When I was 17 I did not have a car to drive, other than one of my parent's cars. This was a time when most guys were looking at or driving cars like; Mustangs, Camaros, GTO's, Dusters, Roadrunners, and such. Muscle cars just didn't appeal to me, but mention a Datsun 280Z, a Triumph GT6, or even (dream on!) Jaguar E and my eyes would light up. Alas, none of these cars were going to be mine on the wages of a part-time drug store clerk.
But, one day my father said to me "There's a car I know of, and maybe we should take a look at it." It was love at first sight - a green 1968 Triumph Spitfire Mark 3 "rag top". Oh, the lines and the curves! The car was used a little (we're talking only 2 years!), but looked great and was a sporty race-car type. I bought it on the spot!
Over the next 5 years I learned about the phrase, "it's a British car, figure on working on it, a lot", was true. But, oh, was it fun to drive on those curvy river roads in Wisconsin, and once in a while drive over some of the narrow walk bridges. The car was babied; it never saw ice or snow because it was parked in the neighbor ladies garage. When that happened I would walk or use the bus, and impatiently await the arrival of spring and "driving" season.
During my last year of college, I decided to finish my degree at Utah State University, which is in a small town in the mountains without a bus system. And on top of that, I?d be living in an apartment without a garage. So I had to make the decision to sell the car and buy a somewhat more "practical" vehicle. This may sound over the top, but the day I sold the car was one of the worst days in my life.
I never forgot the Spitfire. Eventually I met the "right" girl and within a couple years we were married. Along the way I'd reminisce about the Spitfire, and mention how much fun it was and how I?d wished I had been able to keep it. Oh Well! Over the following 20 years we lived in Idaho, North Dakota, and landed back in Wisconsin.
Just for grins and giggles, I called Bill, the guy who had bought the car from me, to see if he still had it, and if so, if he would sell it back to me. His answer was ?No. I?m going to keep it for one of my boys.? What a disappointment.
After a few years, I decided to ask him again, and the answer was still "No". About 5 years ago I was talking with a mutual friend, and I asked him to mention the car and ask if I could buy it. I think that the friend asked about the car at least "once a week and twice on Sundays", the answer was always "No".
One afternoon, out of the blue, I received an excited call from my friend and he told me that I needed to call Bill right-a-way, he had said "Yes"! I was flabbergasted. I called my wife (if you?re a guy, you know you really should do this!) and asked her what I should do (as we were a little strapped for cash at the time). She said: "Go ahead and buy the car back. It is written in the fine print of the marriage contract. AND besides, at least I'll finally get to meet "the other woman."" (The Spitfire has always been a "her", even though she hasn't told me her name, yet!)
The car had been in a storage unit for almost 10 years, so it had little nicks and dents along the sides, rust under the carpet, and hadn't been run at all. Since then, in the last couple years, I've had the motor re-built the interior and seats redone, the brake-line & brakes gone over or replaced, along with repairing some of the electrical system.
The big thing is that the car runs. And since we've moved back to Idaho, we have gone "touring" in Yellowstone National Park a few times, and have had more fun watching the people watch us! Even though there are still some of the small nicks and dents and bugs yet to straighten out, it is a dream come true. All the other guys that are my age, or a little older, that are buying Harleys or Corvettes, which sound loud and use gasoline pretty fast, don't have anything on me, while I'm driving my Spitfire with the top down and my "number one gal" in the seat next to me.