I think it’s fair to say that times spent with Dad and Grandpa make up many of our favorite memories. I can attest, my memory bank is full of fish stories, valuable life lessons and one too many dad-jokes.Over my 2018 Spring Break I visited my Grandpa Gail in Florida for the week. From 10am to 4pm every day you could find us on the boat fishing, napping and getting sun burnt. Our predictable daily plans were conflicted, however, when we checked the weather on the 5th morning of our vacation. Red tide, a bloom of alga that can be toxic and causes difficulty breathing, kept us indoors for the day. Although bummed out, the day turned into one of my favorite memories with my Grandpa Gail. I had seen an pamphlet for Muscle Car City earlier in the week, what a perfect way to spend a cloudy day! Having owned over a dozen incredible cars, my grandpa rightfully earns the title car-guy, so he loved the idea. From his very first Chevrolet Pickup, to his handful of Corvettes, my grandpa had a story to go along with half the cars in the museum. I had no idea my grandpa had experienced so many incredible cars!
Check out his impressive list and some fun memories he shared with me:
- 1950 or 51 Chevrolet Pickup – This was my first vehicle. It was Black & I put baby moon hubcap’s & port-a walls on it. It had a Deluxe Cab with side windows, it was really cool.
- 1956 Chevrolet Belair 2 door hardtop with Power Pack V-8. The speedometer only went to 110 MPH, but when I opened it up, the speedometer would hit 110 & start bouncing. We car-guys would race our cars on a quiet highway next to the Willmar Airport. My car never lost a race, no matter what car I raced.
- 1959 Corvette, 1961 Corvette
- 1960 Impala 2 door hardtop. While I was in the hospital with cancer, my father bought this car for me. He parked it outside of my hospital room & carried me to the window so that I could look out & see my surprise present.
- 1963 Chevrolet Impala (Bright Red) 2 door hardtop. This was my first new car.
- 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe. This was my favorite car of all time. It was exceptionally fast. I took it to a Minneapolis Dragstrip where it won its class & also Street Eliminator of the Day. It turned a time of 12.2.
- 1965 Buick Riviera – This car had beautiful lines.
- 1968 Chrysler Newport Convertible – I bought this car from the League of the US Navy. It was only used in Parades.
- 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix
- 1974 Pontiac GP
- 1987 – 1992 I fell in love with Saab Turbo Hatchback’s – The Saab Dealer would call me every 10 to 12 months, when he got in a new Black Saab Turbo. I gave him my Saab Turbo & $3,500.00 for the new car. I quit buying new Saabs when he talked me into taking a tan car. By the time I got home with it, I hated it & never bought another Saab. In my opinion, the car only looks great in black.
- 1998 Buick Riviera Super Charged V-8 – This is another beautiful car with great lines.
- 2001 Cadillac Eldorado ETC with 300 HP V-8 – I love the shape of this car.
- 2010 VW CC Sport
- 2009 Saturn Sky Redline Turbo (Yellow) – These cars & the Pontiac Soltice were only made for 3 years. 90% of them didn’t have turbos & were very under powered. There are only a few thousand equipped like this. When I bought it, this car had only 2,000 miles on it. The HP was about 250, but I had it tuned to a little over 300HP. You know that it is fast & fun to drive.
- Current – Now I am driving a 2016 Cadillac ATS with 320 HP & AWD
He also shared that he has bought my grandma a few really neat cars as well. Here’s her list and some comments:
- 1959 TR3A
- DeLorean – I am not sure of the year. The Gullwing doors are neat.
- 1991 BMW Convertible
- 1992 Dodge Stealth Twin Turbo – This is a beautiful car, but very high upkeep. Your grandma had this car up to 142 MPH while driving across Alligator Alley from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic side of Florida.
- 2012 VW Beetle Turbo (Red) – This is a good-handling, hot little car.
His enthusiasm and excitement as we approached each car at the museum was contagious, my love for cars was amplified. One of the best parts of the day was when we came across a 1963 Corvette Split-Window Coupe that, as mentioned above, was his all-time favorite car. The car they had at Muscle Car City was the exact color of the one he once owned, navy, my grandpa was ecstatic. Some fun facts about the ’63 Split-Window are that there were only ~10,500 C2 coupes built and it was the very first Corvette coupe.
Bonding over cars with my grandpa was my favorite part of our trip, even if no fish were caught that day.
We’d love to hear about your favorite memories with your dad and grandpa, share a story in the comment section below!