EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — A local car club refurbished a North Lima man’s car, all from the goodness of their own hearts.
It was an emotional afternoon for self-proclaimed car enthusiast Brian Backich as he was reunited with his 1965 Buick Riviera.
“Now I can take my wife, I can take my grandsons, on a Sunday, take them for a ride,” Backich said.
Michael Damiano has known Backich for years. He drives by Backich’s house all the time, where he often finds him with his head buried in the engine compartment fixing up the car.
Over the summer, Damiano asked Backich when he planned to paint the car.
“He said, ‘Probably never,’ and I go, ‘Why?’ He says, ‘I’ve got a small pension, she’s got a small pension. We make the house payment, we buy groceries, we take the grandkids out. There’s no money to paint this,'” Damiano said.
That’s when Damiano brought the idea of painting Brian’s car to his club, Youngstown Rod and Custom. He told members they needed volunteers to sand down the car, put primer on it and paint it.
After a unanimous vote, the plan was put into action.
Mike Powell and other club members got together on Saturday mornings at Powell’s garage in East Palestine to work on the car.
“To think about him not being able to share this car with his family — with his wife and his grandkids — would break my heart,” Powell said.
After about three months — and lots of love and labor later — Backich got to drive his pride and joy home.
“This is what makes the world spin around,” Damiano said.
“These guys are great.. I wish there was a lot of people like them in this world,” Backich said.