Rex Buell's met his first love in 1941, but he had roving eyes and eventually dumped her.
"I moved on," he said, thinking about that 1941 Mercury he got for $75 about 52 years ago when he was in high school.
There were hundreds, if not thousands, who attended the Good Times Car Show in Old Colorado City on Sunday, and many were more than willing to talk about their love affairs with cars. Chevys, Fords, Pontiacs - even Pintos - had passed memorably through their lives like old flames.
Buell's newest object of affection is a 1929 Model A pickup that he found, rusted and sad, in a Brookside Street cul de sac. He paid $750. That was 20 years ago, and he's still not done fixing it up.
Nearby, Everett and Linda Nance displayed their Frankencar - a hybrid, and not in the fuel-efficient sense. Its nose is fashioned after a sprint car; the rest of the car is a 1925 Model T. It looks cool, but Everett said it's not a comfortable ride with so many potholes on the streets.
One car not on display was Everett Nance's 1956 Crown Victoria. He had it for a short time in the 1950s, then sold it.
"I should have kept it," he said. "I've been sorry ever since."
He's probably not as sorry as Merv Mundorf, who had a 1960 Chrysler 300 convertible that he bought in 1966 for $65, and kept for only a couple of years.
"I saw a restored one a couple of years ago that went for $225,000," Mundorft said.
Mason Thoma almost 7, isn't old enough to have any auto regrets - only yearnings that his piggy bank can't satisfy.
"I have a lot of favorites: Lamborghinis, and Mustangs, and umm, GTOs, and Camaros," he said.
His mom, Shannon Thoma, said he started playing with cars when he was 1 year old, and he hasn't let up.
"When he started talking he could name all the cars he saw on the street," she said.
Her own love was a gold 1986 BMW that she got when she was 16. It attracted a lot of attention.
"It was a nice one," she said.
Her husband, Martin Thoma, recalled a bad romance with a 1986 Dodge Omni.
"There was nothing to love about it," he said. "I sold it to my sister for $100."
Expenses and hard work are the bragging rights of fans who fix up old cars.
Max Hall was showing off a 1956, 2-door Chevy Bel Air that attracted a lot of spectators impressed with the shimmering purple and cream car that was more piece of art than piece of metal.
How did he pick the eye-popping color?
"I loved the color of a particular ball point pen I had, and took it to the painter, and he matched it," Hall said.
He paid about $7,500 for the car in 1994, and figures he's got $27,000 invested, not counting the time he's spent lovingly refurbishing it.
Then there was one of Dan O'Reilly's favorite cars, which alas, he has no more: a Pinto. You would never figure him for a Pinto man, considering he was showing off a 1971 Mustang Mach 1, the same kind James Bond drove in "Diamonds are Forever." Bond's car was red; O'Reilly's is black.
"People laugh when I talk about the Pinto, but there were a lot of them on the road when I had mine around 1977. It was a great little car."
He eventually sold it. And guess what he bought?
"A Pinto station wagon," he said with a laugh.
As much as the people at the show love their cars, it's not just about the car. It's about the experiences the tied to the car, whether it's a romantic night at a drive-in, or a family road trip.
"Cars helped me bond with my girls when they were young," Gary Johnson said. "We'd go cruising to shows and they loved to ride in the backseat in parades and practice their princess waves." But it wasn't so much the cars they liked. "We'd go out of town and what they liked was the motel swimming pools.-
Contact Carol McGraw: 636-0371 Twitter @mcgrawatgazette Facebook Carol McGraw