Dave and MSS

Big Hock

Bababooey!!!
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That’s a helluva story. Damn. I wonder how the guy got that little Datsun out to such a remote location. Good on you Dave for getting it out. It’s obviously more than just a car to these guys.
 

CMA GUMBY

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My thought also. Maybe the years and weather took a toll on un maintained roads? Kudos to MSS.
 

ndvalium

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That’s a helluva story. Damn. I wonder how the guy got that little Datsun out to such a remote location. Good on you Dave for getting it out. It’s obviously more than just a car to these guys.
My thought also. Maybe the years and weather took a toll on un maintained roads? Kudos to MSS.
In the mid 90's, this area was part of a BLM land sale of alternating square miles of desert to developers. This particular mile was sold to a developer that sold plots under the name "Meadorama" and they were a rent to own properties. Mark Blackburn was one that bought into it as a place that would eventually get full utilities and be next big community. The roads at the time were graded a couple times a year and very accessible. there were actual street names and everything with turn by turn directions from Google maps.

Shortly after Marks death, the Meadorama group went bankrupt and the property was left abandoned. all road improvements stopped by 2000 except to as far as the White Hills mine area about half way there.

This area is notorious for massive flash floods a year. We typically lose sections of Meadview, and Temple Bar Access roads about twice a year from massive rains. Years of this abuse took its toll on this area and the car. In 2013 the vehicle was sitting on the same road it was when Mark died based on Google Earth historic data. In the 2014 shots it shows into a ravine and the car had several feet of cattle feces, mice feces, and rock and dirt debris inside of it. I shoveled for quite a while to get some of it out.

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Yesterday, with a trailer loaned to us from Best in the Desert, we finished the recovery of the vehicle and delivered it to a shop here in Las Vegas where it will sit til next week. We were accompanied by reporters and photo journalists from Las Vegas Review Journal that rode with us and will be doing an in depth story on this adventure.

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She didn't go easily and cost me a couple trailer tires but she has been recovered and will start the next chapter in her life.

In short we spent about a thousand dollars on fuel, vacation time from our jobs, and tires over the last 2 weeks utilizing a 1/4 million dollars with of trucks and equipment to recover a car that to most people wouldn't be worth 12.00 in scrap steel. But to Michael and LaLani, it is really the only thing in their lives that exists of their father other than memories.

When I heard that among the personal effects of Mark was the key to the Datsun, I felt we had to make this happen and I wanted to help. I had zero idea anyone outside of the group that was looking for the car would ever care. I surely never thought it would result in worldwide attention and comments. I'm not big on interviews and having cameras shoved in my face as I do the simplest of tasks but the day that Micheal has the car restored, and is able to slide the key in his fathers ignition, it will be an emotional one for everyone involved.

On Friday, June 15th, Michael and Lalani, son and daughter of Mark Blackburn will be taken to the location of their fathers accident for the first time in their lives. I asked Marc at Metroprint Nevada to laser cut me a memorial that we will have them place at the location and then they will start the journey of following the relay team of 10 drivers that will get the Datsun up to Wisconsin.

Its truly an amazing story or people that have never met each other on a mission to make this happen.
 
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Glad to see you found something to do with all your "spare time," Dave!

Kudos!!!
 

ndvalium

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One of my team members felt like we needed to put a memorial at the location we retrieved the car and where Mark passed away. So, I enlisted Metroprint Nevada and they put this together for us.

Friday we are going to the location one last time and with the help of Marks son and daughter, we will place this memorial at the location. They have never been to the location so it should be an emotional day for them.
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ndvalium

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There will be much more to this story when it is done, but today fulfilled our chapter in it.

Took Michael and Lalani out there today. Lalani learned to drive in this Datsun and Michael was taken away into foster care at age 3 and has no real memory of his father but this was a very emotional moment for both of them today. They had never made it to the location of his death and revealing the memorial resulted in about an hour of emotions and reflection of their lives with and without him.

I have had the opportunity in my career to be a part of many private moments in peoples lives at critical moments but this is one that left me speechless to experience.

Car leaves for Wisconsin tomorrow
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michael_loomis

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Really awesome Dave!!


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