When I was 16 years old, I bought a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado convertible on eBay for $1,500, plus $700 shipping from Florida. (Yes, I’m an idiot.) The car arrived at 6:00 am Saturday morning at a nearby garage because the monstrous car carrier couldn’t navigate our town’s narrow streets any further. It had four flat tires, a dead battery, oil all over the windshield from a leak in the car above it, a shredded convertible top, and almost as much red rust as red paint (which, in my defense, wasn’t very obvious from the five lo-res photos included with the eBay description… Like I said, I’m an idiot.).
But goddamn did I love that car, and for seven years my dad and I did our best to keep it running — him more with his hands and me more with my wallet. However, with a less-than-reliable road record and gas mileage under 10 mpgs even in optimal conditions, the Caddy that was once considered the car of the future (cruise control; power seats, locks, and windows; and an electric trunk opener in 1974?) was never destined to be the car of my future. So when I moved from Mass to Conn in 2007 to be with my girlfriend, I bit the bumper and made the moderately heart-choice (braking?) decision to trade Caddy for Cavy (along with substantial additional cash considerations, of course) in order to enter the next “responsible” phase of my life. But though I don’t regret the decision in any way, that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the car from time to time, or that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to own it again someday — lifestyle and garage space permitting, of course.
Which is all basically a meandering, navel-gazing way of saying that this Chevy commercial almost made me cry:
I don’t remember how I happened to catch it on TV since my wife and I DVR almost everything these days and thus fast forward through 90 percent of all commercials, but I do remember knowing without question that the scenario and reactions were 100 percent authentic — no staging or scripting whatsoever.
Nonetheless, in an age where reality television has more writers than its scripted predecessor, it was nice to read this confirmation recently that Herb Younger was, indeed, reunited with his beloved Impala on September 17, 2011, exactly as you see in the commerical. If you click on the link, you can actually watch the extended version detailing his sons’ years-long search and the final emotional payoff. Fair warning though: if you’ve ever owned a car that you had to give up before you were ready, you may want a Kleenex. Or perhaps a Windex wipe.