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  1. In 1978, I found myself in Arizona at a drag race working for Wide World of Sports, and I saw an ad in the paper that said "54 Buick Special Convertible. Driver. Runs Good." So I stole the company rental and drove 75 miles to see it. Love at first sight. I gave the guy $50, not to sell it to anyone else, got back to Los Angeles, sent him ALL the money ($1800), and instead of getting ripped off, he drove it to California to me! It was my only car for 10 years. White with red interior. I had to hang my head out the window to drive in the rain when the wipers would lock in the open position, and I breathed the fumes in the hot summer stop-and-go traffic. But I loved that car, and swore I would never become one of the many people who would stop me, go all misty, and say "I used to have a car just like that". I swore I'd never sell it unless it meant losing my house. But time marched on. I wanted air conditioning. And seat belts. I became gun shy of the frontal lobotomy dashboard, and the cardiac bypass steering column, and weary of the people flagging me down at 70 mph on the freeway to ask "What year is it?" I bought a Honda. And Fred started an oft repeated cycle of sitting, getting a new 3E battery, getting rolling again. And then sitting. Until 1999. Am I ashamed to say I stopped starting him up? Taking him out? Buying him a new battery? Yes. I'm very ashamed. Now I've retired. Today I called AAA and with the help of a flatbed. AND a second tow truck, I got him towed to a mechanic who SAYS he's great with 50's cars. We'll see. I know Fred'll never be a show car. I don't care. I love that car and I want to do right by him. If you have any suggestions, or referrals for Buick loving mechanics in Los Angeles or Glendale or thereabouts, please let me know. I'm waiting to hear the diagnosis. What will it take to get him up and around? I'll keep you posted. Wish us both luck. And please, don't hate me! Joyce