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Dream car of veteran on display Sunday
Stuart News - 6/16/2018
VERO BEACH - When Craig Waskow was serving his county as an U.S. Army soldier during the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1971, memories of home kept him going.
And one of his most treasured items was a picture torn from a magazine of a 1970 Buick Skylark Gran Sport convertible.
"I kept the picture in my footlocker," said Waskow, 72, a Vero Beach resident and a member of the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. "I carried the picture with me every time we moved locations. It was very important to me."
Waskow said he dreamed of the day when he could afford to own one of his own.
When Waskow returned home, he purchased a different car but still yearnedfor the 1970 Buick Skylark GS convertible. His love of the vehicle was well known for decades by family members and friends.
Two years ago, a friend from North Carolina, a car buff who often bought and sold cars, stumbled upon the perfect vehicle for Waskow and purchase it.
"I was flabbergasted," said Waskow. "It had come from its original owner but it was brokered through the friend of a friend, which is how I acquired it. It only took me 47 years to get the car of my dreams."
According to the official records maintained by the Sloan Museum's Automotive Collection in Flint, Michigan, most of the 1970 Buick Skylark GS vehicles had 455-cubic inch, V-8 engines that allowed them to compete against similar muscle cars from Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Ford.
But Waskow's car, which is red with a white convertible roof and black interior, has 350-cubic-inch engine, making it even rarer.
"When I got the car, it was during the vintage age of the muscle cars like the Mustang GTO," recalled Waskow. "But I always thought my car was more sophisticated; it just had a better look to it and I knew I wanted it."
These days, Waskow proudly shows the convertible off at car shows.
It will be on display Father's Dayat the Vero Beach Elk's Lodge. For eight years, Waskow has been running the car show with the Elks Club as a fundraiser for veterans' assistance programs in Indian River County.
"We don't raise a tremendous amount of money but every little bit helps," Waskow said. "We'll have about 100 cars and since the weather looks fairly promising, it will be a good way to come out with your dad and celebrate Father's Day."
8th Annual Veterans' Car Show
When:10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Vero Beach Elk's Lodge No. 1774, 1350 26th Street, Vero Beach
Cost: $20 per vehicle entry on-site. No cost for spectators.
Information: Food, ice cream, raffles, music and more available during the car show. Proceeds benefit veterans' assistance programs in Indian River County. Learn more by emailing Craig Waskow at firstname.lastname@example.org.