"Rescued" is probably the best term to describe what happened to this car late this afternoon. Under very tragic circumstances, I was called upon to take this 1971 Cadillac Sedan DeVille from its former home, under threat that it may see the junkyard by the end of the week if something was not done. I don't want to go into too many details or name names out of respect for the others involved, but the story behind how I came to own this vehicle does deserve to be told here in some capacity. If any of my readers wish to find out more of the specifics then they are more than welcome to send me an e-mail and I can point them in the direction of dozens of news articles that will tell the entire story. So, here goes.....
At the end of last weekend, two friends returning from a hiking trip decided to make a stop in a small New Hampshire mountain town to grab a bite to eat and check a few things out before heading home. One of the places they decided to stop at was the local Army/Navy surplus and outdoor gear store. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own whatsoever, this decision proved to be the worst decision they could have ever made. Seconds later, a deranged man who had run a crime spree up and down the East Coast burst into the store with a gun and demanded money from the owner. A small scuffle ensued and the store owner was shot and killed. With the gunman still inside the store, the two young men rushed to aid the store owner and they, too, were tragically shot and killed. One of these young men was the owner of this Cadillac. He was only 25 years old.
A week later, after the young man had been laid to rest in his home town here in Massachusetts, a phone call was made and I was told to come get the car because it pained his parents to see it sitting in the lot in front of the family business. I made the forty mile drive with my girlfriend without hesitation, dropped in a fresh battery, and drove her home. It started up on the first turn of the key, and, although she's a very tired and very beat old car, rode straight and smooth as a Cadillac should. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the car, as it seems to be just on the edge of being unrestorable (structural rot in the frame), but if my inconvenience provides a grieving family with another small step in a healing process that will take a lifetime, then it is more than worth it to me. If any members of his family or any of his friends or acquaintances are reading this or ever stumble upon it, I would like them to know that the car is in good hands, it will never be junked whole, and it will never be raced in a demolition derby. Even if the car is to be parted out, then it will be done so only after I determine the car to be too far gone to be fixed as a whole. Any way you slice it, the car will not go to waste in my hands. It is the very least I owe to the memory of its young owner whose life was cut so tragically short.
I love these old tanks to death, but this is the last way on Earth I ever wanted to end up with one. Stay safe, everybody.