It all began when I was 13 years old.  I had saved $300 over the course of three years mowing yards with my grandpa in southern Illinois in a small town, McLeansboro, IL.  While going through the classifieds of the local newspaper I came across an ad for a car and decided that I wanted it.  It was a 1972 Opel.  I talked my grandpa into taking me to go see it (which was easy because he once owned an Opel and loved it).  And yes, I was only 13 at the time but you have to take in consideration that this was back in the late 70's / early 80's and I lived on a farm in rural America.  My grandpa negotiated for me, bought the car for $350 and drove it home for me as it was over 40 miles from my house.  The fireworks began when I got the car home because I hadn't asked my parents for approval!  Before anyone gets any grandeurs  about it being an Opel GT, it wasn't.It was a 1972 Opel Ascona A 1.6S.  I drove the car around the farm and throughout the country on gravel roads until I turned 16 years old.  And that's when I saw my very first Ford Falcon.There was a guy that always hung out at the gas station that I helped my parents run who wanted help working on a baby blue, 1964 Ford Falcon convertible.  Eager to learn body work and to see the car I readily agreed (actually at 16, I was more interested in seeing the convertible car verses actually having to do any work on it).  I thought the car was the coolest car I had ever seen.  We worked on the body, filled in more rusted out areas with bondo than one would think possible, sanded the entire car down and repainted it baby/powder blue. Knowing how much I loved the car and eager to make some cash, the guy traded me the Falcon for my Opel (which I had driven into the ground) and $300 cash.  I couldn't believe that I was now the proud owner of a convertible!!  Who cared if the rear clear vinyl window was now a solid color of rust that you couldn't see through, or that there were spots in the upholstery that needed repaired, or that the car used oil…it was a convertible and I was 16 years old!   I drove the car during my junior and senior years of high school up until the brakes went out on it at which point I parked the car on the farm.  However, we had a billy goat who loved to climb and it climbed onto the top of the convertible and fell through to the front seats the first time and the second time into the back seat.  And to add insult to injury, my dad's breaks on his truck went out and rolled back into the side of my car just behind the driver's door into the rear panel thus knocking out one big chunk of bondo!  It was at that point that I decided to park the car in a safe place on the farm and put a tarp over the top of it to keep the rain out.  One year later I moved to Nevada to attend UNLV but never forgot about my Falcon.My ten year high school reunion was approaching so I decided to drive my truck to Illinois and haul my Falcon back to Nevada so that I could work on it.  After 9 years of sitting in the dirt, the tires had went flat but to my surprise they actually aired up!  I was able to get it onto a trailer and off to Las Vegas, NV we went.  After getting it back to Las Vegas, I was able to really check it over to see what needed to be done to it.  Sometime during the past 10 years the tarp had blown off.  The floor pans started collecting water and snow which caused the floor pans to rust away to nothing, the vinyl interior was shot and the seat frames had also rusted away.  Being the optimistic person that I am, I figured some new floor panels would do the trick and we'd be on the roads in no time.  Sadly, due to the unibody construction of the Falcon, the rocker panels weren't being held in place by hardly anything at the front of the car because of the extreme rusting.  I was heartbroken.  My dream car was to remain only a dream (ironically enough, I still have it parked in my back yard!!).Determined to drive a Falcon I decided to buy a parts car that had a good body that I could transfer my convertible engine and transmission into.   I found such a car on good ole Ebay and to my surprise, the car was located in North Las Vegas.  I couldn't believe my luck!  I won the bid for $1,350.  I had the car hauled to my house and just knew that I would be on the road within a few months.  However, life had other plans for me and I ended up working ten to twelve hours a day five and seven days a week and never found the time to work on the car.  My original Falcon was parked in my backyard and the one I had just purchased was parked in my driveway.Fast forward a few years…I was still working crazy hours, still had two parts cars but did not have a Falcon to drive.  It was at that point that I had enough money to buy a car that was already in driving condition (which totally negated the joy of restoring a car myself) since I didn't have the time to actually work on one.  Funny how life works out.  I looked around Vegas for a Falcon but couldn't find any that I wanted.  I really wanted a car that was either just like the one I had in high school or very similar.  Back to good ole Ebay.  For months I scoured through the listings until I finally found a car that was 90% the same type of car that I wanted with two big differences, instead of having a 6 cylinder it was a V8 and instead of having bucket seats, it was a bench seat.  The positives by far outweighed those to differences:  I decided that this was the car for me and bought it before the sale ended.  Woo Hoo!!! I finally had a Falcon Convertible once again.  Bad part, which there always seems to be one…I was still working 10-12 hours a day in Las Vegas, NV and the car was located in Appleton, WI.  I was due for a vacation and instead of having the car shipped to NV I decided that I would fly to Wisconsin and drive the car back.  The gentleman that I bought the car from agreed to store the car for me until the end of August, 2006.  To my surprise he further agreed to pick me up at the airport to take me to the car so that I could drive it back to Nevada.  After living in Las Vegas for more years than I care to mention, his generosity and genuine thoughtfulness was a pleasant surprise.   We had exchanged several e-mails and phone calls before I arrived at Appleton airport and struck up a friendship.  Once again, he surprised me by having the oil changed and the transmission oil & filter changed so that the car would be ready for the road trip.I solicited my friend, Elton, to fly to Appleton with me and assist with driving the car back to Las Vegas.  The gentleman actually brought the car to the airport so that I didn't have to find my way back to the freeway from where he had it stored.  Wow, super nice guy!  When I crawled into the driver's seat I felt like I was in high school all over again.  Woo hoo!!  I put the top down and we were on the road, finally in my 1964 Ford Falcon convertible.  We weren't too far out of Appleton when a car full of girls went to pass us by on the freeway.  They kept looking at my car, I kept looking at them and the next thing I know, two of them pulled up their shirts and flashed us.  I love this car!  I looked over to my buddy to see if he saw what had happened and he was passed out, missed the entire thing.We drove straight from Appleton to Denver where we had to stay the night because the generator quit.  We looked around for someone that could fix it but rather than wasting the time I decided to take a gamble.  1964 cars don't require a lot of electricity. The major things to run are the coil, turn lights and break lights.  I bought a new fully charged battery for the car and bought a small battery jumper battery pack.  We charged the battery jumper pack overnight in the hotel room and installed the new battery in the morning.  After putting one quart of oil in the engine we were on the road once more.  We made it to Las Vegas without further incident.  I was surprised that we only used one quart of oil the entire trip.  Not bad for an original engine that had 81,000 miles on it!

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