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A couple of non-stock items that came on the car Mr. Wilkinson is not going to change are the split manifold to make dual exhausts a possibility and blue dots in the taillights. Those items can readily be put back to stock if he decides to be a purist.

“What really lights the car up,” Mr. Wilkinson says, “are the spider wheel hubcaps.”

Since acquiring the Ford Mr. Wilkinson has found an item that his father had tucked away. He has attached it to the rear license plate, exactly where his father had it on his 1939 Ford. The treasured item is an identification plate that reads “Camp Springs Field — Washington, D.C. - #296.”

Given the current state of the economy, Mr. Wilkinson gives his Ford a love pat and says, “This is better than money in the bank.”