Working on classic cars brings us back to a simpler time in our lives. I love stories where people are reunited with memories of those times. Here’s one such story…
The AAA Glidden Tour includes a parade of 200 classic cars made before 1943. But for 75-year-old Carol Cromley, it was a family reunion of sorts.
In 1934, her father bought a brand new Chrysler Airflow sedan with a single red horizontal pinstripe that ran along each side of the car. Cromley said that because of her father’s devotion to the car, it became part of the family and the host of a multitude of her childhood memories.
“We did a lot of traveling with that car. We drove it to Daytona three times pulling a trailer, but we usually only took it out for Sunday afternoon drives,” she said. “That car has lots of memories…many, many good memories.”
As Cromley’s father aged and the speed limit on the roads increased, Cromley said her father became uneasy driving the Chrysler and sold it around 1970.
For more than 40 years, Cromley and her sister, who now live together in Brenham, TX, did not see the car. It had passed through several owners until it was acquired by Stephen Murphy, a curator, for his employer’s collection of antique automobiles.
Murphy said that he began looking into the history of the Chrysler because little was known about its first owner, who took such pristine care that the car still had all of its original paint and upholstery.
“There’s a trend in car collecting now toward preserving cars instead of just restoring them. (Cromley’s father) was one of the first proponents of preserving (automobiles) as they are and keeping them in their original condition,” Murphy said.
Murphy contacted Cromley about the car, telling her that it was part of the 67th annual AAA Glidden Tour passing through Central Texas, and would be making a stop in Brenham.
“In the country that popularized affordable automobiles for the masses…people have driven cars from a young age, and grow very attached to a certain model or a certain make, and years later, you kind of miss what you grew up with,” Murphy said.
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