Nowadays, technology plays an important part in our lives. It has captured our world from one corner to another. It proved to be really efficient for Joel Smith as it helped him gifting his parents something, which was close to their heart.
A Vintage Video
Technology had certainly helped human beings in various ways. For generations, it has allowed us to record our priceless memories. Whether it is a photograph or a video, it made everything possible. Joel Smith was extremely happy to find lost footage of his parents’ 1953 wedding. It was their 60th anniversary when he discovered that footage. After going through the video though, he was so inspired that he planned a surprise for them.
One of their most popular posts
However, Joel’s plan was recorded on video by Hagerty. Hagerty is an insurance company which specializes in classic car and boat insurance. It covers a range of vehicles worth $30 billion in total. The company has its own YouTube channel, which consists of more than 272,000 subscribers. It’s been a decade now but Joel’s video is still one of their best posts.
“My parents’ first car”
Joel titled his video “My Parents’ First Car – 1948 Plymouth convertible” He uploaded the post on February 26, 2013, and his post got more than 1.3 million views. It starts with a picture of Joel’s parents, Joe and Beverly Smith, who were posing with their beloved car. Joel states the importance of the car to the couple. “When my parents were married, they had the ’48 Plymouth convertible, and they’ve talked about the car ever since,” he recalled.
Mother’s Favorite Car
“It’s my mother’s favorite car. Dad loved it. It was kind of like their first real car,” Joel continued. “Then my dad was drafted and went to Korea, and they had to sell the car. They always talked about the car forever – how much fun it was, and the great times they had with it.”
The Unexpected Surprise
On their 60th anniversary, Joel received an amazing surprise. “This year was their 60th wedding anniversary,” he said. “The whole family went back, and they had like 50 people at a sit-down dinner. Someone had found the video of their actual wedding. They found it in the archives of someone’s basement.”
Search Begins for 1948 Plymouth
“The car was in the videos, with all the ‘Just Married’ signs and the cans behind it, the old traditional stuff,” Joel continued. “We talked a while about how much fun it would be if they had the car, so I began searching around in different places to see if I could find a ’48 Plymouth. Not something that was easy to find!”
Joel had some luck in his favor
Albeit it proved to be a hard task, but Joel finally found four vehicles which relate to the description of the car, he was searching for. However, two were already sold. The third car was in a museum, while the fourth had been set up as an advertisement on Craigslist. Moreover, the advertisement was expired, but still, Joel Smith was a tad lucky as he contacted the owner of the car.
Car in a nice shape
“It was a little guy in Indiana, 81 years old, the second owner of the car,” Joel recalled. “The car had been garaged, and he claimed the car was in very, very, very nice shape, never been in the winters, so it had 31,000 miles on it. He couldn’t send me pictures, couldn’t do anything.”
A friend drove up to see the condition of the car
“He didn’t own a computer, didn’t want to own a computer, so I had a friend drive up and look at the car and take a bunch of pictures of it,” he continued. “He had all the maintenance records, the original manual for it, all kinds of things for the car. It was pretty amazing what he had.”
Joel asked his father’s friend to hide the car
Keeping the car’s information in mind, Joel eventually purchased the car. He had the car shipped back to his home. Next, he asked his father’s former colleague to hide the car. Donnie Cooper, his father’s former colleague told Joel that he will repair the minuscule deformities in the car if there was any.
The work on the car begins
However, this decision created another issue for Joel. “That got pretty funny because we were trying to keep this thing totally under-wraps, and my dad knows everybody, so it has a real lot of challenges to it,” he says with a grin. After successfully keeping his plan a secret, he began to work on the Plymouth with Donnie.
The Final Steps of the plan
Finally, Joel started to plan out the conclusive step. “I flew my youngest son Colby in, and he faked a fishing trip with grandpa,” he recalls. “I go to Donnie’s house early in the morning. We pick up the car, drive it up to Delavan. We stop in the parking lot in downtown beautiful Delavan, wait, and I text my son and let him know that we’re going to come up the hill.”
Colby records his grandparents on his camera
“He had a little video camera, and he turned it on,” Joel continues. “They didn’t know that the video camera was operational.” Colby subsequently recorded his grandparents in their living-room, just before they got a wonderful surprise.
An Excited Father
As they were sitting in their living room, Joe spots the red Plymouth heading towards them. As the car stopped in front of their house, he now understood the whole situation. “I told you he’s lied to me,” the excited father tells Beverly from his armchair.
The Couple gets emotional
The couple moves outside to take a look at the car, but Joe was unambiguously excited as he slides into the driver’s seat. “That’s beautiful,” he says sounding emotional, before Beverly responds, “Isn’t that something? Uh-oh, Grandpa’s got tears.” Without wasting a minute they both enter the car and set out for a test-drive, giving a joyful wave.
A Visible Impact
“They were always great parents,” Joel says. “And it was kind of a give-back, it was like ‘boy if you could give back some youth’”. Meanwhile, the couple is more than excited by this surprise. Its impact was easily visible on their faces.
The car brings back the memories
“It’s like we are, it’s a classic,” Joe says of the Plymouth. “It brings back the memories of when we were young, and could run around the block, but now we have to drive. To drive around in the older car is just super, you get in it and feel proud all over again. It’s like a gift from heaven.”
The Special Praise
However, Joe showers extra praise for his son’s efforts. “It’s a great thought from a young lad that thinks that much of his folks that he would spend that much time to look for something, and that he knows they would greatly appreciate it,” says. “Plus, he got one on his dad, where his dad usually gets one on him!”
A permanent part of the family
Joel knows that his parents had lost their original Plymouth, so he was perfectly sure that he won’t let this car go. “The car will stay in the family forever,” he concludes. “No matter what happens, the car will never be sold and it’ll stay in the family. It’ll be part of that, and those memories will be there forever, which is just irreplaceable, especially the way we pulled it off!”
New Memories in the making
All this was possible because of technology, our priceless moments can be preserved for the rest of our lives. For Joel Smith, though, his parent’s lost video led him on a pursuit to surprise his loving parents. Now, with their old car back in their house, new memories are in the making.
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