September 26 was a very sentimental day for John Berry, as he finally experienced the realization of a 40–year dream—one that he honestly thought might never happen.
His sweet mother, Janis, passed away unexpectedly when he was 15 years old, and his dad eventually sold her car.
It was a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible and was purchased by a GM auto executive in the early 80’s.
John never had the chance to own any of his mom’s personal belongings after she passed, but for decades he continued to hunt for that car.
“Each time John contacted him, he was never interested in selling the car,” said Shannon Berry, John’s wife. “Thankfully, he was a ‘car guy’ and collector of classic Buick, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile cars.” So, they knew he was taking good care of the green convertible.
Out of the blue, he wrote to John in September, saying he’d had a ‘change of heart’ and was ready to pass ownership to him, knowing it would mean a lot to an original family member.
“To say he is thrilled, overjoyed and unbelievably emotional is an understatement,”
The car is all-original, and has only 42,000 miles on the odometer. And, once it had arrived in Union, Kentucky, John even found some of his mom’s belongings still in the glove box—her sunglasses, maps of trips she’d taken, some earrings, an unused postage stamp from 1971, and a comb.
“It has been a real journey down memory lane, detailing and driving the car,” John says.
“So many memories are stirred riding in the same car that my late mother drove around in, with my siblings and I as small children.”