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Husband’s Love of Wife and Car

The 1969 Camaro is far more popular but in my humble opinion the Firebird is a far superior car and much more rare.
The 1969 Camaro is far more popular but in my humble opinion the Firebird is a far superior car and much more rare.

I recently received the following story from one of our readers. It is the true story of one man’s love of wife and car as told by the wife. As I attend car shows, races, museums, tours and all kinds of other car activities with my wife I am reminded of how rare it is to have a wife who enjoys these activities as much as I do. I also appreciate having a  best friend and partner who encourages my four wheeled vehicle addiction. For those of you who can’t sit around the evening dinner table and talk with your spouse about the restoration plans for the next collector car I am sorry. For those of you who can, count your blessings.

Shari Richardson wrote the following tribute to her husband, Chris, and his newest love interest, Jolene. Since this article was written Chris has wisely decided to pay more attention to Shari and let Jolene go. If you are interested in a really nice “garage mistress” named Jolene give Chris a call.

When I first met my husband, he told me there were two things he loved – making music and 68 Firebirds. The music thing I understood as it explained all the guitars and recording equipment he had, but when he said 68 Firebird, I thought he loved it like I love, well, pie or my Swiffer Wet Jet. I clearly had no understanding of his passion for “The Bird.”

When was the last time you saw an original factory dash in red? Most of the time we see black dashes even with colored interiors.
When was the last time you saw an original factory dash in red? Most of the time we see black dashes even with colored interiors.

That was several Firebirds ago – and he is presently restoring two 68 Firebird Convertibles that will be “evil looking,” and will probably shoot flames and outrun the Bat Mobile.

But, then IT happened and I have not seen hide nor hair of him every since Jolene, a red on red coupe that has taken the place of my Jaguar in the garage. When I first heard of her, I said, “What makes her so special?” He reacted like I was saying something bad about St. Jude’s or Mother Theresa.

The original 350 with factory air as it came from the factory.
The original 350 with factory air as it came from the factory.

“Everything about her is special – she is the only one of her kind.” “But why do you love her so much, she is only a 350?”

I got ‘The Look.’ Wives, you know what I mean.

“You’re a 350 and I love you,” he retorted.

Blink, Blink, Blink. Rub my face. Blink, Blink, Blind. Rub my face some more. “Really?”

But after I listened to the story and saw her for myself, I did understand why Jolene, was indeed, worth a price above rubies to him and possibly any other Firebird-ophiles.

The original patina adds to the value and the draw of this Firebird.
The original patina adds to the value and the draw of this Firebird.

My husband and a friend of his were doing some work at a fellow musicians home here in Nashville where we live and my husband picked up some boxes to take to the garage. He flicked on the light and there in front of him, as the clouds parted and a giant ray of light illuminated the garage and a choir of angels sang, sat a Solar Red on Red 350 Firebird Coupe – numbers matching, loaded with factory options, completely pristine as original as the day it was born – no restoration needed – the temptress I have since named, “Jolene,” for obvious reasons.

Do you remember the space saver tire and the little canister you depended on to inflate it in case of an emergency?
Do you remember the space saver tire and the little canister you depended on to inflate it in case of an emergency?

And when I say pristine and complete – it is as if it had been put in a giant Zip lock bag and put in a time capsule for preservation – something I wished had happened to me, I might add. The car belonged to a man who inherited it from his mother – and yes, she did drive it to church, but did it very fast and in style. Now, I don’t believe in coincidence. I mean, how often does a man have a passion for a specific car, then, by chance, he happens to find a car like Jolene out of nowhere?

Bucket seats with console are beautiful and so correct.
Bucket seats with console are beautiful and so correct.

It seems like destiny or a greater force was at work here. There in the jazz player’s garage, my husband was looking at a piece of Americana Muscle Car History, and I must say,s he is like the finest, perfectly-aged bottle of California red wine ever distilled. I knew there was no way for me to compete – she is just that beautiful and just that remarkable. So I just joined in on the affair. I began to go through the details of the car making sure the Cowl Tag and VIN and engine number lined up and looking for the Protect-O-Plate that was still in the glove box along with all the other right documentation. There is even the tank that goes with the spare tire, but also other options that were not standard like factory AC and factory-upgraded shoulder belts.

Even the headliner is perfect.
Even the headliner is perfect.

I shook my head in disbelief as the car checked out better than I could ever imagine. I then began the hard part – finding one to compare it too and have determined that chances are, it is the only Solar Red on Red perfectly-preserved, low-original miles (58K), loaded with factory-installed options, 350 Firebird Coupe remaining – and I can respect that – see her intrinsic historical significance in the Muscle Car world – as well as see her moxie – her striking elegance, and how she commands a mesmerizing gaze.

We are not sure what to do now. We have received so many phone calls as the word got out but my husband is hesitant to let her go. He said it should be owned by someone who also understands what they have and who will work to keep Jolene in the lifestyle she deserves.

Original low miles make this one rare bird.
Original low miles make this one rare bird.

I can see how many Firebird Widow Wives (FWW as I call us) might resent such as voluptuous knockout taking all of her husband’s time as he has spent the last couple of days and nights out in the garage talking to Jolene as he buffs her so lovingly – stroking her long, sexy body as she purrs and growls like a seductive mistress and he promises her that she will be taken care of and fully appreciated like the gem she is.

Originality is seen everywhere in this car.
Originality is seen everywhere in this car.

 

I really do consider myself lucky – at least he isn’t into Porsches and is perfectly loyal to the two ladies of his life – me and Jolene … And he isn’t calling it “his precious,” YET! And I do, indeed, love to see the joy and glee in his eyes. If it is for me or Jolene, it’s anyone’s guess.

For questions or car talk about Jolene, feel free to call my husband Chris at 305-240-1349. If he doesn’t answer, he will call you back right after he finishes romancing his car for the night.

One of my faforite details of any car from the period is the emblem shaped running lights on the original Firebirds.
One of my favorite details of any car from the period is the emblem shaped running lights on the original Firebirds.

 

 

 

This is the front side marker light!
This is the front side marker light!
Although not installed on the Firebird, the original tires and wheels are with the car!
Although not installed on the Firebird, the original tires and wheels are with the car!

 

Lots of original documentation.
Lots of original documentation.

If you have a car you think we might be interested in featuring here on LegendaryCollectorCars.com please send some information and photos to RFleener@comcast.net and we will see if it might fit into our schedule.

 

You can sometimes find a reproduction owners manual but the original?
You can sometimes find a reproduction owners manual but the original?
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Richard

I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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