Well… This is hard to do. Sometimes it takes your car breaking down on the highway for you to really take a step back and see where you are in life.
Doing so let me see that I am a 22-year-old man, late for work, letting his 31-year-old Plymouth be towed to a shop less than a mile down the road. He is cold, tired, hungry, and about to start crying. This is the third time in as many months that his car has left him stranded, and the third time it’s needed to be towed in his eight months of ownership since he purchased it in February of this year.
Taking the above picture shortly after calling the tow truck, I had a melody pop in my head. This is not uncommon, as I almost always have a snippet of a song or a phrase that will loop endlessly in my mind regardless of what is happening. The song “They can’t take that away” started to play softly on the jukebox of my mind as tears came to my eyes. I realized that for all the heartache Helen has caused me, we’ve made some great memories during our short time together. I took my first big road trip in her, going to a car show in Austin and staying the weekend exploring the town. She made the four hour trip there and back without complaint. I lost two center caps off my wheels as I went over some rough roads. While at Cars and Coffee in Austin, I met a man who made the whole trip for me.
He ran up to where I had parked in the back of the car show lot with the other oddball cars the show organizers couldn’t figure out where else to put. He explained breathlessly that he had met his wife in high school while driving a car like this and practically begged me to let him sit in it. He climbed in and I let him fire her up. He rolled down the window and beamed as his wife took a picture. I never would’ve thought some old family car, a far cry from the brutish muscle cars and sleek exotics at the front of the show, could make anyone other than myself so happy.
Here is a transcription of the For Sale paper on her window if anyone is interested. I’m local to North Texas. I paid $2400 for her and have maybe another two thousand in repairs and other things. If anyone is interested in buying her, drop a line in the comment section below. If she’s sold before this goes to print, I’ll be sure to update this post.
1987 Plymouth Gran Fury
318 V8 with two barrel carburetor
3 speed Torqueflite automatic transmission
85,000 original miles
Steering components (steering gear box, idler arm/sleeve, pitman arm, bushings, ect.) replaced
Two freeze plugs replaced, and others checked
Coolant flushed last month
Oil changes given every three months
A/C and Heat work
Power windows/ locks work
Cassette tape player works
Tagged and inspected until Feb 2019
Will come with: Title, service records, owner’s manual, original shop manual, shop parts catalog, and Haynes manual
Asking price: 3,500 OBO! (cash only)
Contact: Dakota Overton-Wright
No matter what car I get next, I’ll always have Helen in my heart. I hope she goes to someone able to treat her right. I’ll be doing what I should’ve done from the start and am buying a modern car that I can rely upon fully. Hope is not lost for me yet… because I have a line on a project car that I don’t have to rely on to get me home.
It’s been sitting since 1998 in an abandoned house and was only pulled out a few weeks ago. A friend and I desperately want to see it on the road again. It’s currently sitting in an industrial yard owned by the nephew of the man who found it. It’s got a regular two barrel 350 and a TH350. It’s your average family car.
Despite a few dents, it seems to be in good shape. The motor isn’t locked up and none of the wiring is chewed. The old insurance paperwork we found shows that was owned by a Miss Stone until 1998… and that’s where the story goes cold. It was a car local to Dallas.
Hopefully I can begin a new series as I try to bring this old boat back to life! There’s always a bright side. A sun behind the clouds, and sometimes, there’s a 1970 Impala sedan just waiting to be saved.