Monday, February 11, 2008
It was the tenth day I'd owned my 29. Against my wife's wishes, I took my fourteen year old son for a ride in the roadster to a nearby cruise spot about five miles from our home. Since it was a cold night, I coaxed my son to put on a warm jacket and we buzzed down to Oak Hill. It was a little late and there were only few stragglers left by the time we arrived. I remember a young kid excitedly chasing me down and taking a photo of us in the 29 before we headed back home. Moments later, the car would be bent up like a pretzel. On the return ride home, a Honda SUV pulled into traffic in front of us. The driver hadn't realized we were only a couple hundred feet from her when she panicked and did the one thing I never counted on. She froze, right in our path. I got into the brakes hard, and as the car slid toward the Honda, I realized we were not going to stop in time. I looked to the right of the Honda and saw a ditch, then to the left and saw an open lane, I quickly yanked the wheel to the left of the stopped car and almost got around the Honda. Almost. I managed to steer the front end of the roadster around her front end, but the rear right tire of the roadster would not quite as fortunate. It caught the Honda's front bumper full force and all hell broke loose. To be more specific, it was the 29's rear end broke loose from the right rear trailing arm. The damage to the rear end of the roadsters body was extensive but to be honest, I was just relieved that my son and I escaped injury. Drew had a small cut on his shoulder and I had nothing more than a bruised ego. I realized in that moment how terribly lucky we both were. Cars can be replaced. Fathers and sons cannot. The car was not so fortunate. My dream of buying an 80% finished car was put to rest that night as we pushed what remained of the car to the side of the road and waited for a tow truck to deal with the carnage. All that was left of my dream was a heap of twisted metal and a protracted battle with the Honda's insurance company after the accident was found to be the Honda's fault.