Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

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San Jose Steve
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Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

Post by San Jose Steve » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:23 pm

While cleaning out a cabinet in the garage my daughter noticed my collection of Fiat dealer documents from the original owner of the car. It was purchased in Iowa back in July of 1972. She asked if I had ever Goggled the guy’s name to see if he’s still around. (I guess kids today do that all the time.) Anyway, To my amazement, I found him in about 5 minutes and shot him a message along with a photo of his original Fiat Owners ID Card. 24 hours Iater I got a phone call from him! “Al” is now 82 years old and had a few good stories about his car. He told me he traded in a Fiat 1200 convertible for the ’72 124 because he wanted more power. The 1st thing he wanted to know was if I had any trouble with the motor.

He said that when he bought the car new, he only got about halfway home (~30 miles away) when it started knocking. He pulled over and noticed a trail of oil behind the car. Opening the hood he found that the oil filter had spun off and was resting upright on the belly pan. The oil had been pumped out of the motor onto the highway! A passing trucker stopped and gave him a few quarts of oil. He reinstalled the filter, turned around and drove back to the dealer with the engine knocking. The dealer gave him a Fiat 850 as a loaner to get home. 3 weeks later they called to let him know that they had rebuilt the motor and to come get it! Can you imagine that? No Freakin way would that happen today right?

Anyway, Al was a nice guy to talk to. Said he had installed the chrome luggage rack on the back to pick up a fender for a Desoto in Sioux Falls SD. Interestingly enough, he wanted to know why I ditched the original steel wheels/hubcaps for the ones I have now. (Cromodora CD-3’s) He though the car looked better with the steel rims! Go figure…….Ha!

-Steve (the Fiat driving) Ferrari
fp55scca
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Re: Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

Post by fp55scca » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:18 pm

--Steve, that's a really cool story in so many ways! Thanks!
Jim Scurria
Norfolk, VA

1972 Fiat 124 Spider
1971 Spider - SCCA FP-24
1974 Fiat 124 Spider
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miker
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Re: Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

Post by miker » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:30 am

Wonderful story!
MikeR (mirafiori.com since 1995)

2012 Fiat 500 Prima Edizione #236
1977 Fiat 124 Spider
Previously owned:
'86 Bertone X1/9
'81 Fiat Spider 2000 #236
'78 Fiat 131 four door
'76 Fiat 128 4 door
'74 Fiat 128 4 door
Sonosml
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Re: Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

Post by Sonosml » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:13 pm

What part of Iowa was he from? Several years ago I heard from a guy in N.W Iowa who had some fiat parts and if I was ever in his area I spcoukd stop and pick them up. I reached out to him via email about 6 months later and never heard back from him. I think his name was Al as well.
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San Jose Steve
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Re: Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

Post by San Jose Steve » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:18 pm

His name is Al Woodraska and he lives in Harlan Iowa. I bet it wasn't him though. Sounded like he only ever owned 2 Fiats and sold his last one in 1976. That would be a +40 year old collection of parts!

Hummmmm..... As I wrote that, it occurred to me that I myself have a collection of 1971 BMW 1600 parts in the attic of my garage that have been there since 1999! Hahahaha! A drunk rear end me on the highway and totaled it. I've been waiting to build a clone of it all this time. 3 more years of college tuition payments and I'll be able to pull those parts down! :-) -Steve
71-BMW 1600.jpg
71-BMW 1600.jpg (233.89 KiB) Viewed 276 times
Sonosml
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Re: Today I met my cars original owner from 46 years ago and 1,700 miles away.

Post by Sonosml » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:01 pm

Yup that wouldn't have been him, my guy was N.W. Iowa and Harlem is S.W. Iowa near Omaha. Great story
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