Susan O’Quinn considers it an honour to drive the 1964 Buick Electra that her deceased father, Clarence O’Quinn, left to her.
“It’s also an honour to maintain it and preserve a piece of history, not to mention it beats renting a car while I’m home on vacation,” she said.
Her dad got into classic cars late in life and, in addition to the Buick Electra convertible, he purchased a Lincoln Continental Mark V from a man in Fredericton, N.B. that was all original body and motor train and remains that way today.
That one went to his daughter Shana O’Quinn, who with Susan both live in Toronto, Ont.
Home for a visit, Susan talked of her pride in the car her dad left her, which had been previously owned by Joe Boulos of Stephenville, better known as “The Music Man” for the business he ran for many years.
The keychain that came with the car features The Music Man and, as Susan’s a music teacher, the irony is not lost on her the car made its way from a “music man” to a “music woman.”
The car was also owned for some time by Conrad White of the former White’s Hotel in Stephenville before her dad purchased it and it was given its stunning pearl finish by the Late Ashley Skinner.
The motor in the Electra was changed out after Clarence purchased it and, despite the block being dropped and some damage done, John McLean of Port au Port was able to spot the problem, fix it, and install the motor.
Because of its white exterior and red trim, Susan said her dad always wanted her to be dressed in red and white when she got in the convertible.
“Being a little rebellious I didn’t get many rides in the car back then but today, to be colour coded and in dad’s honour, I wear red and white when I go in the car,” she said.
At 230 inches long, the Mark V is the largest two-door coupe ever sold by Ford Motor Company.
Susan has high praise for local antique car buff Tom Fitzpatrick who helps keep both vehicles running and for instructing her and Shana on maintaining them.
“Dad entrusting these cars to us just goes to show that girls can have toys too,” she said.
Both these classic automobiles will be featured in the Joe MacNeil Antique and Unique Car Show in Stephenville.
While Susan will be heading back to Ontario before the car show, her sister Shana will be home at the time and their mom Mary O’Quinn also takes great pride in the two vehicles her husband took great interest in.
Mary attended car shows with her husband in this province and in Nova Scotia.
Joe MacNeil Antique and Unique Car
Location: Main Street, Stephenville
Date: July 28
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Entrants: 80 Pre-registered vehicles with about 120 vehicles anticipated
Entertainment: Music by Park Avenue
Activities: Sidewalk and In-Store Sales
Demonstration: Coastal Glass Vehicle Wrap
Extra: Stephenville Firefighters Local 1852 Motorcycle Show, Shine and Ride
Source: Bob Byrnes, chair of the Joe MacNeil Antique and Unique Car