Not everyone is an asshole. Sometimes, that’s a tricky thing to remember, but it’s quite true. In fact, many people are the exact opposite of assholes, whatever you call that. A mouth? It doesn’t matter. There’s so many of these non-assholes in the story of this man’s SVT Focus that you’ll get the idea.
Here’s the story: Jason Hodges owns a 2003 Ford SVT Focus that’s named (a little confusingly, since it’s another car’s name) Sonic. This car has been extremely important to him, acting as the vehicle — literally and figuratively — that gave him the community that makes up much of the social fabric of his life. Here’s how he put it in an email to Jalopnik:
I own a 2003 Ford SVT Focus I call “Sonic.” Of course it’s Sonic Blue in color and I purchased it new in August 2003. In that 12 years I’ve put 280,000 miles on it by driving all over the US for different types of car events and meets, getting to know many people in the Ford Focus community. I even document all of it on its own Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/SonicSVTFocus/.
It might not be the most modified car, but I’ve been able to go places, meet people, and attend events with that car that I never imagined. Because of that, many Ford Focus owners out there know about my car and what it means to me.
Sadly, over Labor Day weekend, while Jason and his wife were driving back to Oklahoma from Colorado, his wife lost control of the car and had a high-speed wreck on the highway.
Luckily they were both fine, but Sonic was a mess:
Sonic was severely damaged with every panel on the passenger side damaged along with both bumpers, hood, and hatch.
The car was boned, deeply, and with the substantial mileage on the car, it would be a total write-off, insurance-wise, even if he had full coverage, which he had just cancelled. He took the car to a body shop, anyway, just to see, and found it would be about $2000 just to straighten the frame and fix the damaged rocker panel. No cosmetic work or anything like that. Jason said after the estimate:
At that point I realized my car was dead and would never be the same.
That’s grim. It would be pretty shitty to end the story here, so I’ll quote Jason on what happened next, instead:
My friend, Jake, came over that evening to take me out to dinner to lift my spirits and also do a parts run for his Focus wagon that he was letting me use for the interim. We drive to Owasso to get the part for his car, but instead he drives to the body shop where I find over 50 people standing in front of the shop, waiting for me to arrive...
Obviously I knew something was going on at that point, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. Jake then presented me with a check for just over $2100, right at the amount I was told earlier in the day by the body shop that it would cost to fix the rocker panel and straighten the frame.
I was in awe. I couldn’t believe that people had come together to raise that money so I could start the repairs on Sonic!
Then Jake builds up a moment of tension and says that check is what was left over....
At that point my wife, Christie, backs Sonic out of the garage, all repaired!
Jason has some pretty amazing friends: completely behind his back, they brought his car back to life.
They repaired Sonic Overhaulin’ style under my nose and I didn’t know! The check actually was the remainder of what they had to purchase and that has been going towards minor repairs that they couldn’t get to in time. There was a Facebook group created with over 500 people in it all helping to save my car without me knowing. Parts and money were donated by Focus enthusiasts, PPG donated the paint, and Gerber Collision in Owasso donated all the labor to save my car! Plus they did it all in less than a month’s time!
It was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and I was speechless during the entire reveal. They even did a Livestream of the reveal where 100 more people watched it happen! I have been to so many places, done so many things, and met so many people because of this car and all of my friends helped keep it alive for me!
So, let’s just recap here: guy’s beloved car is wrecked, and he sadly accepts the fact that it’s dead, after realizing the extensive repairs were out of his reach. A community of his Focus-enthusiast friends not only secretly raise the money for the basic repairs, but go on to donate parts, time, skill, effort, and more money to get the car restored to its happy, pre-wreck state.
Just because they’re good people who want to see a fellow enthusiast happy again.
I’m not sure why, but it seems like groups of car-lovers have a greater-than-average capacity for generosity and kindness. I mean, I could be wrong, but this story is hardly a lone example. I suspect it has something to do with a reaction of motor oil fumes in the hippocampus.
Regardless, once again I’m proud to be a gearhead.
Photos credit Jason Hodges, Sonic Facebook Page
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.