And the companies were happy to help. This is how the love of cars is born.
We all have our own story of how we fell in love with cars. For some, it began the moment they laid eyes on a Lamborghini poster, for others it started after their first ride in a sports car. Popular Mechanics has shared a touching story about a young boy named Patch Hurty, who became a car enthusiast at age five when he found a Ford badge sitting on the side of the road near his house.
Like most car enthusiasts, Hurty quickly became obsessed and wondered if he could collect badges from other car companies as well. With the help of his mother Lindsay (who took these photos), Hurty sent out letters to various car manufacturers asking if they could send him a badge.
The letters included a signature, a coin from his piggy bank, and (when possible)a picture of him standing next to one of the company's cars. They even reached out to automakers that don't exist anymore, like Hummer and Pontiac. It wasn't long before automakers began to respond with badges and all sorts of other fun items.
Volvo sent back a badge, a frisbee, several other branded items, and a hand-written note. Bentley mailed back the center cap from a wheel. BMW even sent a note saying, "It's great that you enjoy watching Ultimate Driving Machines cruise past your house and we are happy to send you the enclosed shiny, new BMW emblem to add to your collection." One of the most unique gifts came from Lincoln in the form of a hand-drawn sketch of a Continental.
We are happy to hear that automakers have responded with such kindness. Almost all of them returned the coin from Hurty's piggy bank and enclosed a hand-written response. Even companies that don't build cars in the US anymore, like Suzuki, sent stickers, a key ring, and brochures for their motorcycles. Isuzu responded similarly by sending some toy versions of its commercial trucks. This is a really touching story which proves the passion for cars is still alive and well in the next generation of America's youth.
When asked what his first car will be when the time comes to get his license, Hurty answered "Ford. I still have a warm spot for Ford in my heart. It was the first decal I ever found and it started this project. A project of love and cars."