It was a chance encounter.
Nolan Stoyko was only 17 years old when he bought his 1969 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg, and he had to sell it to move to California. Four decades later, he once again laid eyes on the muscle car in a chance encounter. The GTO even created a budding friendship.
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"This was the love of my life, the muscle car of my dreams," he says. "It was amazing. This thing was just a monster machine. It would rumble down the road, turn heads.”
In 1982, Nolan Stoyko sold his car to move to California, when leaving Winnipeg. Over the years, he would get messages from friends who remained in the area that they saw the GTO prowling around town.
"I was never on a mission to hunt it down. I was always curious about it. Like who owns it? What kind of shape is it in?" he says. "I just always was curious.”
He returned to Winnipeg over the summer to visit his friends and family member in the area, and he spotted another familiar face he wasn’t expecting to see, another face he wasn't expected to find.
"All of a sudden, I saw this GTO in front of me and I thought, 'Oh, what are the chances that's my car?'" he says. "He started turning on his street and I heard the car shifting, going down the street. I went, 'It's a four-speed car. It's got to be my car.'"
Stoyko waited until the owner, Mel Bohn, pulled into his driveway to get out and speak with the owner. The current owner says he’s gotten a lot of claims from people claiming they used to own the car, but Stoyko was legit.
"He looked at it, and almost I thought he was going to cry really. He got really emotional about it," says Bohn.
The two men began chatting and talking about the chronicles of the GTO. A friendship budded right away, and Stoyko wants to buy it back some day, if Bohn ever decides to sell it.