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Discussion Starter #1
So a couple of weeks ago I noticed this car sitting outside the local pick n pull, a 1990 Super Coupe in pretty mint condition. I had them start the engine and it had a bad rod knock and as much as I wanted the car I didn't have the room to store it or the money to rebuild the engine. (As I talked about in this thread: http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=141153) So as much as it pained me, I waited for the Pick n Pull to take the car into the back so I could get the seats from it as well as the manual transmission.

Since I've had a Thunderbird, I'd always shoot the breeze with my best friend and he would tell me about an old man named Bruce who he had known for many years when he was a kid. This man had taken my friend under his wing and been like a second father to him, taking him around to different places, helping him with school projects, teaching him about old antique stuff and sharing his insights on life. My friend told me about how this Bruce guy had a mint condition Super Coupe that he had ordered new in 1990 and kept under a car cover for the life of the vehicle. My friend thought it was really cool that I bought a Thunderbird because he had fond memories of riding around in this car with this guy who may as well been a father. Well a few years ago, Bruce became very ill and told my friend that when he passed away that my friend could have both his old Ford pickup and this pristine Super Coupe that he had such meticulously cared for.

Soon after that, Bruce passed away and his estranged wife came into the picture and sold off his belongings to the lowest bidder. She sold that Ford pickup for $500 and the Super Coupe for $1000, sold his house, threw out his belongings, and took off to Mexico. Basically everything disappeared and my friend was left to wonder for the last several years what had ever happened to any of that stuff that Bruce had taken so much care of.

Come today, I notice on Pick n Pulls website that the Super Coupe they had out front was now in their inventory, and I made an effort to make it there as soon as I could to pull everything I wanted off of it. Thinking more about the SC seats and the M5R2 than I was about old stories, I went through the car much like I normally do, checking all of the compartments, evaluating whether I really want the parts or not before making the effort to pull them. I open the glove box and I am surprised to find the original 1990 Thunderbird owners manual. I decide to take it, figuring I could list the thing on here or on eBay and make a few dollars off of it. I set the manual in my lap and begin flipping through the pages.

Just then, a small folded piece of paper falls out of the manual onto the floor of the car. Curious as to what it read, I pick it up and unfold it. I quickly recognize it as a receipt and notice that the address of the restaurant it came from was in my home town more than 100 miles away. At the bottom of the receipt below the date (sometime in 2005), meal, and tax totals, read a name: Bruce G_____.

I quickly call up my friend and he confirmed that it was indeed the same Bruce and that it was indeed the same car. As shocked and saddened as he was to hear that the vehicle was in a state of salvage, he was happy when I told him that I fully intend to take the wheels and tires, seats, door panels, pedals, console, transmission, driveshaft, and differential and use them on my own Thunderbird. I also told him I am giving him that owners manual with the receipt in it to put in his personal collection.

It really got me thinking about some deep stuff. I realized that when we finally do leave this earth, all we leave behind are memories and the items we prized and cherished. I feel that in order to properly preserve someones memory, we must also respect the items they preserved because that's what they would have wanted.

While I now wish I could have been able to buy the car whole, I am happy that I can at least have the vital organs of that SC live on in my car. Bruce was a Thunderbird enthusiast and I am more than happy to preserve his memory by preserving his parts in my car. Id like to hope that if something ever happened to me, that someone along the line could derive the same happiness from what made me happy.

If any of you guys read this all the way through, thanks for your time. I was just astonished by the coincidence and since we are all Thunderbird enthusiasts here, I thought some of you might enjoy the story. I will now share with you a couple of pictures my friend sent me.

Bruce with his mother and the SC:



And an old Google street view picture of the car from outside of his house, several years ago:

 

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Great story. Such a shame that his wife trashed the car and all his stuff, and that it wan't possible for you to salvage the whole car.

I hate seeing houses/cars/items that you know someone really cared about and looked after, go into disrepair or get wrecked when they pass into the hands of another after the original owners death.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow Conner what a coincidence good story . Its a shame the car was trashed .
Great story. Such a shame that his wife trashed the car and all his stuff, and that it wan't possible for you to salvage the whole car.

I hate seeing houses/cars/items that you know someone really cared about and looked after, go into disrepair or get wrecked when they pass into the hands of another after the original owners death.
I agree, really the only thing that makes the current condition of the car less sad is that the car has 120k more miles on it since the original owner had it, and it really seems like somebody got a lot of enjoyment from the vehicle. They just didn't care for it very well.

Its strange walking through a junkyard and thinking that all of those cars were once new and people paid lots of money for them. People were proud of them and showed them off to their friends. People left their weddings in it, or came home from the hospital in it, or took their date to prom in it. The vehicles are tangible objects attached to memories.

