The Aroostook County car owner had her four wheels to sell.
For years was head of the local Houlton Maine telephone office. Known as a telegraph office in the beginning of her long career.
But in her nineties now. Never married, no child ever called her Mom. With surrender, a white flag being waved. Accepting the time had come to freely give up the car keys forever. To get off the highway for good. Part with an old friend from Motown.
The fellow who ended up buying the classic, a painter got wind of the car sale from his brother. Word was getting out quickly. Trending on the local grape vine. The brother urged his flesh and blood to get his tail in gear. Throw it into overdrive. For him to fly over to the first home heading up Pleasant Street hill, on the left, the north side. (Home now gone, used as a parking lot for the corner Mormon Church, formerly the Christian Missionary Alliance house of worship where parking was always scarce, precious.)
The buyer’s brother said the car was a 1950 Ford.
Which was an unexciting model the buyer always thought to be ugly, ho hum. But when he arrived, pulled in the driveway at the home, the car’s owner answered the back door. The two strolled to the garage. And when the door pulled back on the sliding garage door rail, there she was. But ten years older than his brother’s report. The Ford was a 1940, two door, one owner black beauty waiting for his inspection.
Nothing wrong with the car, always maintained, bought new. When the owner was asked what she wanted, what the sale price was she smiled.
For a price on the vehicle with twelve thousand original miles, she figured what she paid for it was a fair exchange.
Bought back before the country officially got into the second big war. But was up to its knees in lend lease.
Before victory gardens, movie black and white war effort news reels flashed, rolled in front of the flicks at Houlton’s two movie theatre. Warning silver screen fans about loose lips sink ships. And showing Rosie handed the riveter gun. Winking, flexing a muscle being splashed up front. Just above where the piano player used to park, tinkle ivories before sound. The talkies some said would never last. Just a fad.
The antique car buyer now excited, with a change of heart. The car in question not the lack luster model he was seeing himself kicking the tires on.
But being shrewd, taught thrift, casually asked how much the approaching 100 silver haired lady paid for the title from Henry Ford. The answer $900.
He started to pull the car out by hand into the yard to look it over more thoroughly in the daylight. And was promptly quizzed on why tow it out. Just turn the key in the ignition. Start it up, drive it out for a looksie dear. Everything works.
In all aspects the Maine car was immaculate, in mint shape.
The price settled on $700 and a hand shake. Driven, enjoyed around the small Maine town. Profiling in the old ride bought in the early 1970’s was a hoot. Until a little boredom, need for money, or both kicked in. Or another sleek classic caught his fancy. Broke the spell.
Black beauty was sold for $3500. To a big Northern Maine farmer, a collector of antique cars. Lots of regrets now for parting with the midnight shade sedan in mint shape. Dreaming of what it’s value would be today. The bigger profit if he had just hung onto the cream puff ride with unheard of low mileage.