At 16 years old I was really interested antique cars and managed to purchase a 1928 Model “A” Tudor. After working on the car over the spring and part of summer it was clear that it would be a long term project not really suitable for a teenager. In August of 1971 my Dad came home one day and told me he had seen a real nice 1949 Ford on a used car lot in Elmhurst. Dad took me out to see the car, a Sea mist Green Custom Ford, I was impressed with the nice original condition it was in. The car was a V-8 with overdrive, which proved to be a great feature. We learned the car was from Fresno California and had not seen a Chicago winter. It took very little to convince me that this would be a much better vehicle than the Model “A”, since I could actually start driving it right away. Getting behind the wheel for the first time was a treat and the ’49 shifted smoother than our Pinto, the car I learned manual shifting on.
When we got the 1949 Ford home after purchase I thought it needed a new paint job since oxidation had set in. My dad gave me some rubbing compound though and after a few days of rubbing the rough finish the paint shined like new again. That 1949 Ford was sure nice for driving to High School and out with friends. Each month Hemming’s motor news classified ads offered plenty of reasonably priced NOS parts. I bought NOS bumpers, side stainless trim, an NOS clock, mirrors, skirts, etc.…. Those were the days when the car was only 22 years old and the parts and accessories were not yet highly sought after by collectors. The car did have many admirers though. Gas station attendants always had nice comments and while stopped at red lights other drivers would occasionally ask, “How much would you take for it?” possibly thinking I was a naive kid who would sell it cheap.
College days began as I entered Western Illinois University and I only had use of my 1949 Ford during summer vacation and breaks. By my senior year I traded my 1949 to my Dad for the family Pinto which was more practile for a college student. Dad had done a lot with the car while I was away at college and it really became his hobby. After college graduation I entered the Army, got married and then settled down in Aurora starting my police career and raising three kids. I still loved to read about old cars and follow the hobby and I hoped to possibly get an old Ford once again in the future.