Ohio Man Spends Decades Hunting Down Mom’s Classic Olds

May 1, 2024 2 min read
Ohio Man Spends Decades Hunting Down Mom’s Classic Olds

After dying unexpectedly decades ago, one man was dedicated to hunting his mom’s Cutlass Supreme down to buy it back.

John Berry fondly recalls riding around in his mom’s big beautiful green 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. She would dawn a set of oversized aviator sunglasses and scarf, the quintessential uniform of lovely women driving around classic convertibles, and John would admire the ride from the backseat. Janis Berry died suddenly at 43 when John was 15 in 1975, and years after it was sold, John was dedicated to get it back.

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“She would make it an event to go to the supermarket,” John Berry, 61, shared. “My mom really loved that car.”

The 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was a gift to Janis by John’s dad in the fall of 1971, and they would be divorced at the time of John’s mother’s death. His dad kept the car around for a few years until he sold it in 1980 to a car collector, which wasn’t bothersome to John at the time, but would start to irk at him in later years.

“As I grew older, I just longed for her to be in my life,” he said, “so I began my quest to hunt down the car.”

John Berry got the name of the buyer from his dad, and reached out to him over email, and he still had the car, but wasn’t interested in selling it. Not willing to give up, he followed up every six months for 20 years to see if the owner was ready to sell. Eventually, the owner was ready to sell some of the cars from his collection, and took into consideration the sentimental value the Olds has to John and made the easy decisions to sell it back to him.

After receiving the message that the Olds was ready for a new home, John drove almost 6 hours to finalize the sale.

“I had not seen it since 1980,” said Berry, “It was exactly as I remembered it.”

Source: John Berry/The Washington Post

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