I love muscle cars.
Maybe it’s because I was born when the Ford Mustangs were the bomb. Maybe it’s because there was no contest when comparing the front of a tricked-out Chevelle to that of my mom’s pea-green Vega station wagon.
I’ll also confess I went on a date with a guy because he drove a Mustang. I drove a few muscle cars, and I remember how cool the long stick shift on the floor felt when moving from first to second gear.
The first car I bought was a sensible Honda. She got me where I needed to go economically and without much fanfare. Our next vehicle was a sensible van. And then another sensible van.
I graduated to a sedan when the boys got their own muscle cars — a Camaro and a Mustang — and then back to an SUV when the grandchildren came along. Still, whenever a vintage muscle car passed me on the street, the envy reared back up.
A couple of weeks ago, I was riding my bike and saw a huge tree down in someone’s front yard. The homeowner was surveying the damage from the storm, and we started chatting.
I noticed he was wearing a Corvette T-shirt, and we discussed our mutual fascination with fast cars.
Jack told me about Bumbera’s Performance where we could see some muscle cars in the parking lot. Our 12-year-old grandson loves fast cars, and I thought going there would be a fun, quick outing.
One morning last week, I called to make sure they were open, and I told the manager, Sean, I was a muscle-car fan as was my grandson. He said to stop by any time, so we headed over there that afternoon.
The big red building on the frontage road was easy to spot, and we wasted no time oohing and awing over the restored Mustangs in the parking lot.
Pretty soon, a man came out and asked if I was the lady who’d called that morning. I said I was and he introduced himself as Sean and told us the cars out front were really cool, but he had something even better to show us.
Sean opened the door to the brightly-lit workshop, and the scene was like something out of a muscle-car dream. Cars in various stages of restoration were up on racks and along the spotless floor.
As we walked along, Sean explained what was happening to each one. An owner wanted his vintage Camaro upgraded, another Corvette had been repainted and the upholstery and insides were being replaced and modernized.
On every car, no detail had been overlooked, from the classic knobs on the old push-button radios — AM only, I explained to my grandson — to the dials on the dashboard.
With a wink and a smile, Sean said we weren’t through yet.
He took us to the spotless shop in the back where there was a genuine NASCAR race car.
The car looked just like they do in the movies – decals all over the sides and top, gauges and wires inside and a metal steering wheel.
“Want to sit inside?” Sean asked Alex. With a huge grin, Alex said “yes,” and Sean hoisted Alex in through the window. The amazed look on my grandson’s face was worth a million bucks.
Inside the shop, each car was painstakingly being restored and rejuvenated. That’s because of the outstanding workmanship at this family-owned business.
We wrapped up our amazing visit in the show room admiring a muscle car that was a work of art. I cannot thank Sean enough for the hour of magic he gave us. He went out of his way to show kindness to three strangers.
Sean made this senior citizen’s dream come true, gave her daughter-in-law and grandson an afternoon they’ll never forget and, along the way, made me the coolest grandmother on the block.
Denise’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.