I imagine we all have stories of "the one that got away" or "the one I wish I still had."
Mine is "the one I almost had." It was oh so close. It went like this:
It was 1978, and I had just bought my long sought after "proper" British sports car; a 1974 Triumph Spitfire. I was proud of it and myself, having bought it solely with my own earned money at 22 years old.
I pulled into my driveway, and saw my dad working in the garage. Couldn't wait to show him my new to me sports car.
"What's that?" he said.
"It's a Triumph Spitfire dad. What do you think?"
"Get rid of that thing. It's a coffin on wheels. You'll get killed in it."
My dad was a Cadillac guy. A big car guy. He bought Caddies not only because he liked the marque, but because they were big, safe cars. Same reason folks buy the behemoths on the road today.
"I'm keeping it. I paid for it, I'm keeping it."
And so it went all night, neither of us budging. The next morning, he knocked on my bedroom door. "We going to start again?" I asked.
"I'll make you a deal." he said. "You get rid of that thing, and I'll get you a Corvette."
My dad was in the auto parts industry, so he had lots of connections.
I always had a soft spot for Corvettes, but even to this day, never pulled the trigger on buying one. He knew that.
I started to get excited, Then asked; "Who's going to pay the insurance on it?"
Let's see: New York, Corvette sports car, 22 year old kid. Hmmmmm....
"That's on your dime son."
I kept the Triumph.
I really don't remember the numbers. But auto insurance in N.Y. then, as now was stupid expensive, especially for a 22 year old. Just no way I could swing it!
Love these kinds of stories, the what if's from our youth.
Now, I grew up a Mopar kid. Dad was devoutly a Chrysler man and we had up to that time had a constant stream of Chryslers (Newports, New Yorkers) and Plymouths or Dodges (Barracuda, Darts, Valiants) passing through our driveway and I didn't think there was any car that was more cool than a Hemi 'Cuda or GTX at that time.
It's 1976 and I'm a 15 yr. old kid riding the bus to school and back each day. My trek to get me to the bus stop included passing through a newly constructed neighborhood that was quite a bit more "upper crust" than the area I lived in.
Each day, I would walk past a certain house that always had their garage door open a few inches at the bottom so you could see that cars were parked inside, but couldn't tell what they were.
One afternoon on my way home, the door was open enough to see the lower fender of a car unmistakably painted with hemi orange paint. I walked home and made the determination that I would knock on the door the next day, which I did.
I was greeted by a 20 something blonde who must have been quite amused by my awkward stammering as I tried to explain why I was on her front porch. When I finally got why I was there, she replied "Oh, that's my boyfriends car, would you like to see it?" WOULD I?
We walked to the garage and she flung the door open to reveal the most beautiful, pristine 1970 Plymouth Superbird I have ever seen. As I gawked and walked around the car, I asked "Do you think he would ever sell it?" , somehow thinking that my part time $3.00 an hour job would get me within striking distance.
She laughed and said "Sure, for $10,000"........................
Might as well have been a million to me back then.
Corvette was on my radar screen as a tricycle riding kid the guy around the corner was a Corvette guy and had quite a few different ones throughout the years. Sadly at home I was brain washed ,my Dad Iam sure was Henry Fords lost brother no matter if it was a Tractor/Big rig/Pickup/Car or a transplant En Fo from across the pond if it had the blue oval it was the way it should be.That said I was a very fortunate kid as my Dad worked at Ford dealerships all his career and was involved with all the high performance uprising of the sixty's/seventy's he would bring home a huge road whale LTD station wagon as a demo but every month one weekend he would bring home a Cobra Torino/Mustang/Cyclone and many others and take me cruzin and a lucky buddy of mine I would mention how much I liked the Corvettes which would set him off,in the end I had many a desirable Ford which made him so happy and still have a Ford or two in my mini fleet but I did get that Corvette I so wanted by that time father long retired said well Ford aint putting the meals on your table do as U want.LOL
My near Corvette purchase was at 20 years old.
I was offered a 1968 427 roadster for my 1968 Chevelle SS.
It was tempting but. It needed the engine gone through and lots of details needed fixed.
Then the worst thing. Someone put large fender flairs on this car. It had something like N50 bias ply tires and just needed more money put into it than my part time job while going to school could afford. Also at that time the car was not worth all that much in the early 80’s.
I put off the Corvette for family. But today the house is paid for. My son is coming up on collage graduation. And finally I am working from home and not putting miles on my truck. I can hang on to it and either go to a C8 or C1. 59-62 is my dream.
I drove the C8 at Amelia Island Concours last year (and paid handsomely for the privilege). What a rocket ship. Going from my DD Miata to that was a serious time warp. But what an experience! I think I would be afraid to drive it if I could afford one. Moot point anyway. Go for your dream, whichever it is. Don't wait.