "Wow, that would never happen in Canada". And our income taxes aren't nearly as onerous as you might expect. As an accountant I know - typical personal marginal income taxes on average range from about 10% on $38,000 to 36% on $200,000. Not even close to 50% as another individual commented.
Sorry for going slightly off topic but wanted to inform the uninformed.
ForDad
New Driver

You know,us men don't usually tear up...but that was definitely worth the Kleenex
60Caddy
Pit Crew

Super fun read and touching story. What fuel would one use for 13.5-1 compression? Not pump premium I am sure.Would racing 108 -112 work?
Zephyr
Advanced Driver

Probably aviation gasoline?
MATTMERICA
Instructor

Great story, now I have more cars to look up, sweet!
SJ
Instructor

Nice story of a disappearing hobby/lifestyle, wonder what the next generations will be, playing the video games they played growing up(maybe/maybe not with Dad playing too.).
toploader
Pit Crew

Wow!! That's Great!! We have a 66 Mustang GT that my brother bought new. Still in the garage and driven!!!