If there is one thing we like to hear around the office, it is how someone was able to save a piece of their history. Be it a car that was bought new and never left the family, to hearing about the one that got away and eventually came home. Happy endings are just great to hear about.
Larry Demings has a happy ending experience that we wanted to share with you guys. Larry told us, “My Uncle Ron McCullough worked at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Canada back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. He purchased this Oshawa-built 1971 Monte Carlo SS when it was brand new, and I was just an unseasoned 7 years old.” The car is not only special to Larry because of who originally owned it, but because it is also 1 of only 1,919 1971 Monte Carlo Super Sports produced that year.
Larry’s earliest recollections of the car have Uncle Ron taking Larry and his brother to play baseball in the summer, and hockey on a local pond in the winter. According to Larry, “I spent a lot of time in this car as a kid, and remember it well. My memories are always from a back seat view.” Larry also told us that his uncle was very proud of this car and it was his daily driver until he had to park it in 1978. Unfortunately, in 1982, the car needed repairs that Larry’s uncle couldn’t afford to make, and it was sold. Regrettably, at age 42, Larry’s uncle passed away just six months after selling his Monte. For many enthusiasts, this is where that story of the original car ends, and a replacement is found later in life. Not this story.
Until 2011, Larry and his family thought that the purchaser had parted out the car. It was this year that Larry found a renewed interest in classic cars, and something spurred him to start looking for the memorable Monte Carlo. He found some paperwork with the Monte’s VIN number. His search revealed the car still existed, and was still in driving condition. Larry affirmed, “I immediately Googled the current owner’s name and found that he lived only 30 minutes from me. I showed up at his door the very next day. He told me the car had been restored in the mid ’80s, and he used it as a cruise night car.”
Larry was able to control his enthusiasm when he found out that the owner had been unsuccessfully trying to sell the car for the previous month? Larry’s wife knew how fond he was of his uncle, and how much being able to own his car meant to him.
Larry was able to acquire the car and recapture his memories. He told us, “The car came with the original 1971 New Vehicle Warranty Information Booklet that has Uncle Ron’s handwriting on the cover. There is also a sticker on the back of the rearview mirror from Cayuga Speedway from when Uncle Ron and my cousin camped there for the weekend stock car racing events.”
Larry says that he feels fortunate to have the car, and shortly after purchasing it he surprised his mom and dad when he pulled it out of the garage right in front of them and took them for a spin. His mom was overwhelmed to see her brother’s car again and to have it back in the family.
The Monte is still wearing the 30-year-old Tuxedo Black acrylic enamel paint job, and still has the numbers matching 454 cubic-inch engine, Turbo 400 transmission, and 12-bolt differential with 3.31 gears.
Do you have a car that came from or represents your past? We want to hear about it. You can email us at [email protected] and tell us all abou it. Don’t forget to include all of the pertinent information and some images.