Roger & Mary Lou Kueffer's
from Wilmington, N.C.
Affectionately christened the "Butterscotch Boat", my Step-Father Willie, purchased this Galaxie 500 new from Rufus Harms Ford (no longer in business) in Versailles, Missouri in 1971. Five changes were made to the car during the first week of ownership; headrests and shoulder belts were removed and trashed (can't seem to find replacements), under-dash A/C and rear deck mounted brake light were added by the dealer, and of course….the mud flaps (don't ask). The car is 100% survivor and now sits as it did after that initial burst of "personalization". Car has never been damaged, repaired, painted or otherwise molested. Vinyl top is original and like new. Interior is original and 99.5% perfect. AM radio and all lights/instruments work perfectly. The 351W purrs as if new. One other item: Willie very rarely drove over the speed limit, (heck, I don't think he ever put his tractor in high gear) but on two occasions that I remember, he "buried the speedometer" just to see if it would do it. It did!
Willie's love and fanatical care for the car could not be over-stated. Caught unexpectedly in the rain, the car was garaged as soon as possible and then completely hand dried. A pile of clean bath towels were reserved in our garage just for use in these unfortunate events. Then, in the late '70's, after a run-away cart in the parking lot of the local grocery put a dime size ding in the chrome strip along the lower edge of the trunk, a new strip was promptly installed by the local body shop. As far as I know, that's the only part that has ever been replaced.
In 1991, my Mother became the sole owner-operator of the car and drove it daily between Elliot's Donut Shop, the Nic Nac Café, and Gerhart's Liquor Store (Cousin Bob says that's where Mom and Aunt Martha bought their lottery tickets). In 1998 when Mom sold the homestead and moved from California, MO to La Quinta, CA. ownership passed to me. Not wanting to sell it and having no suitable place to store it at my home (then) in Maryland, my Uncle Jim agreed to store it in his large workshop/garage there in California, MO. Biggest concern at the time was the potential for field mice finding their way inside to damage the interior as Uncle Jim lived at the edge of town between a couple of farms. Enter Cousin Larry with a recommendation to spread Cayenne pepper under the car and put a little in the trunk. A 5 lb. bag purchased from the Amish store protected the car from these destructive little vermin for the next 6 years while it sat undisturbed in Uncle Jim's workshop. (My Wife swears she saw a couple of the little rascals scampering around with Sombrero's and Serapes' and yelling Ole', Ole'.)
Six years later, in December 2004, I made arrangements with the Ford dealer in California, MO to retrieve the car from Uncle Jim and haul it to their shop for a total inspect and repair effort. I was in no hurry for the car so they agreed to put it in the back of the shop and work on it whenever business was slow. About 4 month's later they had finished replacing all belt's and hose's, installed new brakes and shock's, rebuilt the two-barrel carburetor, removed and flushed the gas tank (twice), replaced plug wires, adjusted the valves, rebuilt the distributor, and installed 4 new tires. I sent them a check for $1100 and they put it back in Uncle Jim's garage. There is nothing like doing a little business among friends in small town, America.
In April 2005, I made the decision to trailer the car from Missouri to North Carolina where the Wife and I had finally acquired a home with enough space to properly store and care for it. After one last lap around town to say goodbye, my friend Dickie and I loader her on the trailer and set out for an uneventful (thankfully) but scenic tow through Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina to Wilmington. Most rewarding were the many "thumbs up" gestures received from others as we made our way east.
The "Butterscotch Boat" is now in full retirement after being freshened only with a bucket of water and a little Armor All. Her only remaining "duty" is to occasionally chauffeur the Wife and I to church and local car club cruises. She does a superb job of both.