You have to wonder, somewhere out in Colorado today, is there a man with graying hair telling his grandchildren about the beautiful car he traded away in Iowa because Grandma — then a young, expectant mother — couldn’t fit in it anymore?
“The story goes that a couple was passing through from Colorado, and the woman was very pregnant and couldn’t get in and out of the car, so they traded it off,” explains Chris Scott, the very proud owner of that little Austin Healey.
Chris’ dad, Rick Scott, bought the 1966 Austin Healey Sprite here in Fort Dodge back in 1967. It was the first car he ever owned.
“He had a choice between that or a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, and he chose the Austin,” Chris notes.
Today, the Bel Air might be worth more, but there was nothing more fun for a young kid to drive than the two-seater Austin that made the girls’ heads turn.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get to drive it all that long.
“Going into the summer of 1969, Dad blew up the motor and so it sat in my grandparents’ garage from the summer of ’69 up until the summer of 1983,” Chris says.
The car became a favorite place for Chris to play as a kid. He remembers climbing inside it and dreaming of cruising the open road. Finally, in 1983. his grandmother had looked at it long enough.
“My grandmother called and said, ‘If you want the car come get it, otherwise I’m going to scrap it.’ ” Chris recalls.
That was all the motivation Chris and his dad needed. They pulled the car home on a golf car trailer and worked on it every free moment. Soon, it was humming again, and they were taking it to car shows often.
“Dad always said that someday the car would be mine, and last year for my 39th birthday he gave me the title to it,” Chris says, noting that the vehicle is far more than “just a car” to him.
Fittingly enough, his grandfather, the late Ernie Scott, had co-signed so that Rick could buy the car back in ’67. More than 40 years later, Rick passed it on to the next generation.
As a couple in Colorado can likely attest, it’s a hard car to forget.