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Real Wheels: 1965 Pontiac GTO

June 1, 2012

HARROD — Most cars have a story behind it. While some enthusiasts say the reason they own their current vintage car is because they had one like it at one time, or they wanted one like it. Rick Stoermer, of Harrod can say his 1965 Pontiac GTO played cupid for him.It started in the fall of 1968. Stoermer was a freshman in college and still “wet behind the ears.” One day between classes he was sitting in the cafeteria and overheard a girl talking with two other guys about a 1966 big block Chevelle and the horsepower the engine made. Being the “piston head” that he was, and all four years of learning about cars, he thought he knew it all. He decided to correct the young lady about her lack of technical information. As he approached, he could not help but notice her long dark hair, short skirt and big brown eyes. He said the brown eyes could melt a double scoop ice-cream cone at 20 paces! After a brief introduction, Stoermer and the brown eyed girl immediately plunged into a full blown argument in front of everyone. He told her he never met a girl that knew anything about cars. She told him she not only knew cars, but could drive them. He told her he had a real car in the parking lot, a red 1965 Pontiac GTO with a 389 cubic inch engine, three-dueces, four-speed, posi traction and 360 horsepower, if she knew what that meant. She said she did. She then asked Stoermer if he would like to see just how a four-speed car should be driven. That sounded like a challenge to him. Stoermer said the girls that he knew could barely drive an automatic, let alone a four-speed. He thought it might be fun.Out to the school parking lot they went. Stoermer drove the car first. He said he was secretly hoping for at least one date out of the encounter with a gal that he thought was so cute. He pulled over to the side of a divided highway and let “brown eyes” behind the wheel. Well, after she adjusted the mirrors, adjusted the seat and checked for first gear, they were off! She dumped the clutch, burned rubber and brought new meaning to the term “pedal to the metal.” All three carburetors were screaming. Enough gas going through them to devour a $20 bill at today’s gas prices in a heartbeat. All four gears and not a miss. Right then and there he decided any girl that could handle 360 horsepower, set him back in his seat and had beautiful brown eyes was something special.Two years later they were married and, according to Stoermer, “she has been driving me crazy” ever since. So, after 40 plus years, she shares lifes three “G’s” with him: God, Grandkids and GTOs.Stoermer and his wife currently own this 1965 GTO Pro Street that they cruise and take to shows. They still have fond memories of the “Cupid” red GTO that brought them together and helped them fall in love. Area car shows:June 1: 5 to 8 p.m., Peony Fest Car Show, downtown FindlayJune 6: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Allen County Council on Aging, in parking lot, Lima June 24: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Charity Car Show, at Westgate parking lot, LimaJune 30: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lakeview Car Show, downtown LakeviewJuly 14: Noon to 4:30 p.m., County Line Church of the Brethren, 4227 N. Hardin Rd., AdaAug 11: 4 to 8 p.m., Real Wheels Cruise-In