Forty four years ago, Allan and Jerri were dating when they attended a car show. Both found themselves drawn to the same, unique vehicle. They stopped and talked with the owner and found out it was Mr. Piper, the owner and builder of the 1970 Piper Lance Roadster. They left the show having learned a lot from Mr. Piper and his custom, hand-built Piper Lance Roadster.
Time went on and Allan and Jerri got married in 1971. The newlyweds began their new life together, complete with careers, children and all the other responsibilities of adulthood, and the Piper was driven from memory. One day while Allan was thumbing through an auto trader magazine, he saw an unusual vehicle listing with a description that read "old Mercedes-like car." Allan was curious, so he called. The owner was a marine stationed at El Toro and told Allan about how he came to own the car: he was interested in buying a house and when touring the home found this car in the garage covered with a tarp. The homeowner said that “piece of…” comes with the house, so the marine took possession of the Piper and started working on it. He later received orders from the Marine corps and was deployed overseas. When he returned to states in 1974, he got married and his wife, who also didn't appreciate the car, told him to get rid of it. So he placed the ad in the auto-trader catalog.
Allan and Jerri could hardly believe they found an almost identical version of the car they saw at the show forty four years ago; which begged the question, was it the same one? This drove the couple to do some research. They tried to contact Mr. Piper, but he had passed away so they met with his son and did find out that at that very same auto show those 44 years ago a group of investors had approached Mr. Piper and convinced him to go into business manufacturing/building these cars. Mr. Piper built each and every car by hand, one at a time. Mr. Piper did this for two years and produced one car per month; therefore, there were only 24 Piper Lance Roadsters produced. However there was no historical documentation that could verify that their roadster is the same roadster from the car show on their date 44 years ago.
The vehicle under the tarp in the garage, so easily discarded, took about eight years to restore to its full glory. To the best of their knowledge, there are only about three or four ‘survivors’ of this handmade vehicle left in existence.
I am a Colorado native who began with Hagerty in Colorado in January 2015. I am committed to volunteer work with the Cancer League of Colorado and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I am the proud Nana of 4 young grandchildren that now live in Alaska – why? Because they love the snow and ironically Colorado got more than the double snow than Alaska this year.