GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Letter to the Editor

It is normal to receive feedback and comments from readers who enjoy, as I do, cars and movie trivia and the anecdotes from those who have been on the scene. The other day, I received one that resonated for me. A bit of his own story is told in it and it is the letter I wish I had written to David E Davis before his recent passing. I present it here as a "Letter to the Editor" with the blessing of the writer:

Hello Stephen-

I discovered "The Great Putdown" video while frequenting a muscle car forum several months back. And I can honestly say that within a matter of minutes I had devoured every bit of video, photographs and stories that had to do with you and 3987. I felt it was important that I contact you in order to thank you for posting all of the great information with respect to your time with the car. Additionally I enjoy just hearing the random stories from that time period from your perspective.

I myself grew up into a "car" family. My father enjoyed restoring Model As. While that was his passion he certainly managed to have an array of more current cars on hand to play with. Therefore, a full driveway of cars was typical for my house in the early 70's. Having 3 older brothers I was fortunate to see them bring home all kinds of different cars. We had VWs, customized vans, several Austin Healy's and muscle cars. I witnessed more car dismantling than at the local service shop. A weekend driveway paint job or trans rebuild was commonplace back then. Being that I was many years from being able to drive during this time I could only enjoy the cars from the passenger seat. I took a particular liking to muscle cars which has stayed with me to date as I have a couple of my own now. Now when I drive them I think of those days when I was a kid. The cars are my time machine. I now have a son who is 11 years old. When we drive together I look over at him in the passenger seat and picture myself (him being at almost the same age as I was) back in the 70's and remembering how much I enjoyed those times and their significance in my lifetime.

So in a long drawn out way which I hope wasn't too boring I'd like to thank you for your stories. Stories told so well that I feel like I am in the passenger seat with you. I anxiously await your GTO documentary and look forward to new stories on your blog. In my mind, 3987 will always be the "Stephen Mitchell GTO".

Best regards,
Darren Costello
St. Charles, Illinois


Vic said...

What a great letter from Mr. Costello. I concur with many of his statements and sentiments, as I too encountered your blog and stories through your 3987 GTO videos on YouTube.

I was wondering if Mr. Lauren is aware of the GTO documentary you are making and your history with the "Stephen Mitchell GTO"?

Darren said...

I wanted to convey how much I appreciated Stephen's storytelling skills coupled with the images and video. I feel I was able to gain something similar to what I experience when I view my old photographs coupled with my personal memories. Hence, why I indicated that I felt like I was in the passenger seat with you. In the process, I have learned what I feel is quite a bit in a short time and I am thankful for that.

To think that you would drive this car virtually anywhere is remarkable considering the monetary value it demands today. I would only assume that current GTO owners are on the edge of their seats waiting for the documentary as to experience the car like no one today would attempt. I just keep picturing you taking the car to the grocery store. When you say you owned this car, in my opinion. You REALLY owned it. Because of the rapid increase in value not many owners can tell a story like you can. While the brave do take them to the anniversary shows it is certainly understandable that they are now considered museum pieces to be observed. Therefore, the stories are experience limited which is unfortunate, but yet reality.

I would imagine that every enthusiast is certainly thankful that you have presented the information you have so far. About a year ago a discussion with family members revealed the fact that our family has lost so many recipes from our grandparents. Recipes that were never written down but all in their heads. That is the way they cooked, they just knew how to do it so there was no need to write it down. What I wouldn't give enjoy my wife's grandfather's homemade wine. Or my grandmother's homemade pasta. But alas, they are gone forever because no one had foresight to realize the importance. In my opinion that is terribly disappointing. After experiencing what I have through your words I certainly would have the same feeling of disappointment if the stories were never told. Because I am one of many who will probably never get the opportunity to own a Ferrari, nor ride in one. What you are doing is invaluable to me. I check in often and am always happy to read something new.

Thanks for the kind words Vic.

Stephen Mitchell said...


I understand your reaction to these stories and anecdotes. I had the same reaction to pieces written by David E Davis Jr, Warren Weith, D.S. Jenkinson and Henry Manney to name a few. They always took the significance well beyond the hardware and made us welcome as friends in a very special circle of people.

I attended the 45th GTO anniversary event at Infineon Raceway and the fellows were having a go with no punches pulled. It was something to see.

Still, racing around Los Angeles with the GTO in company with my friends Matthew Ettinger in the Breadvan or Peter Helm in the California is something that cannot be repeated.