Thursday, June 17, 2010

Daddy Sent My T-Bird Away!

Here she is, our white, pearlescent bird. She wasn't always so lovely, oh, no. We adopted our '62 T-Bird in 1989. She was wearing old, weathered red paint and we parked her, unceremoniously, on the back lot. For a long time we just ignored her. Ever so often we would stop and gaze at her sleek lines, assuring her that her time of renewal would surely come.


Nearly a dozen years later, the Wonder Husband towed her into the shop and started working on her. Completely dismantling her interior and exterior. He sanded her three f***ing layers of old paint down to fresh metal...his words not mine. He would know. The hundreds of hours he gave to that woman should make me jealous but they didn't.

He gave her new life for me. He gave her new life because that is what he does. A career? A passion? An obsession? At times, the lines blur. He chose her paint and fabric colors carefully with me in mind. Thinking about how I would look driving her. Thinking about what colors looked good on both of us. He made her sturdy enough for any man and stylish enough for any woman.

She was difficult, leaning toward temperamental at times but he never, ever quit on her. Like he never, ever quit on me.

She and I became fast friends. We had lots of adventures and cried together when she had a breakdown. Such is the way with vintage ladies. For four years, we tooled around town looking cool and claiming lots of admirers. And then a couple from Seattle said they wanted her. They wanted to give her a new home in a cooler climate. They wanted to drive her beautiful body cross-country to their 50th anniversary celebration. It was hard letting her go but they can give her the kind of life we can't. We have more cars, that are in the same sad shape she was when we got her, that need tender attention.

We said our goodbyes and watched her tail lights as they rolled off into the sunset.
Fly, little birdie, fly away to your new home.


27 comments:

Brian Miller said...

oh man she was a beaut! nice of you to give her up for that couple...

thanks for the positive enegy tonight as well. smiles.

Jai Joshi said...

That is one hot hot car. I admire your fortitude in giving her up.

Jai

Felicitas said...

I'm sure it was really difficult letting that car go - especially when you put that much of your time and energy into something, and it turns out to be so special.

TechnoBabe said...

This car came alive under the nurturing hands of your husband.
What a great looking car! I'm so old I don't know if they made cars yet when I was born! Ha. Seriously, Ronda, you and your hubby have an interesting hobby restoring the great older cars. This is a work of art, it looks great. What car are you driving now?

jinksy said...

Now when somebody can do a refit on a human like that, it'll be something to write home about!

Sam Liu said...

What a wonderful and charmingly moving story, Ronda...she was indeed a most beautiful car, so lovingly and expertly restored by your husband. But all good things must come to an end, and its marvellous at how well you can let go, truly an illustration of love :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Ah they must all leave the nest at one point or another!

What a beautiful car! Wow.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm picking my jaw up off the desk! What a gorgeous car! I'm sure it was hard to part with.

Happy weekend,
jj

Ronda Laveen said...

Brian: That birdie was a sweet one. Your welcome for the help. Any time, just ask.

Jai: We can't give up on them. Even dinosaurs need to be remembered.

Felicitas: Yes and no. I got to drive her for a long time and now she'll spread more joy.

TechnoBabe: You said it, it is about bringing them back to life. Saving them from the wrecking yards. Automotive history and art that can roll around daily in the world. Not stuck away on a trailer or museum. I'm driving a '67 Chevelle station wagon that is also very sweet. She's a sleeper. Looks like a mom car but I can beat 90% of the people off the line. She has a bad ass motor.

Jinksy: You've got that right! It won't be long though. They can already do knees, hips, and shoulders.

Sam: It is an interesting occupation, a dying art. Very lovingly restored, you can't imagine how much time they take. It's rewarding to see the transformation.

Reya: Yes, sooner or later, we must all leave the nest. Bye, bye birdie.

JJ: She will be missed, yes she will!

Eternally Distracted said...

What a transformation... beauty and the beast springs to mind!

Mrsupole said...

She was a beaut and I would not be sure that I could have given her up. Funny how if I still had a lot of the cars that I had when I was younger, they would be considered classics right now. We just didn't know we were driving classics.

