Rusty Cars Divide Then Unite Enid Family
ENID — "Pretty much anybody in Enid knew about grandpa because of the cars."Stuart Piontek's grandfather, Oliver Jordan, bought a salvage yard in Enid back in 1946 and started collecting cars. But in 1953 he closed up shop. For the next 61 years, his collection of cars was hidden from the public."So everything became a time capsule," Piontek said. "He just closed everything up and let it sit for years."Cars were Jordan's passion. So much so, his obsession continued for years and prevented his grandchildren from getting close to him emotionally and physically."As a boy, we didn't get to know grandpa that well because he would guard the cars with dogs," Piontek said.Piontek says his family would pull up, honk the horn, and hope that grandpa would come out to see them. But the cars became a barrier."So I didn't get to know my grandfather as much as I got to know his cars," he said. "Because we would see his cars all the time."Jordan's collection grew to more than 200 vehicles. There are Oldsmobiles, Kaisers, Plymouths and Pontiacs.But years later, these same cars would reunite the two, as Jordan's life was coming to an end."It wasn't until he got sick, and I came out and got close to him," Piontek said. "I learned more about his life and his cars at that time."That bond lasted until Jordan's death at the age of 90. For the last 10 years, Piontek and his family have been organizing the collection for auction. They're preparing to say goodbye to what had become some very collectible cars. For example, there's a 1924 Rollin. Piontek says it's one of only 25 known to exist. "It was owned by bootleggers at one time," he said. "It has toggle switches on the dashboard so they could turn off the tail lights to avoid the police."Also included in the collection, a very special 1937 Supercharged Cord."This was grandpa's baby," he said. "It's going to be a beautiful machine when it's restored."This collection of machines once divided a family. But now, it's bringing them back together before moving on to new families."You know, honestly don't get me wrong, I do like money," Piontek said. "But it's really been more about saving them, making sure they move on, and bringing our family together."If you'd like to learn more about the auction, please click here.