When Wayne Shafer was just 10 years old, he had the opportunity to purchase a 1949 Plymouth business coupe from his neighbor in Fairfield for just $60. His parents, however, weren’t very happy with the idea, and so the sale did not go through.
In 1980, the original owner of the car died, and the car was put up for auction. Unfortunately, Shafer was busy with baling and missed the auction. So for 14 months he hounded the buyer to sell him the car. A deal was struck, and Shafer became the proud and third owner of the car in 1982.
Everything about the car is just as it was with the original owner. It was used as a work vehicle and sported a ladder rack which is, in part, still evidenced on the back bumper. Behind the split bench seat are the metal shelves his neighbor used to store his tools. The spare tire, with fairly fresh paint, is still in the trunk. The vacuum-operated windshield wipers still speed up the faster you step on the gas pedal.
“The original owner painted the car mint green with a brush. Some of those brush strokes are still visible,” Shafer chuckles.
The car has the original wiring, starter and radiator. He spends a little time tinkering with it, and it runs. It has been stored in numerous places. For a time it was in an old corncrib. His brother was helping him move it out when he noticed a fur ball on the passenger side floor. Shafer figured it was a dead raccoon, but when the fur ball moved, he got out of the car very quickly.
Now Shafer stores the vehicle at his own home, covering it with a tarp and shrink wrap every winter. While he is restoring another vehicle in his garage, he enjoys working on the coupe just a bit here and there to get his hobby fix each week.
His daughter, Simone, had her senior pictures taken with the car.
“When we were discussing what would be passed on to each of our kids someday, it was suggested this car be Simone’s,” Shafer says.
So while the car is his, it has become known in the family as Simone’s car.
Contact Darren Tromblay at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”