I remember as a very young child my parents having a car that burned an image in my mind of taillights that looked like cat eyes. That image stayed with me forever. My Mom had passed before my Dad, but when he passed, I decided I would find out what that car was and buy one as a keepsake to remember them by. I found out it was a 1959 Chevy Impala so needless to say I was looking for an affordable needle in a haystack. During an internet search one day on an obscure web site 10 pages deep into a Google search, I located a car that was very near where my parents had lived. I knew the price was way above my means but being so close, the Owner's son agreed to let me come see the car anyway. Upon opening the garage doors, there they were, the tell-tale cat eye lights. The car had been in storage in his families unheated garage since 1974, over 43 years! It was all original right down to the dealer installed clear vinyl seat covers, hoses, etc. with virtually no rust. I explained the reason I was looking for this particular car in remembrance of my parents and he and his Mom were very empathetic as this was his beloved Dad's car. His Mom was the actual Owner and I offered a deal that I could afford, including some work from my construction company on her house, and she ultimately agreed. The only stipulation, the housework had to be done before the car would be taken. I wrote a contract and emailed it to them. A day turned into a week turned into several weeks until almost 3 weeks later her son finally answered his phone and apologized that someone else had come along and offered much more for the car and his Mom sold the car to him. I was crushed but figured "what is meant to be, is meant to be". About 3 months later, on Mother's Day, I was laying flowers at my parent’s grave and asked, as I always do, for a sign that my Mom and Dad could "hear" me. Later that evening my phone rang, and it was, much to my surprise, the son of the Impala owner. He explained that his Mom had decided not to sell the car at that moment as she just was not ready to let it go. But she was now, and she wanted me to have the car, at the same deal we originally agreed to, if I still wanted it. Needless to say, that car is now a part of our family, as it was meant to be!
What an absolutely heartwarming story! I am sure the previous owner always wanted to sell it to you, but just wasn't ready at the time. Letting go can be hard sometimes, but all classic cars should be as lucky this Impala to find a home like yours!
Reminded me of my departed Uncles 59. The first car I ever laid a wrench on. Uncle Wally wasn’t good about maintenance. My first exposure to to sludge was watching the mechanic pull the heads on that V8. Had a student that had one, drove it cross country to North Carolina. He ended up selling it to his boss who spotted it in the parking lot outside the shop. Dale Earnhardt was the last owner of the car and it was featured in a spot during a NASCAR cup race.
Thank you for posting this story! This was my grandpa's car; only his had an aqua blue interior, 6 cylinders and a manual 3-speed. He was a big Detroit Tigers fan and always kept a stuffed tiger on the back ledge. Good memories.