When I was 8 years old, I went to my first car show. I remember how overwhelmed I was. Lost in a sea of colors, chrome, and tires. After walking around the show grounds I decided to make a second pass. It was on that second pass I realized I found the place I was meant to be.
I walked past an older gentleman who owned a really nice 32 Ford Victoria couple. It was Navy blue with a silver pinstripe down either side. I stopped to take a close look at his car. Nicely done, not gaudy and overstated. Clean lines and paint, not too much chrome, just enough.
He asked my name and shook my hand. We talked about cars for a bit, and then he offered to let me sit in the driver's seat. My eyes got wide, I was almost afraid to sit. He reassured me and I took a seat behind the wheel. I could barely see over it, but I'll never forget that moment. I'm certain that man will never know how much he impacted my life that day.
From then on, I was obsessed with Classic cars of all varieties. I built models, collected hot wheels, and had thousands of photos I'd taken at all the shows I'd gone to. I got my first job at 13, and started saving my pennies.
When I was 17, I bought my first car. It was a 1981 El Camino. She was bright blue and stole my heart the moment I saw her. She had a nicely built 350, with a TH350 transmission and Posi-traction. She was somewhat gutted, and not road legal. No headliner, no stereo, no heat or AC, but I didn't care; she was mine.
I provided the money, and my father and I set to work to get her back on the road. Didn't take too long before I was cruising town. I felt like a king on that raggedy old bench seat. She had faded paint, and a bit of rust here and there along with the scars of aging. I came to call her Delilah.
Fast forward to 2009. I was hot in the throes of passion with my Australian girlfriend. Delilah couldn't come with me, so I had to sell her. I sold her for half of what I paid, and cried like a child when they trailered her away. Not a day has gone by where I don't think about that old truck. I have dreams about it. Selling her was a regret that has plagued me for the last two years.
I also had a pristine 1972 International Harvester 1110D pickup. 37k original miles. Farm truck out of Leominster Mass. Completely custom built from the factory for the owner. I found it in Chinatown Boston, and become the 3rd owner soon thereafter. Unfortunately I had to part with that truck too. I sold it to someone I thought was a friend. He never paid me, and when I got back I tried to repossess the truck. Turned out he'd sold it to a Junk Yard and they'd crushed it just weeks earlier.
Things didn't work out with my girlfriend and I. I returned to the USA from Australia in January of 2011. She'd taken me for everything I had. I had $800 to my name and set out to find a vehicle to help with my job search. I came across a 1981 Chevy C10 pickup that was surprisingly the best of what craigslist had to offer in my price range.
It runs, but not well; and it certainly isn't Delilah.
This brings me to the purpose of this blog. I finally found a job, and with a steady income, I decided I wanted to find Delilah and try to buy her back.
I've spent many hours searching. There is no easy way to set out to find an old vehicle. The DMV's and Insurance Agencies won't help you, unless you have some personal connection I'm not privy to. I understand the purpose of Driver Privacy laws, and respect their mission; but frankly I don't have the slightest bit of ill intent with this mission. I just want to find that truck and see if the current owner is interested in selling it.
I've created this blog as a source of information for others setting about on the same grueling search. If you're looking for your first, or favorite car this is a good place to start.
I have a feeling if we work together we improve our chances of reuniting with our cars a great deal.
If you too are searching, or have an experience or resource to share, feel free to do so within the comments or send me a message.