Fate leads local man to Autorama

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 23, 2016

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Allen Rodgers had taken a routine day off from work when fate seemingly came his way.

Rodgers, 64, of Macomb Township, said he took the day off a few years ago just to get some computer parts when he saw a pair of hot rods and a custom classic car parked in front of a restaurant on Van Dyke.

He initially didn’t stop to check the vehicles out, and when he drove by on his way home, only the classic car remained. Still intrigued by the car, Rodgers stopped to take a look.

The owner of the car, a ’34 Ford two-door coupe, greeted Rodgers by saying that he should’ve left the restaurant with his friends already. As the two talked, Rodgers told the owner that he was in the market for a classic car, and the owner offered to sell the Ford to him on the spot.

“I had a price in mind for what I wanted to pay. I asked him what he was looking for. He nailed the price right on the dollar for what I wanted to pay for it,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said that his twist of fate that day led him to put a unique license plate on the car.

“That’s why the license plate on the back of the car says ‘meant to be,’ because I think it was meant for me to get that car,” Rodgers said.

For the past year, he has been having the car prepared to show at the 64th annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, which begins Feb. 26 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Rodgers said the car was still able to be driven when he received it, but he has had new paint put on it, as well as a new interior and other amenities.

Those amenities include new controls for air conditioning and heat that resemble a style from the 1960s, as well as a new radio system that also imitates a ’60s style. Rodgers also had 1941-model LED taillights installed to go with structural improvements.

“My wife even enjoys driving it,” said Rodgers, who said he and his wife use the car as a daily driver. “We take it to go to Dairy Queen and just to drive around and have fun with it.”

Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama is open from noon to 10 p.m. Feb. 26, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 27, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

In addition to the more than 800 vehicles that are scheduled to be displayed throughout the weekend, there will also be numerous celebrity appearances and a concert.

Tickets cost $19 for adults and $6 for children 6-12 years old. Discount tickets for $17 and $5 are available at O’Reilly Auto Parts stores.

For more information, visit www.autorama.com.

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