Our dream come true is ‘Beauty’, a 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Fordomatic, 272 horsepower and a V8 engine. To us she is the most beautiful car we have ever owned. We are so proud of her! We still stare at her in awe every time we open the garage door.

james brown cover

My father bought me a 1940 Buick when I was 16. The next car I owned was a 1955 Ford, 2 door Sedan. I bought it for $450.00 when I came out of the Navy. It was reliable and got me to work and cruising around.

I met Mary Ann, my wife of 33 years, in Parents without Partners (PWP). I was 42 and she was 40. We have five children between us. We had the 2 youngest. After our children left, we were somewhat free to start our new life together. We were very active in our community and loved original classic and antique vehicles. We live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio near Cleveland Hopkins Airport. I was raised on the east side and she grew up on the southwest side.

Mary Ann owned a 1957 Chevrolet Convertible from 1958 to 1962, but her heart was set on a 1955 Ford that her girlfriend’s brother bought in 1955 when she was 15. The girls decided to take it for a joy ride. They snuck out in the middle of the night, only to get caught by her brother when they came back. It was nice…getting caught wasn’t. Lesson learned! We hope nobody would ever take our ’55. It would break our hearts.

One day as we were taking a ride, we spotted an old 2 door coupe for sale. We contacted the owner. He showed us his fantastic collection of cars; none of which we could afford. So he took us to a private garage with other cars. This is where it started for us. We purchased a 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe, 4 door sedan, standard shift, with white walls, skirts. and a front window visor. We had a lot of good times with ‘rodeo beige’ for 8 years.

In September of 2002, we bought a 1970 Mercury Cougar, 2 door coupe, automatic, 351, 4 barrel with sequential tail lights. After 7 years we were fortunate to find a buyer for the right price. So now we could possibly afford a 1955 Ford!

I was still reaching out to people in case they knew of a 1955 Ford for sale. Finally after buying many magazines and ad searching, the phone rang. It was a friend with news about a car about 15 miles away, located in Columbia Station. We saw the owner and told him our story. The gentleman agreed to meet with me. We spoke with several people through the years that wanted to buy this car, but he was never willing to sell his ’55. Well, we met 2 wonderful people that day and a deal was made. Finally, our dream came true at last! We’re still not sure if it was the timing or answered prayers.

Immediately, I started on a list of maintenance and restoration of the interior and exterior. I started with the exhaust system, new shocks, tires, paint, etc. I could go on and on. We have put out about $10,000.00 so far to get ‘beauty’ the way she should be, but there is always more to be done with the older vehicles as all of you class and antique owners know!

One of our most memorable times is when our 1955 Ford was chosen to be the feature car for the 3rd Annual Fathers Day Benefit for the Berea Children’s Home Car Show on June 19, 2011.

We are very thankful to all we associated with and all that worked on our car. Everyone did an excellent job.

--James Brown