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Kimberly V. Althage – October 11, 2021

Gateway Classic Cars has been the source for numerous “surprise” gifts. The joy it gives us to make these dreams come true is immeasurable. Here we share one of the many we have fulfilled over the decades.

Doug has loved the Ford Thunderbirds and has wanted a ‘57 T-Bird ever since he was a teenager. It was a topic of conversation that came up from time to time regularly between he and his wife, Linda over the course of their relationship.

As Linda explained, “we are fine financially, and since we can’t take it with us, I thought we might as well spend some of it.” With this carpe diem attitude, she began to secretly search for ‘57 T-Bird.

Linda began looking for an original Ford Thunderbird. For nearly two months she looked, initially for a white one, because she figured Doug would want a white one. Again, Linda wanted it to be a surprise so she couldn’t very well inquire what color he would want. She knew he did not want a red, yellow, rose, or green one and basically felt he must want a white one.

Then she saw this one in our Denver Showroom. At first, she was hesitant, because it had been modified, and she was looking for something as authentic and original as possible. Ron, her son-in-law suggested they at least look at it and off they went. Ron inspected the vehicle and said it was the one they should buy. Ron’s thinking was that Doug would like it, because it was fully redone and up to date, very nice, and in great condition. As well as being a color Doug was sure to love.

It just so happened to be their favorite color. “Our other cars are the same color as this ‘57 T-Bird, a kind of dark gray,” Linda said.

She bought the car but could not take delivery right away. Linda explained, “a car like this needed to be kept in the garage, but our three-car garage was full, and we could hardly walk through it.” Linda asked Scott Yockstick, the Gateway Classic Cars of Denver Sales Consultant to hold it and give them time to clean out the garage. The showroom held the vehicle for a week to give them the time to make room for the beauty.

Since the garage needed to be cleaned anyway, Doug was put to work cleaning out the garage to make room for a car he didn’t know he had coming his way. They rented a dumpster and Linda organized other family to help. They all came over and were throwing away old paint and stain cans, extra wood, and all kinds of stuff.

The garage was thoroughly cleaned and reorganized. It was cleaned enough so the T-Bird could fit and still have room to remove the car’s top and have that stored too in the garage. “It all fits with a foot or two to spare,” according to Linda.

All the hard work completed; it was time to orchestrate the surprise. All Doug knew was they were to go out for a family dinner. “We planned on a Saturday that we would all go out for dinner, and this way I could make sure Doug was in nicer clothes and it would be a day everyone would be able to be there,” Linda relayed.

Ron picked up the car and as he pulled up in front of the house, he let Linda quietly know they arrived, and it was okay to bring Doug out to see it. Linda and Doug went outside and that is when he saw it, adorned with a big red bow on its hood.

“I was shocked,” Doug recalled. “I saw it, but I did not believe it.”

They drove their new ride out to dinner for the first time. Since the T-Bird is a two-seater, Doug led the family parade to the restaurant with Linda sitting at his side as the rest of the family followed.

To prevent Doug from finding out, Linda only told a limited number of people to keep it such a tight secret. It worked! Doug was shocked and the next day they called their other son to tell him about the new toy and then drove to their son’s house which is in the same area to show him the car.

The best part, we feel, is it was a gift for gift-giving sake. Doug’s birthday is in March and Linda did not want to wait that long. She also did not want to wait until Christmas, because she wanted him to get some use and enjoyment from it while the weather was nice. Their anniversary had already passed being in July and it was just a gift for Doug alone.

Linda said, “when you get older you just think, ‘you cannot take that money with you, you might as well do something you want to do with it.’ We have traveled a little bit, but you really can’t with COVID. So, we might as well enjoy what we have.”

Gateway Classic Cars could not agree more with her ‘seize the day’ attitude and are grateful to be able to facilitate such a surprise sursie (also spelled sercy, cerci, or surcy), otherwise known as an unexpected gift for no other purpose than to show affection.

Gateway Classic Cars sells and consigns hundreds of vehicles each month. Do you have a classic car for sale with a story to tell?   We’d love to hear about it, please email us at news@gatewayclassiccars.com to share it.

Post by Kim Althage
October 11, 2021