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Everyone enjoys a great love story and in the Motor City everyone has a great car story! WDET has a story of love AND a great car. You are among the first to hear about the historic car that came to us through the WDET vehicle donation program after it played a role in the lives of two prominent Detroit families. The historic 1964 Dodge Custom 880 convertible was purchased right off the line by Horace Elgin Dodge Junior – the son of the automotive pioneer for whom so much in Detroit is named. Horace Junior bought the car as a Christmas gift for his mother, Anna Thompson Dodge, but he died before his mother took delivery of the car.
Thirty years later, Anna Thompson Dodge’s 1964 convertible caught the eye of Mary McLean when it was on display at an auction house in Detroit. Mary’s “date” and future husband, Ralph C. Wilson Jr., bought it for her and the couple enjoyed taking the car for joyous rides around their Grosse Pointe home. The Wilsons named the car "Horace." After Mr. Wilson’s death, Mary used the WDET vehicle donation program to find the next loving home for Horace knowing public radio listeners would appreciate the provenance of this particular vehicle.
In this 2014 New York Times article, Larry Edsall wrote a great story about the car, which was lovingly passed from son to mother and then sweetheart to sweetheart.
Mary Wilson is a loyal public radio listener and donated this car to help support the programs she loves. This is a rare automobile and its history inspired WDET to go beyond a routine sale at auction to find it the right home.
Soon, you’ll hear on-air messages about the raffle of Horace, the classic car! One lucky winner will become the third owner of the 1964 Dodge Custom 880 convertible, one of only 1,058 produced.
We expect there will be national attention on this storied car. You’re getting a sneak peek! I hope you’ll consider purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to own this piece of Detroit history and encourage the car enthusiasts in your life to enter the raffle too.
Check out photos and details about the car and reserve a raffle ticket. Please contact me or Carmen Garcia at [email protected] if you have questions or want to learn more about this one-of-a-kind automobile.
Thank you for helping to spread the word about the distinctly Detroit history of this rare car and this unique way to support WDET!
Mary A. Zatina
WDET General Manager
P.S. The Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program in Massachusetts partners with WDET on our vehicle donation program, and they have been particularly helpful in the handling of this special vehicle as well as over 80 vehicles donated to WDET this fiscal year. Visit wdet.org/cars when you’re ready to donate a car! Classics or Clunkers – we take them all and they drive WDET forward!