Loretta Gets a Facelift.

My earliest memories of my Dad are of him working on cars. His cars, customer cars, my cars. From my Saturday “following him to work at the body shop days,” to traveling all over the tri-state area to rod runs and car shows, to sanding my 1956 Ford F100 in high school. He is a master painter and I am amazed at what he can do.

When I bought Loretta he was the first person I called to ask about fixing some clear coat peeling that the Thunderbird had. He was confident he could fix it. He was right.

Even at 76 years old, he can bring the life back into any old car. It is in his blood. I did not ask him to fix her, he offered. He loves that I share his love for classic cars. It has always been in my blood in one way or another also.

Below is why Loretta needed a facelift. Years of old clear coat were peeling off. This the is the trunk lid and it represents what the hood and roof both looked like. The challenge for my Dad was to smooth it and MATCH it to the beautiful Rangoon Red that she was painted.

My last post was about successfully driving Loretta across the state of Nebraska. We made it. Whew. The big question was, will we make it back?

We made our way back to Scottsbluff, Nebraska to see how he had accomplished. He said it looked good but I was not sure how well the old, probably 30 year old paint job, would be matched. I had a sneak peek at what he had done, and I was hopeful.

Upon arriving, I could tell already that he had NAILED matching the colors. Wow. He had painted the entire top side of the fenders along with the hood, the roof and the trunk.

I was so happy with how it turned out. Now to see if I could make it the 320 miles back home. Luckily, the weather was beautiful for the end of October with a forecast of over 70 degrees for the drive across the Sandhills of Nebraska back to O’Neill.

My wife had been my “pilot car” on the initial trip TO Scottsbluff, but I decided to make the trek home SOLO as she had some other items to attend to with her parents.

I filled Loretta with 91 octane, filled my cup with complimentary coffee from the hotel and headed east.

I had to take a couple of photos in front of my Dad’s friend, Tom Cozad’s business/Ford museum. Tom is a legendary Ford collector in the panhandle of Nebraska, heck, the whole state. His collection of Ford memorabilia and classic 50’s Fords is a sight to be seen.

Another stop was in front of an abandoned truck stop motel in Minatare, Nebraska.

Another stop was this cool old gas station in Cody, Nebraska.

Loretta ran flawlessly on the trip. I had been really looking forward to the trip home as I had not seen her for about a month. I cued up the audiobook I had been listening to, “Acid for the Children” by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and headed down scenic Highway 20.

Don’t judge me. I love RHCP.

I pulled into O’Neill as Flea was narrating his last few words of his autobiography. He is much more cerebral than you would think.

As I was leaving Scottsbluff, my Dad said, “Hey, I think I have something you might want.” He proceeded to come back from his garage with a leather coat he had replicated the “T-Birds” logo from the “Grease” movies. He had once wore this as a costume for one of the many famous Scottsbluff Valley Street Rods car club Halloween parties that they attended in the past.

Of course I wanted it. For one thing it was PERFECT, the second it belonged to my Dad.

Love you Dad.

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