Bird among the Cats
Is that a bird I see? Traditionally Jaguars dont play well with others, especially birds, but in this case my cats love their new playmate. As with all of my eccentricities, this new family member is named Barbie. I acquired her in a two-car deal, a 1986 DeLorean, named Ken and his girlfriend Barbie, a 1956 Thunderbird. The whole transaction occurred quite unexpectedly. One day at lunch, a friend asked if I could assist her friend by providing a rough appraisal of her collection. The charming lady had recently lost her husband and wanted to liquidate her possessions before moving back to Ohio. The collection consisted of an early MGA, MGB, DeLorean, and a Thunderbird. I agreed to visit her and help put a monetary value on each of the cars. When I arrived at the Acreage area of West Palm Beach, I was greeted by the couples dream garage. The structure was a four-bay, double deep garage with a huge playroom/guest accommodations above. The garage portion was an obvious legacy of love. Each of the cars was in a different stage of restoration. The T-bird was the only vehicle completed. The upstairs was like stepping into a wonderful time warp. The room was a recreation of a 1950s diner, complete with soda fountain. After reviewing all of the documentation for the vehicles, I was ready to offer my opinion on value. I suddenly felt quite uncomfortable. It was difficult to tell this lovely lady the realistic monetary value. Owners naturally bring emotion into the equation and can be hurt by the reality of the situation. Trying not to offend her, I tactfully offered my assessment and said my goodbyes. About two weeks later, she called my office and asked if I knew of any wholesalers to liquidate the DeLorean and T-bird. She could not part with the MGs for sentimental reasons. I provided what information I could. A couple of weeks later the wonderful lady called me again. She asked if I might have any personal interest in the two vehicles. The offer stirred my imagination. The Thunderbird had been professionally restored and was in wonderful condition. The couple had traded a 57 Chevy and a 57 T-bird for this vehicle. The question was, could I imagination myself owning and driving a Thunderbird again (I had owned and wrecked one in my late teens). OF COURSE I COULD! The only fly in the ointment was that it was a two-car deal; I would have to buy the DeLorian too. At the risk of being divorced or shot in my sleep, I decided to go ahead with the purchase. I hooked up my trailer and prepared to bring Barbie and Ken to their new home. Several months later, a friend from Tampa traded me a 1965 MKII Jag for the Delorean. Ken and Barbie broke up. Just as Barbie and Mark got to know each other, one of the S.F.J.C. members indicated he would like to purchase the MKII as a gift for his wife. Mark is gone and Barbie is now single. Hopefully she will have a new boyfriend soon.