In search of a classic car, specifically a muscle car.
It’s been a while since we last spoke.
Previously, I shared how elated I was to finally get a prized big block 1960s car. While not a muscle car, acquiring a 1964 big block Ford Thunderbird ragtop was well worth the wait.
Muscle Car Odyssey
If you remember from my previous story, my wife Jessica has been patiently by my side for 28 years of my 50-year muscle car odyssey. She was always sympathetic as I experienced one disappointment after another. To date, I have bought and sold 22 cars with none anything like a muscle car until 2020 when I found the T-bird. Jessica has always been a good sport going to shows, meets, meet-ups, and cruises, and never complains. While not originally a car gal, she does appreciate a nice classic car.
My father-in-law is a car guy. In old family pictures, the first car he had after he got married was a 1966 Mustang with a 289 motor. After my wife was born the family got a Triumph. This is where the car stuff begins to end for the time being.
A baby brother arrived in 1971, therefore raising kids and family takes over. He was still a car guy, but all that was put on hold. When I met my wife in 1993 she was driving a Firebird. A hot gal in a Firebird is a car guy’s dream. Come to find out that was the mom’s car and she gave it to my wife. Her mom was driving a white Firebird she bought new in 1987. Driving a Firebird tells me that the mom is also a car person. So, cars have been a part of the family for some time.
From Bachelor to Family Man… Goodbye Corvette!
Fast forward to 2002 and the kids are out of the house. My father-in-law has a friend, Gary, who tells him about a 1996 Corvette for sale with only 6,000 miles on it. He jumps at the chance. The guy who sold it to him was heartbroken. He ordered the car new while he was single and led a bachelor’s lifestyle. That all came to end when he got married.
His life began taking a new turn as kids became part of the mix. The Corvette had to go…say hello to an SUV. He wanted to drive it one more time, to the end of his driveway, on the day my father-in-law picked it up…now that is a car guy! Raising kids and growing a family changed his life and his cars. It seems to me that story happens to plenty of car guys.
Having said that, the Corvette is absolutely stunning. My father-in-law drives it and pampers it. I am not a Corvette guy, but this one is sweet. So he was good to go with this car. He picked up where he had left off many years ago. My wife and I are happy for him, and he really likes his car.
Quite unexpectedly we got a phone call in 2019, learning that Jessica’s dad wanted to give the Corvette to my wife. Yes, give it to her. We were both quite taken by surprise. Her dad is a very generous soul. It turns out the car is so low to the ground it has become increasingly difficult for him to drive it. So, Jessica gets the car, and her dad does what all of us car guys do, go out and buy another car. His latest acquisition is a 2017 Jaguar and that car is outstanding. So now Jessica is the owner of that sweet 1996 Corvette. The car is white on gray leather, with a removable top, 12,000 miles on the 350 LT1 motor…it is just spectacular!
Jessica is now officially a car gal. We go to shows, cruises, and meet-ups, with both of us driving a car. She has a Corvette visor and other accessories that she proudly wears to all the events.
So, what happened with me and my cars? I still have the T-Bird and have been fixing things that happen to a 58-year-old car. She is such a spectacular automobile.
Muscle Car Dream Fulfilled
My muscle car virus had been cured or so I thought. But in January 2021, my EBay feed sent me a prompt. I open the site and there before my eyes is a 1979 Pontiac Trans-Am with a big block engine, a T-top, and a true black-on-black beauty. A California car too and the guy asking $22,000.
The car looked outstanding. I called him and we started talking about money. He had the car priced right. But I still wanted to talk him down if I could and I did. I think he was in some financial mess so I got the car for an amazing deal. When the car arrived, it was just as described — a turnkey car.
The interior is like new and underneath the car looks new. The paint is strong with some minor blemishes. So now I own what is considered the last American muscle car…. a 1979 Trans-Am with a big block engine and a 4-barrel carb. I have fixed little glitches on the car and wow, she is a screamer.
Classic Car Extravaganza
So now our driveway looks like a classic car lot. Jessica has the Corvette, and I have the T-Bird, the Trans-Am, and my sweet 1981 Firebird Esprit. Now Jessica knows what car guys are all about. It seldom ends with us. And her dad is a testament to the car guy culture.
Can I honestly say I am done buying cars? You must ask my wife of 28 years and she will tell you that is true.
In the meantime, the big block churns out the horses with the T-tops off, the radio blasting Bachman Turner Overdrive as we are rocking down the highway.
Ciao for now!
See Also — Muscle Cars for Sale
Photos courtesy of Steven and Jessica Ochoa. All rights reserved.