i know this car. my dad bought it when he ran his own business, back in the day. it was a business expense. a good story goes with it, and probably haven't got the complete story right, but i know he reads this blog sometimes, so he can comment if he doesn't agree.
at the beginning of the eighties, he used to tool around in an early seventies ford pinto. you know, the ones that would explode in a fireball if they got hit on the back bumper. it was a real piece of crap. mostly my sister drove it to work and back.
i guess he'd dreamt about getting a nine-twenty-eight since he'd first seen one, and started figuring out what it would take to own one. he'd done some research, and knew he wanted the car in a dark blue, and had tracked down a dealership that had one in stock.
at some point, he decided today was the day, and drove up to the dealership and parked at the front curb in that stupid pinto, no doubt dressed quite casually, but hopefully not in the greasy clothes he'd work on cars in.
now, as i understand it, car salesmen are a competitive bunch, and are like wolves on the prowl, when i possible customer walks onto the lot. but none of these guys wanted to waste their time talking to him.
i want to say it was late spring, so the weather was warm, and the pack of them were watching for customers from the air-conditioned sales room. guessing they got a good laugh seeing this rube climb out of that trash filled car. so they sent out the newest guy, with the least experience at wheeling and dealing, not expecting anything to come of it.
apparently back in those days, they didn't run the full credit check on you before you went out for a drive. he talked his way into a test drive, and the newbie took him through his paces, being good practice on his salesmanship.
after returning to the dealership, they go inside to continue with the sales banter, talking about options and colors and the like. at some point, my dad said he'd take it, the other sales guys watching nearby. i'm a little fuzzy on whether he played the offer and counter offer game, or just named a price, but knowing him, he probably opted for the latter.
the sales guy went along with the discussion, wondering how he intended to pay for the car. at that point, my dad takes out his wallet, and starts laying down thousand dollar bills. no doubt, that left the other salesmen spitting out their coffee or standing slack-jawed on the loss of that commission.
he'd planned it all out--he thought it would be funny, so he'd stopped at the bank on the way to buy the car.
pretty sure that young newbie sales guy made salesperson of the month that year.
my dad drove back later with my older brother, to pick up the pinto.
i drove the car a few times when i was a high school senior, to pick up my younger brother. i loved the purr of that engine, and the smell of the leather interior. and it did move real fast. just sayin...not like i went speeding in it...nooooo. that was other kids. i admit it was pretty cool. i may have been a lifelong wallflower, and never popular, but i didn't care when i drove around the school parking lot in that thing.
my dad drove it for about twenty years. probably after ten years of owning it, he started tinkering with it, trying to do repairs himself. always bitched about the service at the dealership, and it was only getting more expensive. he'd shut down his business by then, and the car had already been written off, so it was all on him to keep it running.
and my dad was getting older, and couldn't really hear well, making it difficult to hear when the motor sounded off. he installed a loud noise maker to go with the turn signals, as he couldn't hear the blinker when it stopped shutting off after completing turns, and hated driving about with the turn signal on.
then someone ran into it once, and my dad got banged up a little, but the car was mostly ok.
after that, i can only remember that he'd gutted the interior for some reason. i do not know if it was related to the accident, or if he was hunting down a short in a wire...i think it had also caught fire. he never really got it put back together quite right from that time on. seats weren't bolted back in, but he drove it anyway. it got full of garbage and spare parts.
finally, he just kept it covered in the driveway, as he got too old to deal with it.
my older brother took it on as a project car, something to do when he visited the parents every few months. he found the original maintenance manuals at a car show, and studied them meticulously.
he dropped a refurbed engine into it and got it running again. my dad decided he didn't want it in the driveway anymore and/or didn't want to insure it, so he gave it to my brother, who shipped it back east, to his house.
he and his kids continued to tinker with it, and drive it around town.
their kids are grown and moved out now, so they sold their house, and moved further south, into a smaller condo, with only a one car garage.
somehow he got my other brother to let him park it at his house, since he has the space. it's been there a year now. his wife is starting to whine about the thing being there, undriven.
older bro stops by once in a while to start the engine, and drive it around the block. younger bro is afraid to drive it too far, afraid it will break down and that he'd have to pay to get it towed. nephew wants the car, but really hasn't got a garage for it yet, so there it sits.
glad i made it out to see it while i was on my business trip, as i hadn't been into photography of old cars back when it sat in my dad's driveway for years. i'm sure if no one wants it or has room for it, it will be sold or donated, since it's like a boat...a money pit.
no, i didn't drive it. aside from being blocked in the driveway by another car, when the cover was taken off, we noticed it had hundreds of tiny little white mites or bugglets of some sort crawling around the window edges. just assumed they're probably on the inside, and i wasn't having any of that.