Here at E3 Spark Plugs, we love a great reunion story. But for Ed Church and his beloved 1958 Harley Davidson motorcycle, it’s the reunion that almost wasn’t.
Church bought his Harley, which he described as “the most beautiful think I ever saw,” back in the late 1960s when he was a high school sophomore in Montana. This was back in the day when the choices were limited to Harleys and Indians and “the whole rite of passage as a young man was trying to start one,” Church says.
He proudly rode his Harley for 13 years before change arrived in a tiny, pink package. The birth of his daughter forced the sale of his beloved bike – a story all too familiar to many a speedster dad.
“I knew I had made a mistake,” Church says of selling the bike, a gut-wrencher that would stick with him for the next three decades.” I always wondered what would come if I ever found it again, but I never had much hope.”
Ah, but then came eBay. The wonders of technology not around back when Church’s Harley seemingly rode off into the sunset would provide a whole new chapter in this automotive love story. Nearly 32 years to the day that Church sold his bike, he saw it again – in the dim light of a computer screen on an eBay listing. He recognized it right away, and the VIN confirmed it. But the reunion Church longed for would prove elusive.
“I bid what I thought it was worth and I didn’t get it. I lost it,” Church said. Figuring the odds of one more chance were slim to none, Church tried to put it out of his mind. But a year later, the bike again popped up on an eBay auction.
“This time, I bid what it was worth to me,” Church said. And soon, he was back on the bike that had haunted his thoughts for decades. “You never stop at a stop sign that somebody doesn’t want to tell you about the one that got away… I’m the guy that got it back.”
Church tells his story in an eBay video feature. Grab a hankie, give it a watch and post your own stories of “the one that got away” on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page.