WHEN Brisbane local Gary Day first laid eyes on a 1929 Dodge Brothers Sports Roadster it was love at first sight - but it took 21 years of hot pursuit before he could finally claim his dream car.
Love strikes when you least expect it and it was the last thing that Gary - then a teenage apprentice electrician - was anticipating on a stormy afternoon as he furiously pedalled his bicycle to deliver a heater to a customer.
Discovering the owners weren't home Gary placed the heater in a sheltered spot - but stopped in his tracks when he saw the Dodge parked under the house.
"I was very excited when I first saw it - Dodges are not very common, especially in the condition this one was in," Gary said.
The very next day Gary returned to the house to see if the owners, the Hunt family, would sell him the Dodge. It was not for sale so Gary asked if he could look after it.
"I thought if I at least got to know them and show them I had the right ideas, I could look after the car for them - and keep the engine ticking over - in case I ever had the chance to own it one day," he said.
"So I did that, for 21 years in fact, until Mrs Hunt called me to say she would sell it to us."
Over the following years Gary tossed around the idea of restoring the Dodge but it but it wasn't until his cat jumped onto the roof and fell right through it that he decided to go ahead.
"When our pussycat fell through the roof - that was the straw that broke the camel's back," he said.
After five years of working on the Dodge during long days, nights and weekends, it was finally restored to its original splendour.
Since then Gary has proudly exhibited his restored Dodge Brothers Sports Roadster at RACQ's annual MotorFest event, and this year will be no exception.
Dodges will bask in the limelight during MotorFest at Brisbane's Eagle Farm Racecourse on 13 July to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this iconic American car, alongside the Maserati, which is also celebrating 100 years, and the Mustang, which marks its 50th anniversary.
Registration for MotorFest is now open, and will close Friday 13 June. For more information, see the MotorFest webpage.
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