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July 10, 2018 124 Comments

Hotrods & Heart-rides

Because dreams are dreams, damnit.

 

Loud and proud, pink and black, you can’t not notice her.

But to know The MC Pinky Down is to understand why she shines with honor.

A rare beauty, she’s a 1956 Plymouth Belvedere purchased nearly 30 years ago by Dennis Nixon, better known as Uncle Wiggly by Tom Nixon, owner of Modern Craft Wine, and his family.

And when some 300 classic cars flood the streets of Modern Craft’s one-stoplight hometown on July 27 – 28, 2018 for the 25th Annual Au Gres Cruisers Car Club Rock & Roll Weekend, she’ll make her first ever appearance at the head of the pack right behind Wiggly in the lead.

The Au Gres Cruisers Car Club wouldn’t exist without Wiggly—he and a few others started it 25 years ago—and The MC Pinky Down wouldn’t exist without Wiggly either, or Tom.

Big Goals & Shared Dreams

You gonna sell me that car one day, Uncle Wiggly?” – Tom, age 11

Wiggly bought the car in 1989 because he loves old cars. His wife says he’s been working on and admiring cars since he was a kid, and he’s owned at least eight classics in his lifetime. But this one, in particular, had special sentiment. His dad once owned a 1956 pink and black Belvedere that Wiggly took his now wife of 57 years, Jean, on their first date in (and they shared their first kiss there, too).

Wiggly was also fond of a curvy blond who once drove a 1956 pink and black Belvedere: the one and only Marilyn Monroe. Tom grew up staring at the poster Wiggly hung in his auto shop of the movie star and her infamous ride and watching his uncle restore the old car, stripping it down and applying painstaking care to each detail and component—he removed every nut and bolt, carefully placing them into plastic baggies complete with labels.

“You ever gonna sell me that car, Uncle Wiggly?” – Tom, age 18

And then, he painted it. And Wiggly did a fair job, but the conditions in the potato storage barn he was working in at the time weren’t optimal. The paint job wasn’t impeccable and after everything he’d worked so hard to give that car, the pretty-good-but-not-perfect paint job hit Wiggly hard.

It kind of took the wind out of his sails. He moved her over to his auto shop, talked about repainting her … but there she sat.

 “You gonna sell me that car one day, Uncle Wiggly?” – Tom, age 28

Growing up, Tom and his dad talked often about how Wiggly had abandoned his dream. He’d always said he wanted to restore that car to her original state and take his wife out on a ride for another first date. But, it got away from him. When Wiggly received an unexpected, life-changing diagnosis last year, the kind that makes one look to tie up any loose ends … he called up his nephew.

“You still wanna buy that car, Tom?” – Dennis Nixon, Uncle Wiggly  

Dreams Are Dreams, Damnit

Of course Tom purchased the car, but owning it took on new meaning and he decided to invest his time and heart into finishing Wiggly’s dream for him.

When it came time to re-paint her, people told Tom he was crazy.

“Paint it black and silver or red, they told me. I told everyone, ‘No way. We’re painting it exactly the way he wanted it. I know what he was shooting for, I know what his dream for this car was. We’ve got to follow through’.”

And that’s just what he did with Wiggly helping where he could, searching down hard-to-find pieces and parts, and Chad Rahn of Rahn’s Restoration re-completing the paint job. The MC Pinky Down has more work ahead of her, and Tom seeks to improve the interior, but she’ll be ready to ride by the 25th Annual Au Gres Cruisers Car Club Rock & Roll Weekend in July and forevermore thereafter.

Wiggly’s seen his dream car restored to his liking, and his ride with his wife will now be able to take place because … dreams are dreams, damnit.

The MC Pinky Down

“People will accuse me of doing this for P.R. and I don’t care, because that’s never been the point,” says Tom. “The point is, this dream of his that he started and I’m finishing - this car - will get attention and it will be recognized … and that’s something he loves so much. I thank my lucky stars every day that I’m in a position in life where I was able to do this for him.”

“It makes Dennis feel really good that his nephew wanted to do this, in his honor really,” says Jean.

Loud and proud, pink and black, you can’t not notice her.

But to know The MC Pinky Down is to understand why she shines with honor.

To Wiggly, the reason she exists, and to The MC Pinky Down—a dream on wheels and one hell of a heart-ride—cheers.

Click here to see Fiday night event details where the MC Pinky Down will be available for viewing for the first time ever




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