At Morrie’s we actively look for opportunities to give back, but there are few instances where we can combine our love of cars, combined skills, expertise and generous staff to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. When such an opportunity knocks on our door, we have to jump on it, and that is exactly what we did when Make-A-Wish of Minnesota told us about Matthew, who wished to have his 1968 Dodge Charger restored.
Rewind about a year and a half. Matthew, a 16 year old from northern Minnesota, is fighting cancer. After connecting with Make-A-Wish of Minnesota he wishes for his car to be restored, but his wish cannot be fulfilled until he is 16. As time passes he wonders if his wish will be granted. It was towards the end of this waiting period that we partnered with Make-A-Wish and expressed interest in employing our automotive passion to make a positive impact. As luck would have it, the timing was perfect and we set the ball in motion to restore Matthew’s Charger.
Not knowing what shape the car was in, we hitched up our trailer and made the three-hour trip north on Saturday, January 12. To Matthew, this was just another Saturday. Little did he know that we would be surprising him with the granting of his wish. Just a mile from his house, we connected Make-A-Wish volunteers and made the short drive to his house. Upon pulling into his family’s driveway, it did not take long to take notice of the bright green pickup, trailer and group of us walking towards the house and as if on cue, Matthew was the first out the door. He knew something was up and without hesitation we informed him that we would be granting his wish.
Matthew immediately led us to the Charger and we quickly discovered that it was in much better shape than expected. Spending most of its life in California surely has certainly been good to the car. After a few attempts to load the car, including everyone on hand, we were finally victorious in getting the car on the trailer. We secured it on the trailer, then quickly escaped the cold and celebrated with cupcakes and coffee. Matthew’s family was quite hospitable and in true northern Minnesota fashion, I’m pretty sure they would have invited us for a Sauna if we didn’t have a three-hour drive ahead of us.
Matthew’s Charger now sits at our Minnetonka Ford location where it will undergo a mechanical evaluation before heading to our body shop for bodywork followed by paint and upholstery. We will work closely with Matthew to ensure that the car it built to his specifications. The combined efforts and support form our employees, partners and friends will contribute to the restorations completion. We plan to document the process along the way on our blog so be sure to check back often.
We are truly proud to be able to make Matthew’s wish come true!
UPDATE #1: http://blog.morries.com/2013/01/matthews-1968-charger-restoration-update-1-pulling-the-engine/