Fifty-year Oregon couple ride in classic style


Residents of Roseburg may see Bob Pakulak cruising around town in one of his classic cars, and many have probably exchanged stories with him. Pakulak and his wife, Sally, own a navy blue 1953 DeSoto, as well as a blue 1948 four-door Plymouth sedan — and both have a lot of memories packed inside their antique doors.

The 1953 DeSoto is an oldie but a goodie in the Pakulak family. He and his wife first purchased the vehicle in 1971 as a second car when their son was about 2 years old.

“It was a beater sitting in the back of the car lot,” Bob Pakulak said. He purchased the car for $150. The beater served its purpose of getting Pakulak and his wife to work, and over the years it became a car they considered themselves “emotionally attached” to.

“It’s our marriage car,” said Pakulak of the DeSoto. The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and the car has been there for most of the ride.

“She put up with me all that time,” Pakulak said. They plan on passing the car down to their son, a neuroscientist who works in the psychology department at the University of Oregon.

The couple met in Roseburg at the bowling alley. “There was music and dancing. He asked me to dance, and that was it,” Sally Pakulak said.

The couple has lived in Roseburg for their married life.

Sally Pakulak, originally from Southern California, moved to the area in 1949. Friends call her a “CIO” which stands for “California Improved Okie.” Bob Pakulak, a former Roseburg and Reedsport teacher, called himself a “true Oregonian.” He graduated from Newport High School and then attended Southern Oregon University.

It was during those college days that Pakulak found his first sweetheart — a 1947 blue Plymouth four-door sedan. “I was young and single back then,” he said. He paid $97 for the vehicle and loved every minute with it; however, the time was cut short when he was drafted and sent to Butte, Mont. He had to get rid of his “baby.” He spent two years in the service.

The car-romance was re­kindled in 2015, and Sally Pakulak was not only supportive, but won the bidding war for it.

She found the car, just like her husband’s original Plymouth, on eBay and started the biding around $4,500. “I just asked (Bob), ‘Tell me my limit on this thing,’ ” she said. She continued in a bidding war with another potential buyer whom she said she “caught on to.” With 30 seconds left for a final bid, Sally Pakulak swooped in for the win. The couple paid about $6,400 and was ecstatic.

The car was shipped from Portland, and it was just as her husband remembered. “It was very original,” Sally Pakulak said.

A year later, Bob Pakulak was on his routine drive to the Roseburg YMCA when another car pulled out in front of him. The Plymouth was damaged, and Pakulak was sent to the hospital in an ambulance along with his faithful dog.

“I arrived, and there he is on the gurney, with the dog between his legs,” Sally Pakulak said.

The dog was unharmed but refused to leave his owner’s side. Bob Pakulak, who had seven broken ribs, left the hospital the following day.

The couple turned to Roseburg Towing to repair the car after learning that the shop had done a lot of work on Ply­mouths. The car needed an entire new front and new paint. “The saddest part of the accident was it had original paint and had to get new paint,” Sally Pakulak said.

Bob Pakulak said Roseburg Towing did a great job returning the car to its original glory. “We were without it for a couple months … but it was close enough that Bob could go visit,” Sally Pakulak said. Typically restoration can take months or more when original parts are needed.

Pakulak added a backup camera and CD player to the Plymouth, as well as seat belts. The DeSoto still remains stock, cosmetically. It has a semi­automatic transmission with a clutch and power steering. Both vehicles have years of memories in the mileage.

“It’s fun to drive and a blast talking to people about it,” Bob Pakulak said. The couple said they get to hear someone’s life story almost every time they go to the store.Read more at:evening dresses uk | prom dresses 2017