Ever heard of Joel Smith? Very likely his parents Joe and Beverly did. That's them in the picture. They were married way back when cars had character, and got about three miles to the gallon. It was a simpler time, it was a less colorful time. This here's a story about the Smiths (that's their real name, not a pseudonym) and a 1948 Plymouth convertible — a car and a year that kids nowadays hardly know anything about.
In honor of their nuptials, the Smith elders drained their savings and bought themselves a 1948 Plymouth convertible, which in 1948 was brand new, and which in 1947, like Joseph Smith, wasn't even a glint in its manufacturer's eyes. As Joseph recalls, his parents talked about that car all the time — probably because it cost them all their damn savings.
So, this is how the people of 1948 would have seen a '48 Plymouth if they knew where to look. Isn't she a beauty? Again, like 10 miles to the gallon. Really inefficient. But big back seat, so you can only imagine....
Then, out of NOWHERE, there was a Korean War. In 1950. There might be one coming up, but that's not the one Joseph Smith will be drafted in. He was drafted in the first one. They were taken by complete surprise, as they thought the North Koreans would have made an accidental left turn into the Sea of Japan instead of invading South Korea, avoiding conflict. No such luck.
Well, when that happened, and Mrs. Smith would be all alone awaiting her husband's safe return and in need of a little pocket money, they were forced to sell the car. Remember, Uber didn't exist then, so it wasn't like they could use it to pay for household items like milk and bleach to clean up all the backseat vomit. Remember, the '48 Plymouth has a massive back seat.
Now, the Smiths may have lost their 1948 Plymouth with the spacious interior (big backseat), but the North Koreans were the inheritors of a BUNCH of massive Soviet tanks, and the South Koreans the inheritors of a BUNCH of U.S. tanks. Neither got great gas mileage; both had spacious interiors.
O.K., fast forward about sixty years, the first Korean War is over, North Korea now threatens the world order, possible nuclear confrontation is imminent, and the the Smiths are nesting in their old age. It's their 60th wedding anniversary, and a friend of theirs surprises them with some footage from their wedding day. Why he had it all these years and didn't give it to them was not questioned...probably because no one really wanted to know.
The best part of the found footage was that it featured the 1948 Plymouth (HUGE frickin backseat) and it brought instant joy to the couple's faces. This is not a picture of the car. This is a picture of the Korean War.
Remembering fondly the love, affection, care and tenderness his parents gave to bringing him into this world, Joel Smith decided he had to do something to repay such an immense debt. And he knew it had to do something with that 1948 Plymouth and its unfathomably expansive backseat. Also, this is not a picture of the Korean War; this is a picture of the Smiths.
He wanted to get that car for his folks. Now, finding the exact car his parents sold back in the '50s would be a fool's errand, as the car most likely had been hocked for parts, its metal repurposed into twenty toasters, and its cushions converted into a barcalounger — a big one. Could line a hotel lobby.
Joel would have to find a replica 1948 Plymouth, one in working condition, one without a serial killer hiding out on the floor of that capacious back, ready to jump out.... So, where can one go for vintage cars and other valuables? Sotheby's? No, too snobby. Craig's List!
After weeks of failed attempts and maybe even some declined solicitations, Joel was ready to give up hope and just get his parents a trio of succulents. But then, he found an elderly man in Indiana!
Wait, that's not all. The elderly man had a car! And guess what kind of car it was, it was a a 1948 Plymouth! Well, Joel knew that Fate had finally connected the dots on Joel's cosmic needlepoint with the fibers of destiny.
Well, hot damn. Joel bought his parents that car, snatched it right up from the old man in Indiana, drove it home, and gave it to his parents. When they saw what he had done, they could hardly contain themselves. When they saw how big the backseat was — like a sinkhole in a crater — they were stunned.
14. Calling All Cars: The Smiths Are Behind The Wheel
To make sure he wasn't gifting his parents a rattling deathtrap to make the iron maiden look like a massage table, he brought the car to a mechanic and got it all spiffed up. Then his parents got in it, and they greased it up. That back seat = Palace of Versailles.
And with that, the Smith saga comes to an end. It spanned over 60 years, and involved the ill-fated American auto industry, a foreign war, a social network frequently used for catfishing and victim-searching, and a fire engine red hunk of metal. But now the Smiths are happily helming a lookalike of their wedding present, and living life to the fullest. Speaking of full, on a full tank of gas that car would only go about to the big tree on the right side of the road.