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39-lucille 2014.03


One of our first questions when we interview people about their vehicles is why did they choose that particular car or truck?


The basic idea behind MyStarCollectorCar is the story behind the vehicles and we assess the story’s worth based upon this simple premise.


Some stories have little or no value because the owners have purchased the vehicles as a passing fancy or, even worse, as an investment with a quick turnover in mind and a soulless buy-low-sell-high story as the driving force behind the purchase.


We avoid these stories like they were ridden with the Ebola virus because the car hobby is more about the emotional value and not the book value for real car guys.


These kinds of temporary car owners would probably have tried to buy Trigger from Roy Rogers so they could sell him to a pet food company for fun and profit.


However, the vast majority of car owners own their vehicles for all the right reasons and we seek these people out every week at shows.


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We heard about Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox’s 1939 Oldsmobile before we even saw the car because it was a star attraction in a parade and it caught the attention of many locals. We missed the parade but we caught the buzz of the excitement created by the car and its young owner.


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Eventually we tracked down Rod because we heard the car had a long history with his family and we needed to know how a young guy in his early 30s ended up with a car from the late 30s.


He told us he “never thought he would be a car guy” and we have heard this comment from many people who have connected with a car for sentimental reasons.


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Rod’s Great-Uncle Gerry had purchased the Olds as a brand new car all those years ago, but he was unable to enjoy much time behind the wheel at the time because he was a young man who chose to serve his country in WW II and joined the Canadian Navy.


Gerry was one of the many young men who faced danger in the Atlantic during the war while protecting others from enemy naval attacks. Gerry survived the war and returned home to his former life in Canada, including his ‘39 Olds.


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Gerry settled into his post-war life with his wife and Oldsmobile in Manitoba,Canada and eventually Rod came to spend a lot of time with his great-uncle and aunt.


They never had children, so Rod became like a grandson to them and he enjoyed every minute of his time with the two of them.


The years passed and Rod had moved into the young adult phase of his life, complete with children and many other responsibilities.


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Rod remained close to his great-uncle and was with him four days before the man passed away; it was a moment when his Great-Uncle Gerry handed him the keys to his beloved Oldsmobile.


The photo shows Gerry and Rod together for Gerry’s final trip in his beloved Oldsmobile.


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Rod was overwhelmed by his gesture and honored to be the new caretaker of the family heirloom. He was able to take his great-uncle for one last ride in the car and the moment was treasured by both men.


The car was pampered and only has 16,000 miles on it after 75 years. Rod is the right guy to protect its legacy and will give the Olds the same kind of care under his watch as GreatUncle Gerry.


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Rod runs the car every few weeks when he finds the time in his busy political life, but he will keep the trips to a minimum because the car is a low mileage survivor and Rod has no intention of changing his great-uncle’s game plan for the car.


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The future looks bright for this car from the distant past and we can thank one family for the happy ending to this car story.


Jim Sutherland


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