His wife said he did so because he did not want to see them modified for racing or destroyed in demolition derbies. Now, a year after he died, they have been re-discovered and are all heading to the auction block.
The collection is largely comprised of late 1960s and early 1970s era muscle cars. it includes a rare 1970 Plymouth Road Runner convertible that was used for everyday driving by Mrs. Rietz, as well as a numbers-matching 1970 Dodge Super Bee 440 6-pack and a 1976 Plymouth Trail Duster SUV.
The newest among them is a 1983 Dodge Mirada convertible with red velvet interior upholstery, which, apart from its weathered paint, apparently looks as bright as the day it came off the factory floor. Other vehicles include Dodge Power Wagons and Ram Chargers, and a wonderful 1961 Jeep-based wrecker.
One can only wonder at what these long neglected vehicles will look like when the wonderful restorations likely envisioned by the new owners come to pass. They will surely be impressive sights to see.
This weekend, our church hosts their annual “Cruise-In” car show. We have been doing so for over a decade and a half now. The event grows every year, both in participation and in attendance. And I personally cannot wait to see the wonderful collection of restored vehicles sure to be on display this Saturday.
Every year, as I walk among all of the gorgeous old cars on display, I am reminded of what God has done for me. Like these old cars, I was originally wrought by my Creator in the splendor of His image. But the ravages of sin took its toll on me over time. I wound up worn out, used up, and marred and damaged to such a point that many would have viewed me as beyond all hope.
But then something wonderful happened. I was lost; but Jesus Christ found me. Having found me, He redeemed me. And in the process, He restored me to my original splendor as a human being.
In the New Testament Book of Titus (chapter 2, verse 14), we are told Christ gave Himself for us in order to redeem us. The word used by the Apostle Paul and translated as “redeem” is the “Koine” (or “Common”) Greek term, “loo-tro'-o”, which means “to release (or set free) by paying the full ransom price”; thus, “to restore something back into the possession of its rightful owner”. Scholars tell us that the term was often used of first century slaves being bought on the auction block.
I am thankful that Jesus Christ was willing to pay the full price for my redemption, by giving His life on an old rugged cross and thereby satisfying the wrath of God against the price of my sin. In the process, He redeemed me and put me back into a proper relationship with my Creator.
And by His grace, each and every day, He continues to work on me, restoring me to the fullness of my potential by helping me to conform to his image! While I am not now what I one day will be, I praise God that I am now more than I ever was without Jesus Christ!
And for this reason, just as a beautifully restored vehicle testifies by its condition to the one who found, retrieved, and restored it, I will praise the name of my redeemer for all eternity!