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My Favorite Car: '41 Graham Hollywood (customized), Jim Dence, 51, Seminole

'41 Graham Hollywood (customized)

Several years ago, I came across this very strange vehicle sitting along the road with a "For Sale" sign on it. The car looked rather sad. It was completely gutted out and had been in the back of an old body shop in Seminole for some 30 years. The car was a 1941 Graham Hollywood. They were only built as four-door sedans. When I spoke with the owner about the car, she informed me that her husband bought the car in the late '40s and wanted to customize it. Well that he did. The windshield came from a 1940s Chris Craft boat. Taillights from a 1949 Lincoln. The trunk was originally the roof of a 1951 Buick, and the list goes on. I just had to have this car. My friend and I spent the next several months bringing it back from the dead. For three years, I drove around town with it in gray primer. Then I approached my friend about restoring it. Six months later, the car was done. I even had flame throwers put on the exhaust. I would pull out the choke cable and dump raw gas down the exhaust pipes and ignite the fuel with spark plugs attached on the exhaust tips and a Model T coil. What fun during the winter months throwing 6 feet of flame out the back of the car to keep the car show spectators warm. I held onto her for eight years, then traded her for another toy. I miss those days at the car shows, but I look back and remember the smiles that people had when they would pass by. That's what it's all about anyway. Love those old cars!

You say you had cool wheels yourself?

Whether it was your first or your favorite — or both — we'd like to hear your story.

All we need is an email telling us:

About the car: the make, model and year and a short description of why you love it.

About you: your name, address and date of birth.

Then, attach a high-resolution photo or scanned image of the car to the email and send it to drive@tampa

My Favorite Car: '41 Graham Hollywood (customized), Jim Dence, 51, Seminole 11/27/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:30am]
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