Greg Vaughn (left) and his son, Trey Vaughn (right), with the 1972 Chevy Nova that Greg purchased in the early 1990s. The pair were reunited with the car earlier this month after 15 years of searching for it. Courtesy photo
After 15 years of searching, a Granite Shoals father and son were reunited with a well-loved family car they had let slip through their fingers. Trey Vaughn surprised his dad, Greg, earlier in September with the same 1972 Chevy Nova that Greg had given him when he first got his driver’s license.
“It’s not every day you get to get your first car back, but this was one of them,” Trey said.
Greg purchased the Nova in 1990, the same year Trey was born.
Trey Vaughn recalls childhood memories of riding in the backseat and learning about ownership and maintenance by helping his dad with the car’s upkeep.
Vaughn was given the car when he got his license. Shortly after, he decided to sell it. Almost immediately, however, he suffered seller’s remorse.
“When I sold it in 2006 or 2007, I thought I was never going to see the car again,” he said. “I was young and dumb. I don’t know what told me to sell it, and I really regretted it.”
Since then, Vaughn has tried to keep tabs on the Nova, a task that proved to be difficult over the years. Still, he hoped he would one day buy it back. The Nova, he realized, held family memories, which he wanted to continue creating with his now 7-year-old son.
To Vaughn’s surprise, one of his friends contacted him saying he thought he spotted the car outside a residence in Horseshoe Bay. Vaughn quickly drove out to identify it, getting emotional when he realized it was, in fact, his dad’s old car.
After talking with the new owner, who happened to be an old boss of his, Vaughn cut a deal and bought the car back. He kept it a secret from his dad until the sale was complete, surprising him with it on Sept. 12.
“It definitely means something to have it back and see my dad’s reaction when he saw it,” Vaughn said. “(My dad) could tell it was the Nova as soon as he heard the engine rev as I drove it to the house.”
Vaughn said he might drive the Nova in upcoming car shows and plans to involve his son and nephews in the upkeep, hoping to create memories with them similar to the ones he and his father have.