Some things have to be taken on faith alone.
All her friends told Sheila Stoneburner that the old Ford Thunderbird she had stored at her father’s place near Woodward would never start after he passed away. The 1967 T-Bird had been started only on occasion, and her friends meant well when they tried to prepare her to have the car both she and her father had loved towed into Boone to her home.
But Shelia had a little more faith than that.
“We put a little gas in the carburetor, and she fired right up,” she says as a warm smile crosses her face.
Sheila fell in love with the Thunderbird shortly after her father, the late Russell Stoneburner, bought it from a friend. A love of classic cars runs deep in the Stoneburner family, and both father and daughter knew a good thing when they saw it.
“My dad always had antique cars,” Sheila recalls.
The passion for old cars starts with an eye for Detroit style and touches just about all five senses.
“We enjoy driving them, and how they sound. It’s just the joy of getting behind the wheel of an old car and taking off,” she explains.
Shelia’s dad helped her work on the car when she first bought it from him, and since that time she’s fortunate to have some good friends who help with body and mechanical work.
The Stoneburner love of classic automobiles seems sure to pass to the next generation, as Sheila’s son, Dillon Terrones, can hardly wait to take the Thunderbird out for a spin himself. He’s only 13 — early yet to even start thinking about signing up for driver’s education classes — but he already knows exactly the car he wants for himself.
“My dream car is a 1967 Shelby GT 500; it’s a Ford, a Mustang,” he explains. “When I was little, I watched this movie called ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds,’ and that car was in it. It an awesome car — that’s my dream car.”
But short of getting his dream car, he’d love to see the 1967 T-Bird passed down to him some day. However, some negotiating may be in order for sharing privileges with his older brother, Anthony.
For now, Shelia loves taking all her boys out for a ride in the Thunderbird every chance she gets.