'41 Ford Special Deluxe 2-door sedan
By age 15, I was mesmerized by cars, and after arriving in St. Petersburg in January 1957, I set about looking for the perfect fixer-upper. I found this sea-foam Green '41 Ford in need of TLC at a local machine shop for $50. With many promises to just work on it and not take it on the street until I had my license, my folks consented and let me buy it. The car actually was mechanically sound and, except for needing a battery, would have made a great school car. I messed with it, cleaning the engine compartment and adding chrome bits, and removed and filled in the hood ornament and trim strips on the fenders, and I brush-painted it with primer. Our driveway was on a slope so as time wore on I began to roll-start the car and drive it a block or so while Dad was at work and Mom was visiting neighbors or shopping. Eventually I became bold enough to drive from our home on Yale Street at 34th Avenue down to the Five Points intersection (at 34th Avenue, Haines Road and Ninth Street), where the car stalled at the traffic light. Even warm, the engine wouldn't start with the old battery, and I was sweating when a friendly St. Petersburg policeman got out of his car and walked over to me. I was dead. He looked at me — jeans, no shoes, no shirt — and with a little smile said, "Let me give you a push here — and by the way, you're going to take this straight home and leave it, right?" I nodded yes, thankful for a reprieve. When the light changed he gave me a shove across the intersection leading down a hill toward Fourth Street and the old Ford started right up. I did take it home and there it sat until an older friend with a license offered to buy it for $75. The potential for profit overrode any loyalty I had to the old Ford, so she went. Good ones are hard to find now.