I've nothing against foreign made cars. I've owned one for twenty-six years, a 1980 Mazda RX-7 which Lori drives almost exclusively nowadays. Her brother, Lyle, recently finished a five-year restoration of the all black Japanese manufactured sports car that I bought from my cousin Mary Lee Croatt and her husband Lloyd.
Presently, we own eight vehicles, seven of which we can operate, three of which are not modified, including two "drivers," a 2004 Buick and a recently purchased salvaged 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe, which Lyle is rehabilitating. The Rx-7 remains bone stock with its original Wankel engine.
Two of my all-time favorite cars I've owned are a 1931 Ford Model A five-window Coupe (one never counts rear window of cars). Unfortunately, I don't own it. The second is my 1935 Plymouth coupe street rod with a Ford V-8 stroker engine having a rating of 347 horsepower. I've "owned" it for 19 years. I figure I'm just the present caretaker of the vehicle, which will hopefully live on after I'm gone.
When I completed my Alaska to Wisconsin bicycle trip after my retirement, I knew I did not want to continue riding bikes long distance although I ride eleven miles a day and on few occasions take a 50-mile bike hike during warm weather months. In the winter time, I ride 8.3 miles on the Schwinn Airdyne in our basement. That Airdyne, I must confess, is not much fun. It's exercise. That's all.
So, the month that I returned from my final long bike trip, Mike Carrat, Car Rat, an applicable name, asked me if I wanted to attend the autumn swap meet and car show in Jefferson, WI. "Yes," I said.
Interestingly, it was there that I found the car of my dreams, a 1935 Plymouth PJ 5-window coupe with a screaming (at that time) 1968 Ford 289 V-8 under its hood. I really liked the looks of the car and asked its owner if he'd take me for a ride in it. The ride through Jefferson prompted me to ask the owner, "What's your lowest bottom ever price?" He gave it to me. I told him to stop on a corner with a public pay phone where I telephoned Lori and told her of the car and requested her permission to buy it.
"Go ahead," she said. She didn't have to say another word.
That was Saturday, and on Monday the car was mine. At once, I started attending car shows and "Shoo fly Ply" won many awards. After a while, I got tired of car shows and trophies.
Thus, I started drag racing at the tender age of 68 after I purchased a '76 American Motors Gremlin. Three years in a row I won "all the marbles" by winning seven straight rounds in a row against kids in their early twenties. The third time was not so lucky because I failed to "batten down the hatches." Excited, I failed to tighten the lug nuts on the driver's side rear wheel.