Hidden Treasure...'49 Buick Fastback
From the personal diary of John Brick.
June 26 2004
I go on these long hikes through the woods to clear my head…plus Doc says all the exercise is good for my health, though my knees and tired feet usually sing a different tune. What else can I say? I hike to clear my head. I also do a little writing…I’ve been published and made a few bucks here and there but nothing major. Mostly I just write for the sake of doing it…to jot my ideas down even if usually they’re not all that brilliant.
What I really like to do is refurbish old cars…you know, customizing old junkers, turning them into hot rods, that kind of stuff. For now its just a hobby. An expensive one. I’d love to make it a career, but as life has it, you need a job a little more reliable and humdrum to support the family. I’ve had some moderate success refurbishing cars…when I can get them. Finances are tight, so I can’t exactly blow the whole wad on Ebay or craigslist looking for classic cars. But a few years back I was lucky enough to take on my brother’s old Dodge A-100. He let his son borrow it and he and his girlfriend drove it all the way to Indiana with no gear oil…seized the whole engine right up and that was the end of that. My brother gave me the old Dodge. I chopped it a bit, gave it a suped-up Hemi, racing slicks and a bitchin’ root beer sparkle paint job…made a real dragster out of it! That sucker could do the quarter mile in 9 seconds…won a bunch of awards at car shows too. That old Dodge was good to me right up until some hoodlums stole it from my garage when my wife and I went away on vacation. Later I refurbished a ‘32 roadster and the year after that a ‘57 Chevy Bel Air. Took them to shows but no one gave them a second look. That’s the thing about ‘32 Deuces and ‘57 Chevs…they’re so common at car shows nowadays the only way to attract attention is to do something phenomenal with them. I mean, I’m good at what I do, but I’m no Chip Foose. I need something a little more unusual.
If only such an unusual vehicle would just land in my lap like the Dodge A-100 did. No such luck, really. You hear stories of these rare “barn treasures”…you know, some old lady in Pasadena finds the keys to her barn that she hasn’t opened since her husband died a half century ago. In it, along with a lot of useless crap there’s and old Studebaker in cherry condition with only 7,000 original miles on it…original chrome and paint still gleaming. She’s willing to sell it for cheap. The automotive Holy Grail! These are the kind of things that only happen to Jay Leno…for the rest of us its an unobtainable pipedream.
It was about four hours into my hike when my knees were screaming and my backpack felt like it was stuffed with lead instead of apples and power bars. I was in a part of the woods I’ve never been to and by this point only navigating by compass. I swear this vegetation is so thick and wild you’d think this area has never been treaded on by man but in this day and age I’d imagine that’s not possible. The sky was the color of gunmetal and just when I was thinking of turning around for the long haul back…I saw it. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief figuring it was exhaustion getting the best of me. Mother of God!
My heart raced as I tried to process the sight before me. It was a rusted old heap, if I’m not mistaken, a ‘49 Buick fastback. Does anyone even know its here? From the looks of that hefty tree growing from the hood it looks like its been here since the Kennedy administration if not before. My God, it’s a thing of beauty! Well, its going to need a lot of work…the roof is rotted, it has no tires, no engine, the headlight is falling out, a rear taillight is smashed as well as the windows and there is no driver’s door. Plus it’s probably home to more mice, spiders and snakes than I want to think about…ok, so there is more wrong with it than there is right but I do believe this is the unusual find I’ve been searching for! The guys in my car club
are going to love this! I think I’ve just found my next showstopper!