I get the feeling that when the once important vehicles are no longer cared for, neither are the once important memories attached to them, and that's a shame.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ran into 87fubar at the junkyard today pulling the seats from it, that was pretty cool. :)
 

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Its strange walking through a junkyard and thinking that all of those cars were once new and people paid lots of money for them. People were proud of them and showed them off to their friends. People left their weddings in it, or came home from the hospital in it, or took their date to prom in it. The vehicles are tangible objects attached to memories.
This is a big reason why I still have my 84 Crown Vic. Brought my baby sister home from the hospital in it, then when it got passed to me in 94 it served as a place to hang out with friends, asked my girlfriend out as she was sitting on the front fender, and then 4 years later I asked her to marry me with her sitting on the exact same spot, lol... Then 8 years later found out we were having our daughter as I was coming home from the parts store w/ parts for the T-bird in it.

Sadly rust got the better of the frame and I had to put her in storage in 09. She now sits comfortably in one of the bays of my 4 car garage waiting for me to part out the 89 Vic I have for the frame. My wife knows full well I won't let it go and wouldn't let me anyways. She loves that car almost as much as I do, even though she swears it's still "too big" to drive, lol... Funny thing is she drives an 03 CV now.

I have her Dad's 74 MG's from when he passed from cancer a few years back as well to care for. They were his passion and they were left to us to care for. I promised to keep the Midget going and had a few discussions about how to take care of them before he died, and since I'm the gearhead of the family he felt it was best to leave them with us. He was gracious enough to not only give us another car after the wife parked the T-bird into a concrete median, he was helping me with the body work as well. Guess old habits die hard.

Most people see cars as just a tool to get them from point A to point B and nothing more. Then there are the crazy people like us that refuse to give up :D Good to know that parts of that SC will live on.
 

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That's a great story, and good photos...I had a friend like that in CA, also gone now...everybody needs a friend like that at least once in their lives. Good thing you are saving as much of the car as possible.
 

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Amazing story, it really is sad to see something like this happen.

I'm glad that you're saving as much as possible!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Amazing story, it really is sad to see something like this happen.

I'm glad that you're saving as much as possible!
I pulled a ton of stuff today, getting the rest of the driveline componentry next weekend. I gave my friend the steering wheel, shift knob, hood emblem and owners manual to remember his friend. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
that shifter went to better home then mine :thumbsup:
I thought so too, I realized I could get a shift knob from anywhere but that one has alot more significance to him than me. :)
 

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This is a big reason why I still have my 84 Crown Vic. Brought my baby sister home from the hospital in it, then when it got passed to me in 94 it served as a place to hang out with friends, asked my girlfriend out as she was sitting on the front fender, and then 4 years later I asked her to marry me with her sitting on the exact same spot, lol... Then 8 years later found out we were having our daughter as I was coming home from the parts store w/ parts for the T-bird in it.

Sadly rust got the better of the frame and I had to put her in storage in 09. She now sits comfortably in one of the bays of my 4 car garage waiting for me to part out the 89 Vic I have for the frame. My wife knows full well I won't let it go and wouldn't let me anyways. She loves that car almost as much as I do, even though she swears it's still "too big" to drive, lol... Funny thing is she drives an 03 CV now.

I have her Dad's 74 MG's from when he passed from cancer a few years back as well to care for. They were his passion and they were left to us to care for. I promised to keep the Midget going and had a few discussions about how to take care of them before he died, and since I'm the gearhead of the family he felt it was best to leave them with us. He was gracious enough to not only give us another car after the wife parked the T-bird into a concrete median, he was helping me with the body work as well. Guess old habits die hard.

Most people see cars as just a tool to get them from point A to point B and nothing more. Then there are the crazy people like us that refuse to give up :D Good to know that parts of that SC will live on.
Another great story. And I thought I was the only one who thought about cars like this! I wish I still had some of my dads old cars. I remember crying my eyes out for days when he sold the first car I remember him having (I was about 8) an old Ford Cortina Mk1 - not sure if you ever got those over in the US. I bought my own version when I was older. I wish I'd never sold that one too!!

<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_Pwn3ocejHpLeRGMAamF55tYv6S_p19L0nL7ewBDnFU?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RDeokHJTP5I/Tcz-m-mwZbI/AAAAAAAAIMM/q4wWheT6Gds/s800/Cortina.JPG" height="184" width="310" /></a>
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
So here's a thread bump. I was thinking a lot about this story and the gravity of it all and just wanted give an update.

It's been two years since I completed my transmission swap using Bruce's parts. My dashboard, console top, pedals, driveshaft, and seats all came from Bruce's car. I'm acutely aware every time I drive my car that its not just me who has gotten satisfaction from the world of MN12s. The only time I have ever seen my friend tear up was when I let him climb into Bruce's seat, and drive my car using his transmission and pedals. To me, it was the least I could do for a fellow car enthusiast and friend.
 

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Great story. Than you for sharing.
 
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