'Trip down memory lane': Union man buys back his late mother's car decades after her death

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 27, 2021

UNION, Ky. — Janis Berry’s husband bought her a lime green Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in 1971. This year, decades after her death and the car’s transfer to another owner, her son tracked it down and bought it back.

“It’s been exciting, sentimental, and it’s brought back a lot of memories for me,” said John Berry, who spent more than 20 years attempting to purchase the car back.

Berry’s mother died when he was 15 years old, and his father sold the car shortly afterward. It didn’t seem significant to Berry at the time, he said.

As he got older, he began to realize how central it was to his memories of his mother, his siblings and his childhood.

“I remember my Mom getting in, putting the top down, putting a scarf around her head and putting her sunglasses on and going for a ride,” he said.

So he reached out to the man who’d purchased the car from his father. Initially — decades’ worth of initially — the new owner didn’t want to sell. Berry was persistent.

“For about 20 to 22 years, I stayed in contact with that gentleman,” he said.

And this year, the new owner said yes.

“He's a gentlemen who's 81 years old, and he said, ‘I got to thinking about your desire for the car and the number of years that I'll be able to drive it and enjoy it,’” Berry said. “And he said ‘I think it was time to let it go.’”

He was reunited with the vehicle on Sunday. Some of his mother’s things were still in the glovebox.

"In the glovebox, there was a pair of my mother's sunglasses, some papers she had written maps on, and some earrings and stamps that she had kept in there,” he said. “So that was another trip down memory lane."