Our LBC came from Kelly’s best friend and her husband. I saw it under a cover in their garage and inquired about it. They had rescued it from a field in California years earlier and had worked on it together as a project. They didn’t use it anymore and said they would probably sell it soon.
Two weeks later Kelly called me from their house and told me it was for sale. I really didn’t want it, but $1500 for a running/driving convertible was a deal too good to pass up. I bought it and drove it home. When Kelly came over I opened the driver’s side door for her.
“How do you like it?” (meaning, how do you like driving my new car).
She said she liked it.
I replied, “Happy Birthday!” (meaning, one of her presents was letting her drive my new car—she took it as “Happy birthday…this is your new car!”
She was so excited, what was I to do?
“Do you really mean it????”
“Uhhhh, yeah honey…of course I do…”
I had absolutely no idea she would want it, so I went along with it. I couldn’t tell her no. I would have gladly bought it for her to begin with had I known she would like it.
Actually I got off easy as she has always wanted an older Mercedes SL. She was more than happy to have this car instead despite my repeated attempts to buy her the car she’s always wanted.
I didn’t realize it then, but this thing was to become an integral part of my life and our marriage. It is the car we used in our wedding; the first car I ever drove as her husband. There are two bad spots on the trunk where the paint has peeled off. My soon-to-be 11-year-old nephew made a nice “Just married” sign that covered it up perfectly. We still have the sign in the attic.
We often use it to go for ice cream when she’s having a bad day or for dinner sometimes. She has bad allergies and suffers through top-down driving as best she can because she knows how much I love driving the car. She needs practice with a standard and her allergies keep her from driving it much. Honestly, I drive it much more than she does. It’s a sort of refuge for me, as the only time my life seems to make any sense is when I’m behind the wheel. If I’m in a bad mood she’ll suggest I need to go for a ride as I always come back in a better mood. I can tell when I’ve gone too long without wheel time. We live out in the country off back roads. I have a 200-mile loop where I’ve been known to disappear for hours.
Folks often ask me how much I want for it. I explain if I sold it whatever I got for it would have to be enough for me to buy a new place to live…as my wife has already made it clear she wouldn’t be happy with me if I sold her car. It is after all, hers; and title clearly states that…. and I couldn’t be happier about it.
The car means more to me than I ever would have imagined. I HATED Rubber Bumper Midgets when I was younger. Now I wouldn’t trade it for anything else on four wheels, and neither would she. Nine years later she still wouldn’t trade it for her beloved Mercedes…believe me I tried.
P.S. After her last relationship with an English derivatives trader, she said she should get a cowboy. I told her in our town I was as close as she was gonna get. So I bought some boots and a hat for our wedding pictures as a joke. If someone had told me ten years ago this would all come about because of a little orange car that looks like it was painted with a ball peen hammer, I would have thought they were crazy.
By Billy Hammell