Ohio Man Spends Decades Chasing His Mom’s Old Classics

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After dying unexpectedly decades ago, a man dedicated himself to hunting down his mother’s Cutlass Supreme to redeem it.

John Berry fondly remembers riding in his mother’s beautiful green 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. She would raise a set of oversized sunglasses and aviator scarf, the quintessential uniform for beautiful women driving around in classic convertibles, and John would admire the ride from the backseat. Janis Berry died suddenly aged 43 when John was 15 in 1975, and years after it was sold John was determined to get it back.

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“She would make it an event to go to the supermarket,” said John Berry, 61. “My mother really liked this car.”

The 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was a gift to Janis from John’s father in the fall of 1971, and they would be divorced at the time of John’s mother’s death. His father kept the car for a few years until he sold it in 1980 to a car collector, which was fine with John at the time, but would start to irritate him later.

“As I got older, I just longed for her to be in my life,” he said, “so I began my quest to hunt down the car.”

John Berry got the buyer’s name from his father and contacted him by email, and he still had the car, but wasn’t interested in selling it. Not wanting to give up, he followed up every six months for 20 years to see if the owner was ready to sell. Eventually, the owner was willing to sell some of the cars in his collection and considered the sentimental value the Olds had for John and made the easy decision to sell them back to him.

After receiving the message that the Olds were ready for a new home, John drove nearly 6 hours to finalize the sale.

“I hadn’t seen it since 1980,” Berry said, “it was exactly as I remembered it.”

Source: John Berry/The Washington Post

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