When Bob Norton told his father that he intended to get married, his dad gave him an ultimatum: You can have the girl or you can have the car, but you can’t have both.
“The car” was a new 1957 Chevrolet that for which Norton’s father had co-signed a year earlier.
Norton decided to get married and gave up the car, which proved to be a pretty good decision because he and his wife, Marge, have been married for 53 years.
“We have a son, a daughter and a great marriage,” said Norton, 75, a family care minister who lives in Lapeer.
“But I still remember that car and how much I loved it. Every year when my kids asked what I wanted for my birthday I’d say I wanted a 1957 Chevy. I joked about it, but it got to be a regular request.”
Then about 15 years ago Norton’s son, Bob, decided to do something about it.
“He started looking around and would call and say ‘Dad, I found a car for you,’” Norton said.
“But then he really did find one in Alpena. He talked the price down by $10,000 and then wrote me a check to cover half the cost.”
That was too good a deal to pass up, according to Marge.
“He deserved it for putting up with me for 53 years,” Marge joked.
“The couple that sold us the car loved it too. It was delivered on a trailer and they cried when they handed us the keys; we felt terrible about it.”
Fourteen years later, the aqua- colored convertible is a big part of the Norton’s life.
“When we were teenagers we used to drag on Woodward, but not with this car,” said Marge, 74.
“It’s been a good marriage and he’s been a great husband.”