One of our cars, the car that's pictured in my avitar, is the 68 Calais that I inherited from my Father, who got it from his Mother when she passed away several years ago. It's a well used, and fairly-well maintained car that my Grandparents bought in Austin Texas during a trip through Texas when the oil pump in the Cadillac they were riding in failed. So my wife and I are the third owners.
When we got the car, the master cylinder leaked, but the car ran fairly well, considering it's 103K miles on the odometer. Not having space to work on it, we put it in semi-storage for several years, starting it and running it around the storage lot about once a month. We finally got our shop built and brought it home a couple of years ago. Last winter, I finally got around to replacing the master cylinder and the leaking rubber brake lines. I did some other things, and got it in decent running condition, figuring I'd fix other things when other pressing projects got done.
After that, I discovered that wonderful thing we have here in Texas called 'Antique Plates'. Those plates are relatively cheap, and allow you to operate your car, albeit in a limited manner, without having to get the annual emissions/safety inspection. That allowed me to actually drive the car while I worked on putting together a replacement exhaust system. I'll definitely be replacing it, I just wanted to be able to drive the car, hopefully driving it to the muffler shop to get all those rusty parts replaced.
Yesterday, we decided to move some projects around in the shop so I could get to installing the Hotchkis springs on my wife's Dakota R/T that we got for it several years ago. I figured that since the weather was nice, I'd also pull 'ol Bessie (the name my Grandmother gave the car) out of her spot and take it down to the gas station for a fill up. We moved the race car out of the way, pulled the Dakota out, and then pulled the Calais out of it's spot. After putting the Seville in the spot formerly-occupied by the Dakota, we headed down the road in the Calais. It's about 2 miles to the local gas station. We got there, poured almost $100 worth of premium into the tank (man, it's been a LONG time since I've filled that car), and then fired it up and headed home.
The car ran wonderfully during the trip, in spite of a leaking transmission and poorly-functioning choke. The car looks a bit rough. I still have the hubcaps and fender skirts off the car from the brake work (I want to clean and polish the hubcaps to get the red haze from the Alabama red clay that they are coated with off), but we drove it just the same. It was fun. REALLY fun! We brought her back home, and backed her into her mooring, hooked up the Battery Tender and put the cover back on. It was really nice to get the car out for an all-too-rare road trip. We'll probably drag it back out one of these Friday afternoons to take it to a local cruise-in that local bunch of people hold every week. That should be fun, too. I hope to have the hubcaps cleaned and back on it by then.
Thanks for letting me share my fun story. Now I have to try to find some upholstery fabric that matches the fabric in the car. The front seat needs to be re-padded, and my wife commented that she thinks the fabric needs to be replaced to get the dusty smell out of it. Hopefully something close still exists for not too much.