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I took the truck to Delbert Best in Glendale, KY in April 2008. He took the truck apart, and removed the glass, door handles, and locks. The only thing left on the frame was the engine and the cab. After taking it down to bare metal, he painted it and replaced the bed sides. He put it back together along with a hood scoop off of a 1970 Boss Mustang. While it was apart, I replaced the sending units in the gas tanks, the window motor in the right door, and urethane bushings. It was finished in October 2008.
The truck is a numbers-matching original. It is number 2,273 of 5,276 Lightnings that were built in 1993. I have a certificate of authenticity from Ford, and it is fully documented. Red and black were the only colors offered on ’93 Lightnings. It has a 351 high output code R engine, a beefed up E4OD transmission, and a 4:10 traction lock rear end.
It is a blast to drive and show. It ran a 14 second ¼ mile, but it only comes out of the garage for shows, parades, and to pick up trophies.
Anthony (Tony) Ponzio (Thendara, NY)
Tony has wanted a Corvette ever since he had a rear-end collision in 1967 which totaled his 1963 Corvette. We were dating at the time and even though the accident was not his fault, he could not afford to fix it. We got married in 1968, had a family, sent them to college, had grandchildren, etc. Finally, 42 years later, Tony found a mint condition Corvette he could afford.
Tony purchased the car from Greg, who owned the car for four years and was going through a divorce. Greg purchased it from the original owner, Terry P. When Greg went to go look at the car, he spent three hours talking to Terry. Terry was recently retired, but was dying of cancer. Greg said Terry was meticulous and owned a pole barn in Canastota to house his John Deere memorabilia and his black Corvette. Terry called him back to say another person was interested in it, but he wanted Greg to buy it. Greg thought his wife might enjoy riding in the Corvette instead of on his Harley, so he purchased it. Greg called the car “TP” after Terry.
When we met Greg, we hit it off with him and shared our story also. Tony’s initials are TP (his friends used to call him TP years ago). Tony also got cancer after retirement, but had successful surgery in 2008 and is a cancer survivor. We both felt connected to the previous owners, especially Terry. It is as if Tony could carry on where Terry left off and Greg was our steward.
We ordered personal plates “TP 1989” to commemorate Terry and Tony.
Edward KleinleinHesperia, CAWhen our son Eric was old enough to drive, we promised him a used car to drive to High School. Eric found a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air at a used car dealer. It was about 50% restored and something my wife and I could afford at the time. Eric drove the car through High School, then he married and his wife drove the car to her work at a supermarket. One night, twelve years ago, the car was hot-wired and stolen. We received a notice from the highway patrol about a week later that the car was found abandoned on the freeway about 100 miles away. Whoever stole the car obviously wasn’t familiar with the old cars and where you put gas in. Eric had a toolbox and five gallons of gas and the trunk had been entered through the rear seat. The toolbox was missing and the gas can still there full of gas. At the time, Eric had no insurance on the car (for theft) because his wife only drove a few miles to work. Soon after this theft, the original engine failed after 230,000 miles. So Eric gave the car to me and I finished the restoration, including a new 350 CI engine. The car has been in our family for 25 years now and needless to say, is fully insured.
Alan Fisher(Cherry Hill, NJ)This is my 1975 Buick LeSabre convertible that I purchased in July of 1994 from the Goodyear tire store on Route 73 in Palmyra, New Jersey. It was in very sad shape and on top of it my wife thought I lost it all together. I always wanted a convertible and this was going to be the car for me. Yep, I just turned 40 and needed another toy. Well 11 years later and a lot of money, this is almost the end result. I still need to finish a few more things on it. The parts came from all over the country. The big cars can be very hard to find in junkyards and it made getting parts a bit harder. I even drove out of Woburn Massachusetts to a new car dealer that actually had a new hood in stock. The interior was replaced and the bodywork was extensive. I also had to replace the engine and have the transmission rebuilt. My wife and I enjoy cruising in it and going to car shows. It is not longer my car, it is OURS. Isn’t that amazing? She also is the one that financed it. Thank You Dear.