May 4


Cars, Driving, and Being Driven: Tales From A Local Garage

By seelyclark

May 4, 2024

The other day, here in Bangor Maine – where I live- I had a hard time a couple of different times using some of those discount oil change places. I’ve had them say they did stuff when they didn’t. They left caps on loose, didn’t change the filter they said they did…

So I decided to no longer go to those kinds of places. I chose to go over to Brewer ( which is across the river from Bangor) to Morall Brake to get my oil changed on my truck. The guy that runs the place, Rich, has always treated me and the missus right when it comes to getting work done on our cars. I mean, it’s never cheap or painless nowadays to get your car wrenched on, but good ol’ Rich certainly does take the sting out of it when compared to most others I’ve dealt with.

So that morning there were three of us in the waiting area of the shop. We were all bemoaning the prices of fixing and maintaining vehicles.

During this conversation, This mountain of a man with a Harley-Davidson shirt on pipes up and said, “Oh yeah the cost to maintain them is terrible. You see, I had a 1955 Chevy 2 door since I was 14 years old, so I’ve had it for 35 years, and I just had to get rid of it because of the cost of maintenance.

This is a picture from Wikimedia Commons showing a 1955 Chevrolet Bel-air two door.
This is a picture from Wikimedia Commons showing a 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air two door.

That sounded awful to me at first. Getting rid of a car that you’ve had for 35 years. This man then told me that he was able to sell it to a very close friend of his who could afford the fixing, upkeep, and other aspects of putting this 1955 Chevrolet to its original showroom condition.

But that wasn’t the coolest part. You see, back when he was a kid, his dad and he lived in Hermon, Maine and his dad delivered oil to this one guy who was a president of the 1950s Classic Car Club in the local area.

When his dad was delivering oil to this man, he saw the 1955 Chevrolet two-door sitting in the driveway. He then spoke to the man and said, “You know, my son who is 14 is a total Car fanatic. Do you mind if I bring him over later to look at it? He’d get a kick out of it.”

The guy said, “Sure, come on back later tonight so he can have a look at it”.

So the man is telling me the story in the waiting room says, “ Yeah when I found out that we were going to look at that 1955 Chevy I was losing it! Absolutely losing it with excitement!”

The big fella in the waiting area then says to me, “The second we got over there I was glued to the car I was just all over it. And this guy said to my dad ‘I have never seen a kid so into classic cars in my life.’ At which point his dad said, “Yeah that’s always been his passion. He can’t get enough of em.”

He goes on to say to me, “You see while I was there, and I was all over that car, the guy mentioned to me and my dad, he’s like “I don’t know really why I got this car what I’m going to do with it now that it’s here.”

Then the man with the car said the magic words that would set any 14 year old boy’s heart Ablaze…

“ I’m thinking about selling it…”

The kid asked the dreaded question – or maybe it was his dad – and that question was…

“How much do you want for it?”

The man with the car said to this 14 year old boy, “Yeah I’m going to need $2,500.” which was a LOT of money 35 years ago. That is still is a lot of money now.

So the man told me from his side of the story,

Now this guy was telling me that, as he said at this point, “this is my redneck coming out” as a preface to explaining more of the story, “You see I had just sold my cow (he raised beef critters back then as a teen.) so I had $1800 dollars from that.”

So I told the guy with the car that all I had was $1800.

Then the clincher,

The man got a bit quiet, turned, and walked away into the house.

Well the 14 year old boy – who is now this giant of a man crumpled up in an itty bitty waiting area seat of this auto shop – eyes alight with the long ago, but never forgotten passion of that day- was CRUSHED.

Him and his dad were in the yard after the man walked into the house and he asked his dad sadly as he sighed, “Can I just go sit in it one more time?”

His dad said solemnly, “Yeah sure.”

So he went and got behind the wheel and started her up. The man came back out looking surprised, and said to boy,

“Where you going?”

To which the boy replied, “I’m taking my car home.”

The man says, looking surprised and impressed all at the same time, “But you only have $1,800..!”

The boy says, “Yeah, I know, but I’m taking her home!”

The man says, “How you going to make up the difference?”

The boy spits out an emphatic, “I’m not sure yet but I’m going to figure it out!”

Well, the man kind of chuckles and says to the boy, “Listen, I got this car in Arizona. I have the bill of sale. I’m going to show it to you.”

The man pulled out the bill of sale and the registration. “I got it for $1,500 and that’s what I’m going to sell it to you for.” The boy saw that the man had already filled out the title and bill of sale to the boy for $1500- exactly what he had paid.

Needless to say, this 14 year old boy was so excited and once he got the car home it’s in the driveway for a year cuz he had to wait until he was 15 to start working on it.

He put it back to all original showroom condition, or I believe, as he said, he put it back to, or up to the Bel Air level because it was a 1955 Chevrolet two-door and he put the matching chrome on and everything of that nature and he had the engine transmission and drivetrain with all original numbers. Which is rare in classic cars now.

So this man had to sell his baby just a year before we were sitting in that waiting area talking about it.

The amazing thing is that he was able to sell it to a friend who would take as good care of it – if not better – because he had the funds with which to restore it to his former glory.

I could tell by the look on his face when he told me his friend had it that he truly rested easy at night knowing that anytime he wanted to take a ride in his first automotive love that his friend would let him.

That just goes to show that if you have enough passion, if you have enough heart, enough drive and perseverance, that the facts don’t matter!

That kid was prepared to put in Blood Sweat and Tears to make up the difference between $1800 and $2,500 to pay for that car. But that man – the president of the 1950s auto club -recognized in that boy such a passion, and such a drive, that it inspired him to pay it forward and help a fellow car lover.

Turned out that the 1950’s auto club president gave that young man more than just a car.

He gave him almost a lifetime of happiness!

Just imagine if that 14-year-old boy hadn’t shown the passion, hadn’t shown the enthusiasm or hadn’t shown the gumption to hop behind the wheel and say, “I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m going to make this car mine!”

So no matter what you are doing, get in there, get excited, get passionate! If you want it bad enough, the facts, figures, and resistance do not matter!

Until we speak again my friend, remember…

Be yourself. Help others. NEVER quit.

Seely Clark IV

PS: I was so wrapped up in his story that I never got the big fellas name. Maybe Rich knows. I’ll ask next time I’m in. So if you’re in the Brewer area and need your car wrenched on without getting fleeced, stop in and see good ol’ Rich– tell him Seely sent ya 🙂 And ya never know YOU may come out with your own cool story!


About the author

I live in Bangor, Maine and I worked full-time as an RN at a local hospital. In 2010 I started working online Part-time after my mother was disabled by a heart attack. I wanted to build extra income to help with her health care.

What started as a way to make extra income has grown into a passion!
Over the years I have learned a great deal about marketing on the Internet.

I have learned many things that don’t work and much that DOES work.

One thing I have learned is that for me to succeed, I have to help others succeed.

So now my focus is on teaching others what I have learned works so that they can avoid the money-wasting struggles I went through and finally start making money on the Internet.

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