Seriously WH is a true artist in car restoration. That T-Bird was definitely a piece of art. It is a good thing you have pictures. I never thought about taking pictures of my old cars, now I kinda wish I would have.

God bless.

DUTA said...

I admire your ability of letting 'her' go, as its restoration was an expression of your husband's deep love for you.
However, if this is his hobby ( and you should feel lucky about that) He'll probably restore another one for you.

James said...

A Recovery metaphor popped into my head as I looked at the before and after pictures: My long-abused body and spirit, rusty and broken, takes on the beautiful new sheen of loving care from the outside in. Even with the occasional - and hopefully rare - breakdown, the direction is always toward the light.

Dave King said...

Great looker. Always a wrench when they go, but the memory never does.

Ronda Laveen said...

ED: Beauty and the Beast...Yes!

Sherry: I know what you mean, we just didn't know at the time that we were driving what were to one day become "classics." Just like us, we're classics too, arent' we? We have lots of car pictures. WH has pictures going back to his very first car.

DUTA: I really am glad that cars and golf are Wonder Hubby's hobbies. The are healthy ones. He has already restored another car for me to drive. Hence, letting the T-Bird go. And soon, the one I'm driving now will go as another is in the works. It is our cycle.

James: That is a BEAUTIFUL metaphor. I am saving that one. It is absolutely fitting for Miss Bird.

Dave: No, the memory and photos are remain.

Jingle said...

Hello, Ronda,
It is nice to see you...
Sorry that you have to lose your car, it looks pure or gorgeous to me, hope that you find a new and nice one soon.

Happy Father's Day to Dads in yourlife.
I am thrilled to have you stay with me and continue visiting me.

Thumbs up!

Stacy Post said...

They don't make cars like that anymore, do they? I think you should create a series of short stories...one for each car you've had the unique pleasure of watching come back to life! Thanks for sharing!

Nessa said...

Wow, is she ever gorgeous. I'd have a hard time giving her up.

JGH said...

That is a very classy lady there. I love the story of how she waited in the back lot for "her time" to improved. I'd say it was worth the wait. I"m sure you made that couple's anniversary very special when you let her go.

Dorraine said...

As Frank Sinatra would croon: Luck be a lady! And what an electric one she is. That must have been hard to let her go.

Do you name your cars? I'm thinking that one was a Scarlet.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jingle: thank you. I very much enjoy your positive blog. Such good energy there.

Stacy: Woman! Has anyone told you lately that you're brilliant?

Nessa: it was hard to do!

JGH: she made the trip up to Seattle just fine. They are delighted.

Dorraine: I love that song and it suits her perfectly. No, we haven't named them like that but Scarlet is perfect for her. That is how I will remember her.

Jingle said...

Have a Smiling day, Ronda.
Happy Tuesday!

The Silver Fox said...

Awww, kinda sad. I wish I had the money, time, and talent to restore old cars. Bet you miss her.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jingle: You too!

Foxter: I do miss her. It was a bittersweet goodbye.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Oh Ronda the memories this brings back for me. My cousin and I "had to" drive my dad's '65 Mercury to school, which looked much like your T-Bird,(in the early 80s). I remember being so embarrassed that we'd slink down in our seats to avoid being seen, as if anyone else at school drove a car like that. And now? What I wouldn't give to have that car back.

This also reminds me of having to give up my '93 Celica a few years ago. It was the first car I paid for all by myself, took me up and down the east coast for 13 years. I cried the day we had to trade it in. I might cry now....

Chuck Dilmore said...

spectacular story!

i love that - even when you let her fly - you knew that more was to come. and it will come. just from reading this little bit about you two, it's clear that you will make it so.

beautiful job!

Penny said...

First of all, the photos are very nice. And your story is a tear-jerker. That's really sad that you have to let go of your beautiful T-Bird. But you can still buy, if you want, used cars. Redding-based dealers are offering Nissan CPO cars. We all know Nissan's got unique models. So why not add another vintage one to your collection? If there are priceless treasures in the world, it would be those beautiful used cars. Redding (CA) is just one of the few places where you can find good car deals.