People connect with their cars on different levels. For many, their car is a means to get from Point A to Point B with little or no fanfare. For others, an emotional bond is created between person and machine. This bond can be made because of a fond memory associated with the car or maybe it is the style, color or even the tone of the exhaust that got their heart pumping.
I am always curious what causes people to connect with their cars…especially when it might be a quirky or unique vehicle. I usually satisfy my curiosity by talking to people at car shows or in a store parking lot. These interactions are typically short and to the point.
The Drive Thru Interview mimics the typical car show interaction, but without the awkward approach. For this month, I would like to share some background on my friend Juli:
Name: Juli Williams
Age: 48 <insert grimacing emoji here> Lol
Current Residence: Monroe, MI
Occupation: Senior Product Strategy Manager at FordDirect.
Current Fun Car: 1970 Chevelle Malibu AKA “Chameleon” (the Malibu pkg is the trim right below the SS)
Reason for buying this car:
I hung out with gearheads in high school, which is where I picked up my love of classic muscle cars! I got to be up close and personal with GTOs, Mustangs, Grand Nationals, and El Caminos but I fell in love with the 1970 Chevelle, in particular. As I aged, I never forgot my dream of owning one and would periodically check the class car traders and craigslist.
One day in 2013, I happened upon an online ad for a 1970 Chevelle Malibu- completely OEM, numbers matching and untouched! I couldn’t believe my good fortune, it’s exactly what I wanted. Bonus that she was my favorite color, GREEN. (*grin*) My husband offered to call and set up a meet and greet with the owner to break the ice- which proved to be more than he bargained for. I heard about the call later, my husband almost hung up on the seller, twice. He was less than cordial, abrupt, and did not seem to want to actually sell the car. They finally managed to agree upon a time and date so I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived.
It Takes a Turn
I feel like I need to tell the rest of this story, because everything changed when I introduced myself. I was honest, told him I was looking to buy my dream car and if everything checked out, we were willing to pay his full asking because it was a fair price. You could see him almost tangibly breathe a sigh of relief! He went on to explain that this was his dad’s car, it was always garage-kept in Tennessee and he hauled it up to Michigan after his dad passed away. The day my husband called, he’d pretty much decided he was going to take the ads down because he was tired of people calling who didn’t know the value and wanted a “bargain”. Well, the car checked out… she was in beautiful shape- the dash, carpet and headliner looked almost new and even the vinyl top was still shiny thanks to regular Armor All treatments. We signed the title and he was wiping away tears as we trailered my new car to haul her home.
How you use the car (weekend drives, track day, daily commuter, etc):
We take her to local car shows and for weekend drives to get Slurpees from 7-11 (don’t judge! haha)
Modifications made (or plan to make) to your car:
We swapped out the drum brakes for disc, installed a new alternator and put new tires/rims on. Hoping in the next couple years to put in a new GM crate engine with a little more horsepower and swap out the bench seat for buckets!
Any other fun/unique cars in your life?:
My daily driver is a Ford F150 but can’t wait to get our new 2021 Bronco!
I know several people who do restomods and have had the pleasure of getting to go behind-the-scenes with them at AutoRama in Detroit
Any dream car you would love to get?
I already have my dream car, but my “if I won the lottery” vehicle is a McLaren P1
Supporting the Hobby
I really appreciate Juli sharing the story about her Chevelle, and hope this inspires you to think differently about car ownership. This is the intent of Vehicle Nanny, and certainly helps nurture the automotive interests of budding car enthusiasts.
In addition to sharing stories like this, I am providing ongoing support of automotive programs designed to inspire and educate young car enthusiasts through the sale of items in the Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store. All proceeds go directly to the Hagerty Automotive Youth Program, so I hope you can find a fun item for yourself that also supports our budding car enthusiasts.