Retro-Monday - Hiding In Plain Sight - Part 1 - A Survivor

In August of 2012, we added a short series about notable Classics which were basically "hiding in plain sight". We decided on the Anniversary of these posts to republish them for your reading pleasure. Here is the first in the series.

As a side note to this story, the local Caffeine & Octane Show was being held in an office park about 40 minutes North of Atlanta proper, but was quickly outgrowing the park's capacity. It was later moved to the Northpoint Shopping Mall a few miles away and has now moved to the Perimeter Mall located on the North side of 285.

The August 2012 Caffeine and Octane show was enormous. Every available space in the main lot was filled well before 8 AM. With the main show area filled, cars began filling in the adjoining lots, shipping dock areas, and rarely used space behind buildings.

With so many great cars spread out over such a large area, my first goal was to photograph as many as I could. Probably like most people at the show, I simply walked past these gems hiding in plain sight.
The car that initially caught my eye was this beautifully restored '57 Nomad. It took a while to find just the right vantage point and take my shot, but I got it.
I started taking a few more pictures when I noticed a show card near the driver's door. 

Thinking it might belong the the '57, I wanted to take a photo of it. But as I focused in, it was the story of a '64 Falcon hidden behind the Chevy.
I lowered my camera and began reading the story. A man sitting in the shade called out, "Would you like me to move that for you?" Before I could even answer, he had left his chair and moved the sign. 

We spoke for a few moments and as we did, I realized this was not the typical survivor car story. The owner of this survivor is Terry Tallant and this what he told me.

"I had seen the Falcon parked in the garage many times, but the day I saw the owner and the car at the same time I decided to stop." "That was when I learned all about the car and the story behind it." 

In the late Spring of 1964 Jay and Ruby Grogan of Cumming, GA decided to purchase a new car for their only daughter, Patsy. It was going to be a High School graduation gift and her transportation to and from North Georgia College in the coming years. Patsy left for college in the Fall of 1964.  

Although it's difficult to read, the original parking pass with a typewriter printed name is still in the windshield

Jay told him, "Patsy and her friends began commuting to school in the Summer of 1965. While commuting to class in the Fall of 1966, Patsy and her friends were tragically lost in an accident involving a logging truck that lost it's brakes." The loss was devastating to her parents. They were unable to just let go, so they left everything as it was the day they lost their daughter. The car, her room, and her belongings remained untouched 40 years later.

After learning the story Terry continued to stop by every so often to say hello and see how Jay and Ruby were doing. Over the years they became friends. After Jay and Ruby's passing, he received a call from one of the Family members.  

"Jay and Ruby believed you would take care of the Falcon and their memory of Patsy." "They wanted us to ask if you will buy the car and take care of it as they intended." 

Terry Tallant holding the framed original window sticker
Terry purchased the Falcon and has maintained it in the spirit Jay and Ruby had hoped for. The story of the car and how he acquired it is presented at every show he attends. 

The Falcon has less than 22,000 total miles on it. The oil change sticker in the driver side door jam, from 1965, reads just over 17,000 miles.

The trunk still holds some of Patsy's luggage with the things she placed in it and the windows display her college pride.

"I know, it's an odd story, maybe a bit morbid to some" said Terry. "But I feel a certain obligation to keep the story as well as the car intact." 
I expected that to be the end of our conversation, but Terry pointed to his left and said, "And this is another survivor. A 1972 Grand Torino Sport I ordered from the factory." "There are so many options on this car it has 2 window stickers." "It's become a part of the family." "I dated my Wife in this car and we drove it to the church the day we were married. After they were born, we brought each of our kids home in this car. They all went to their high school graduations in it and drove each of them to the church in it on their wedding day."
 Like the Falcon, Terry's Grand Torino is all original, right down to the 429 CI V8. Neither car has ever been repainted or undergone any type of restoration.

If you'd like to learn more about these survivors, Terry is a member of Garagistry. You can read all about them and Terry's other survivors by visiting the site.

Chevy Survivor
The last car in the survivor category, sandwiched between a Dino and a Mini Cooper, was totally ignored. Being surrounded by dozens of Classic imports probably didn't help. But as I said, many of these kinds of survivors are at shows you attend. They're just hiding in plain sight.
Not that I could blame them, but almost everyone nearby was focused on either the Dino, a group of Cobras, this green Jag, or the Ferrari's.