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Vehicular Valentines attracting attention
Lonely Spotsylvania figure gets a sweetheart, just in time for a very public Valentine's Day

 Since the Mater look-alike showed up in front of 208 Tire and Auto Repair in Spotsylvania around Christmas, plenty of passersby have stopped to get a closer look at the pickup.
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Date published: 2/12/2013

By Rob Hedelt

IT'S A ROMANTIC tale just in time for Valentine's Day.

It starts with a loner who spent many a solitary day just eyeing the traffic passing the parking lot of his newly opened business, 208 Tire and Auto Repair in Spotsylvania County.

Sure, during Christmas, he obliged shop owners Mark and Pamela Tures by helping to raise holiday spirits with strings of holiday lights.

But as visitors passing the auto shop on Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania County began stopping in for a visit, some even snapping a photo with the overnight sensation, things felt even lonelier each evening when the shop closed and all those visitors vamoosed.

But now, bless his sweet heart, this old soul that started his existence in 1956 is no longer alone. A few days back, just in time for Valentine's Day, Mater the pickup that's the spitting image of the one from the Disney movie "Cars" got the perfect companion.

Sidled alongside him in the lot these days is his own four-wheeled friend, sweet Sadie, she a replica of the fetchingly feminine vehicle who took a shine to the rusty Mater in the movie.

It's all been a hoot for the Tureses, who have transformed the two pickups as a way to get some attention for their newly opened auto and tire shop. Mark Tures, who with Pam also operates Lee Hill Auto Service near Cosner's Corner, said the couple bought the 1956 Dodge pickup that got all this started for parts to use in the restoration of other, similar pickups. Having pulled out a window and other needed parts from the truck that sat for years in a farm field in Spotsylvania, Tures said he was lying in bed one morning mulling over what to do with the remaining shell.

He wanted to do it in a way that might bring some attention to the 208 Tire and Auto shop that he had opened a few months earlier.

"It hit me--turn it into Mater!" said Tures, who's pretty handy at restoring cars and trucks and, as it turns out, making them look like characters from "Cars."

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