Friday, 13 September 2013

The Sept. 13 Tait Debate: A sentimental journey in a '72 Cutlass Supreme

When Garry Meyer emailed me Wednesday to say he would be by Thursday morning to pick me up in his 1972 convertible Cutlass Supreme, my reaction was “Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure.” I’ve known Garry for years as a great master of ceremonies for events and a great practical joker. Nineteen-seventy-two Cutlass? A convertible? Bring on the pictures. But then, just after 9 a.m., Garry was in front of my place, adjusting the top in a brown ’72 Cutlass Supreme. “We’ll take the top down for the ride back,” Garry said.

All summer long Garry and I have been planning a trip from Edmonton to Camrose to visit a mutual friend. Thursday was the day. Away we went on a warm fall morning where I learned about the brown Cutlass. When I got in one look at the dashboard took me back to my teenage years: an AM radio with a needle indicating the station frequency, little metal levers for the heat, long rods on the passenger side for air vents on the side of the vehicle and laps belts minus the shoulder harness. We weren’t even five minutes away from my place when people started honking horns and flashing the thumbs up. People loved see the car. “I once had someone leave me a note on the windshield saying if I ever wanted to sell it call — and there was a woman’s phone number attached to it,” says Garry. Another time he ran into the wife of the car’s original owner in a Sherwood Park parking lot where she thanked Garry for taking such good care of the car.

But he has no plans to sell the car. In fact, he restored the vehicle twice, the last being when he put a 350 Rocket under the hood. He loves driving it and has wheeled it down to Montana.

Garry hasn’t named given the car a name: he doesn’t have to. Garry bought the car from  Stedelbauer Chevrolet on July 13, 1983 the day before his mother went to the Misercordia Hospital for a routine cancer check-up. The next day Mrs. Meyer passed away. “On both sides of the car I have HMM engraved,” Garry says of his mother’s initials.

No comments: