Our 65 gal LTD 4door was given to me by my friend/neighbor who bought it new...
Ben Herwick bought the car from his brother Bob Herwick's dealership in Levittown NY. It was Bens first new car, he ordered it, flew to NY, and drove it home 4/29/1965 according to the title transfer.
It was his everyday car up till 1978 when the fullsize merc was about to be downsized, he bought one of the 'last of the big ones' and the gal was only driven a few times a year thereafter.
around 73 or so he had a friend with a 65 merc that wrecked when the frame broke- as a precaution, Ben had his reinforced at a local shop that was doing what seemed like everyones 65~71 ford frame(they really got ate up quick in Ohio salt), and a buddy with a shop 'replaced' the lower quarters as there was some rust starting to show above the lower stainless- sadly the guy slapped a 1/2 quarter over the rusty one and it looked like a old bondo bucket on both sides- really bad paint on the quarters to boot.
our other neighbors said Ben washed the car EVERY day he drove it, and noone ever saw it even dusty- but neighbors kinda gave him a hard time for washing the paint off it...my other neighbor Jim Crawford grew up with Ben, his oldest son married Bens only daughter, so my neighbors on either side had common grandkids- kinda cool/unusual I thought, and both their families were some of the best folks I ever knew. BTW- Bens car has primer on every crease showing till this day, he actually DID wash the paint off of it.
Ben worked at the Reiter Dairy in Barberton Ohio for God knows how many years, 30-40 I'd guess anyway...anyone that worked there from 65~78 I'm sure knew the blue LTD with the white top that always sat a mile away in the back of the lot...and I'm sure he 'talked' to anyone that dared park next to him warning about touching his car- he was VERY particular about his stuff...I saw him at the store one day many years ago with his wife, Maria, who he dropped off at the door of course, and parked at the farthest spot in the lot...not ten spaces from the nearest car, more like 40...but the day we pushed the old gal to my house, there was not a single door ding on it- the only mark on it was a dent by the rear window where something blew off a roof and fell on the car when his daughter took it to college once...she told me how upset/scared/crying she was when she saw it, was afraid Ben was gonna flip...no, it wasnt her fault, he didnt say a word...knowing Ben, if someone had 'messed up' and did that to his car, they woulda regretted/remembered it the rest of their lives- which might not have been long
anyway Bens wife died of a aneurism (sp?) and he kinda lost interest in things...she was his life- they met at the end of WWII in Germany, they were married like 60 years...the gal sat forgotten a few years, Ben's health started going downhill fast, he was afraid his daughter would be stuck with a inoperable car and would either get 'taken' by a mechanic overcharging trying to fix it, or she'd have to sell it, likely to get parted out...
so one day he said he decided he wanted me to have the old gal as he thought I'd take care of it, he knew how much I liked fixing up old stuff most folks would throw away...I didnt dare tell him how bad the car was, woulda broke his heart which was pretty broken already, so it went in the garage for a year or so and just sat still...Ben's health improved a bit, and I mentioned one day the frame needed some work for safety reasons, and the body needed to come off to fix it...at first he was like "well its yours, do whatever the hell you want with it" kinda upset at the thought of his baby going thru major surgery...but he watched over the whole process out his bedroom window a lot, and although suprised to see the extent of rot, was really excited to help out any way possible...as the new frame came together all shiny, he was pretty happy about the whole thing...we got it finished up, tried to give it back to him, but he refused to take it...he did drive it one more time, grinnin all the time, but a week later, he bumped into someone in his mercury, his fault, and he felt he was too old to drive, and never did again...he passed away 2 days before Thanksgiving of 2004, only a few weeks after Jim Crawford passed away...that was a rough year.