FALMOUTH, Maine — Back in 1952, when Nathan Brackett was just a sophomore in high school, he bought a run-down 1920 Ford Model T. He paid $60.
Then he set about restoring the automobile with his father. Most of the work was done to keep the car looking like its original state, with one obvious exception: Brackett decided to paint the wheel’s wooden spokes bright yellow instead of black.
“I was young,” he said, “I didn’t really care [about keeping with tradition].”
He was telling the story last Sunday during a weekly outing with more than a dozen southern Maine antique car enthusiasts. The informal group sets out for a ride most Sunday mornings from Skillins Nursery in Falmouth.
Over the years Brackett became more interested in boats than cars, so in 1984 he sold the Ford.
Two decades later, he got nostalgic for the old car and started to look for it. He tracked it down in Old Town, not a moment too soon. The car, which by now had five different owners, was just about to be sold to someone in Germany.
Brackett didn’t expect the reunion to be emotional but admitted he had to fight back tears when he laid eyes on his old car. To his amazement, nobody had repainted the yellow spokes.
It cost him $10,000 to buy it back — but judging by the joy he gets on his Sunday drives, it was worth every cent.