Sunday, February 27, 2011

Young Wins Antique Car Award With Grandpa's Car

Reprint of a story run in the Monroe County Advocate and Democrat February 27, 2011

Young Wins Antique Car Award With Grandpa's Car

Not being able to see over the steering wheel or reach the
gas pedal didn't stop him from traveling the world in
Grandpa's 1934 Plymouth. Brrruumm-brruumm.

Truth be told, the car had seen the last of its real-world
adventures when the engine died and Grandpa parked it
in the garage with all the other items that he may fix-up
or need someday. In 1965, when Grandpa died, Charlie's
grandma promised she'd save the car for Charlie.
Grandma moved the car to a covered lean-to.

In 1978, Charlie went to claim this piece of Grandpa that
he had always cherished. Snow and rain had fallen,
eroding the roof of the lean-to and funneling onto
Grandpa's car. Bit by bit the rain and snow had eaten
through the Plymouth's roof. Charlie's beloved touring
machine was rusted all the way through the floorboards.

Saddened, but determined to restore this beloved part of
his grandpa, Charlie lovingly loaded Grandpa's car onto a
trailer and hauled it from Rhode Island to his home in

Nine years passed before Charlie had time to photograph
and dismantle his childhood touring machine. He moved
several times; wherever he moved, the chassis and bags
and boxes of car parts moved with him.

Retiring to Coker Creek, Charlie spent untold hours
researching, installing, tweaking, and polishing. He
became an Antique Automobile Club of America judge to
better understand what was required to become a
champion. He and his wife Deborah traveled thousands of
miles participating in AACA classic car shows and swap

Working his way up the rankings in the Antique
Automobile Club of America, in 2006, Grandpa's car
earned First Place Junior ranking. Last year brought Senior
rank. Each show was followed by more research, spit,
polish, and sweat to bring Grandpa's car to as-new

On Friday, March 14, in Melbourne, Fla., Charlie Young
and his '34 Plymouth took the gold in the Olympics of
classic car restoration, Grand National status. Charlie
says, "My only regret is that I didn't find out about
Grandpa giving me the car before it was in such bad
shape - and that Grandpa didn't leave me about
$100,000 with the car."

1 comment:

  1. Amazing what one can find in Coker Creek. I just looked up the 34 plymouth, a beautiful car. I saw the announcements but could not find a picture of Charlie's car.
    Thanks for the auto story.