WINNSBORO — Many of us have seen Velocity’s popular TV show, “Chasing Classic Cars.” Wayne Carini is the host. He expends much energy in doing just that, chasing a car that might be in some out-of-the-way place. Like a barn.
For Mr. Carini the chase seems to be the appeal. Like a “Limo Lothario,” his love seems shallow and short lived. Off to the auction block they go and off to another “chase.”
There are other relationships, however, when a guy’s ride has substance. Take Fairfield County’s own Samuel Lewis Castles Jr., for instance. When he falls for an automobile he means it. By the way, most of us know I’m talking about Buddy. One of the Castle twins, Billy and Buddy, born in 1939 right here on Hwy. 269 and Rion Road.
Buddy’s father was a carpenter. In his employ was one Albert Frick who did not have a driver’s license. His girlfriend had to drive him to work. So every morning and most afternoons, Buddy saw this beautiful 1940 Ford Opera Coupe. And, like most 16 year olds, his fancy turned to cars, among other things.
So, he asked Mr. Frick daily if he would sell it. After some months a law was laid down: “Do not ask me again,” said Mr. Frick. “When I get ready I will give you the right of first refusal.”
And, true to his word, in about a year he was ready, Buddy was ready and a life long relationship begun.
In 1957 Buddy met Jane Houze and another relationship began. After a time in the Army at Fort Jackson, where Buddy and Billy enlisted together and even stayed together in the same barracks, Buddy and Jane were married. And still are. Notice Buddy signs on for the long haul.
In 1980 he started a complete restoration, taking the coupe apart totally. In 1984, it was completed in a condition that Henry Ford would be proud. At that time the odometer was set to zero, today it has 47,000 miles. The three have been to car shows all over, from New York to Pennsylvania to the Indianapolis Speedway.
At the crossroads of Hwy. 269 and Greenbrier Mossydale is Buddy’s garage, hangout, local gathering place, or any other title one would give this wonderful place. It is a museum of collectibles, most automobile, that would make any town envious.
In fact in 2005, over five days, the USC Media Arts Program filmed the movie “Free Beer Tomorrow.” Buddy has one of the original lobby cards.
On Dec. 19, Buddy turned 76 and on Dec. 10, Jane and Buddy celebrated 49 years together. And, of course they both celebrate 2015, the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Ford Opera Coupe they have lived and loved together all these years.
So, Mr. Carini, continue with your “one night stands.” Some prefer longer relationships.
Grey Brendle is a retired businessman, living in Fairfield County. He has written weekly articles for newspapers in the Southeast from South Carolina to Florida for 15 years.