This post isn’t one of my wacky dreams, but it is “a dream come true.” Magic happened for my 88 year old father on Thanksgiving weekend. He got a visit from a Sprite. A sprite is a mystical creature like the one shown below, however this story is about a different type of sprite. A classic car. Specifically, a mid 60’s Austin Healey Sprite.
Back story: As a kid, my dad had two autos, a blue 1961 Chevy Pickup, and a red 1965 Austin Healey Sprite. He still has both of them, but the truck needs a bit of work, and the Sprite…well…it needs A LOT of work.
My dad hasn’t driving in 2 years since the Sprite quit running. It barely has any paint left, the interior is mostly gone, and the engine probably needs an overhaul. Basically, the poor thing is just sitting in the back yard.
I asked him what he wanted to do with it, and he said he wanted to fix it up and put flowers on it like my Honda. He loves my Honda.
But it would take a lot of funds to fix that poor little Sprite. I have had several people ask me if he would sell it, and the person most interested was my dad’s best friend, Nacho. (His name always makes me hungry for chips and melted cheese.)
My dad and I go to car shows, and we also stop and look at old cars if they are parked in a parking lot or on the street. It is not out of the ordinary for me to wave down an old car and talk to a driver. I like unusual cars.
This is where the story begins: It is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I am visiting my dad and we are discussing what to do about the Sprite. I had bought some cute flower magnets for our potential undertaking. I am sitting on the floor sorting through the magnets.
My dad is relaxing in his recliner. He shakes his head, “I guess I just better quit dreaming. I’m never going to be able to fix that car. It’s best to get rid of it.”
I said, “Well, it would cost a lot to fix it. What you need is a fairy godmother to wave her wand and turn your pumpkin in to a coach.”
He says, “You said Nacho was interested?” I nod explaining that Nacho is interested but he doesn’t have any money right now. My dad is quiet for a minute then says, “Tell Nacho that I am just going to give him the car. He is my only real friend. He has been good to me. If he wants the car, I will find the title and just give it to him.” I am surprised. My dad really loves that little red car.
I go outside to take in the nice sunny day and my dad follows me out carrying the telephone. He stands on the front porch and calls Nacho to tell him the good news. Nacho is very touched by my dad’s generosity.
Little does my dad know that right at this moment, as he is giving away his beloved car to Nacho, another car that looks a lot like how his car used to look, is on its way to his house on the back of a flat bed truck.
(Side Note: In my next post I’ll tell you how this all came to be in great detail, which is a wacky story itself. But all you need to know for now is: I had bought my dad an already fixed up red Austin Healey Sprite. I knew it was on its way, so I had coaxed my dad outside on purpose. It was great timing for me that he decided to give Nacho the old one. I didn’t know if he would be okay with me replacing his old one since I figured it had sentimental value. It was a risk. But it turned out to be one worth taking as you will see.)
The flat bed truck with a shiny red Sprite pulls up in front of my dad’s house. My dad is still on the phone giving his old car to Nacho. I go out to stall the driver while my dad is on the phone.
I finally have to take the phone from my dad and tell Nacho we will call him back. Then I point to the street. My dad thinks I saw the car and flagged it down to stop so we can go look at it. He has no idea it is being delivered to him as a gift.
(There is a funny moment when my dad gets distracted by seeing a penny on the driveway. He always notices coins on the ground.)
Here is the video I took on my phone:
It amazes me how smooth he drove it. He had hip surgery a few months ago, and he released that clutch like it was nothing. I pulled it into the front lawn for him and stalled the darn thing twice, and I am used to driving a stick. I have to say, it was really fun to drive it. You sit really low to the ground like a toy car. I felt like I was at Autopia at Disneyland. No wonder he loved that little car.
And yes, we parked it in the front yard and put flowers all over it.
Next post I will tell you how I almost didn’t get the car until fate (or perhaps a magical sprite or fairy godmother) intervened. It came upon me quite by accident. I guess it was meant to be.