My Love Affair
My love affair with classic cars began at an early age. My father worked as a die-maker at the Fisher Body plant in Flint, Michigan. He taught me to appreciate and respect the craftsmanship, hard work and determination that went into making automobiles. We frequently attended local car shows, the Detroit Auto Shows, the Henry Ford Museum, and even Flint’s Autoworld (Google it)! Each show and museum displayed the pure beauty of how and why the Motor City is so great —and the true essence of ‘blue-collar’ life.
As a teenager, I remember cruisin’ around towns with my sister in her old Monte Carlo. It was the sound of the beefy engines, the thumping of the bass, the guys talking about girls, the girls talking about guys, the ‘hanging’ out –this was truly old-school networking at its finest. It was a status symbol to roll into town with Mercedes or a Porsche; a symbol that meant (in my eyes) ‘rich kid gets spoon-fed by his mommy and daddy’. But when someone rolled up in a true American Muscle car….now that’s where the status jumped through the roof! That meant you were bad-ass! It didn’t matter if that Mustang or Camaro was sanded down to bare bones or if you just spent the weekend before spray painting it….you were Bad -Ass and everyone knew it! Everyone stared and everyone talked about the rumble of the engine and the chrome wheels, begging you to burn rubber!
I am not your typical girly-girl, high-maintenance girl. I get goose-bumps when I see a hot rod or classic car! I drool when I go to car shows! I can’t help it! I’ve always dreamed of owning one; more specifically a ’69 Camaro. There’s just something about the Camaro that stands above the rest. Needless to say, others feel the exact same way, thus the ’69 Camaro is one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time. So…having a dream of owning one…well was just that—a dream, a that-would-be-nice-but-let’s-be-realistic-here-Holly kind of dream. My passion for someday owning one, slowly took more of a backseat as the years went by. Things like getting married, family obligations, kids, money, responsibilities, and priorities….these were far more important than some unobtainable dream!
Somewhere around my 35th birthday, I developed a new outlook on life. I couldn’t tell you what, how or why—maybe it was seeing some of my friends from high school fighting cancer, or friends my age who were now dying or just getting older and knowing we aren’t going to live on this Earth forever…whatever it was, I started asking myself… Why can’t I go skydiving? Why can’t I take the trip of a lifetime? Why can’t I buy the car of my dreams? Why can’t I do this or that? What’s stopping me? What’s stopping me from doing things that make me happy? Why wouldn’t I want to do EVERYTHING that makes me happy? Is it selfish of me to want to do these things I’ve always dreamed of doing? Shouldn’t I be putting my kid’s, my husband’s, my family’s needs before my own happiness? There was a long struggle between being a responsible parent/adult and fulfilling my dreams. I wanted to teach my kids that if you worked hard enough you can do or have whatever you want…even if it was once thought of as an obtainable dream! The kids were older now, the bills were getting smaller, and the funds were still looking good (oh and the stars were aligned just perfectly of course)…..and so the search was on… for my ’69 Camaro!
I set a goal for myself to have a ’69 Camaro by the time I turned 40. I was having such a hard time with the thought of turning 40, so heck…. I may as well have something to look forward to! I started searching ads online nearly every day. I said it out loud to myself, my friends, and my family. This was the first step in validating my dream was real and surely obtainable!
I was becoming quite frustrated because I would see one that peaked my interest and then it wouldn’t have this or that or not exactly what I wanted, or it was way over-priced. There was no way I was going to settle for almost-exactly the car of my dreams. I finally came across an ad for a beauty, but the price description read; “Call for Price”. As anyone knows, when it says that, it’s probably too expensive. However, I clicked on it and read further. This car was being raffled off to raise money for a Teen Outreach center in Pennsylvania. And better yet, they were only going to sell 400 tickets! And even better yet, the raffle was to be held a month before my 40th birthday! Clearly, the Gods above, the stars, and the Universe were all in my favor! My odds of winning were awesome! How could I NOT win?! So, I called and inquired about the raffle, obtaining all the information I needed to purchase raffle tickets. This is it! Could this be for real? Screaming with joy inside!
Well, the raffle date came and went…and no, I did NOT win. Boo-hoo. I had a feeling it was too good to be true….the Gods above, the stars, and the Universe must have been off just a tad. Ok, so I didn’t win…now what? I really, really wanted that car! It was perfect! It had everything on it that I was looking for! Do I give up? Do I go back to endless searching for just the right Camaro? No! I’m going to take a chance! I’m going to take the world by the balls and see what happens! I’m going to contact the raffle winner and see if he’d be interested in selling the car. What could it hurt? The worst he could say is No….
After a quick Google and Facebook search, I found the winner’s Facebook page and messaged him; first Congratulating him on his win and secondly to ask if he’s interested in selling the vehicle. To my surprise, he WAS interested! Woohoo! Fantastic! We spent the next month or so negotiating the price and planning out my visit to Pennsylvania to purchase the car. Hell yeah! This is really happening now!
I had the car shipped from Pennsylvania to Arizona. The long wait for my car to arrive was killing me! I had to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, it will come eventually…and it is mine…all mine! I get to drive my Dream car for the rest of my life! How cool is that?!
The day finally arrived, my dream car was delivered. I was in awe, in heaven, in shock—it was even better than I had remembered when I purchased the car in Pennsylvania. I immediately gave her a name…I shall call her ‘Betty’! Yes, I name my vehicles…I told you I am not your typical girly-girl! That night I took Betty for a ride…a cruise down the main street in town. People looked, pointed, oooh-ed and aahh-ed. Yup, that’s right….now I am that BAD-ASS making a statement!
This journey has made me appreciate having a job so I could obtain my dream, my husband for understanding and accepting my dream, and finally believing that I can take control and grab the world by the balls! We only Live once, so why not make the most out of this one and go out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve always Dreamed! What’s the worst that can happen?
I Love this story! Make your Dreams Happen! Set Goals, Work for them. Think Out Side the Box. Dare to Dream.
I too grew up in Flint Michigan and love & appreciate cars. I never had a teen idol but I had posters of cars up on my wall as a teenager. I do appreciate the Luxury car though;)
Thank you so much for sharing YOUR STORY!
If you have a Story that will inspire others, please contact me.
Publisher of Live It Up AZ & believer that Dreams do come true!
Thanks for sharing my story Sonya! I enjoyed telling it!