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Car-crazy 5-year-old boy writes automakers for treasures, gets big response

Most manufacturers responded with fun souvenirs

Part of the beauty of children is that they can find worth in something adults might deem unworthy or overlook entirely. Five-year-old Patch Hurty didn't see garbage or a broken piece of a car when he spotted a Ford badge lying on the side of a road. He saw an artifact, a souvenir, a start to a collection he could only dream of.

Ezra Dyer of Popular Mechanics tells the story of Patch and his quest to turn that one lost badge into a museum of manufacturer logos. According to the article, Hurty is a car fanatic through and through, even using car names as a way of learning to read. After finding the Ford badge near his Connecticut home, he and his mom put together a plan to reach out to dozens of automakers, confessing his love of things on four wheels.

In each letter, Patch assembled a picture of himself standing next to one of the cars, and a penny to pay for whatever he hoped was sent his way. The response was unexpectedly and overwhelmingly positive. Of the more than 50 letters he sent out, including to obscure or defunct companies such as Bugatti, Suzuki, and Saturn, a majority responded with warm notes and some type of souvenir.

Two of the coolest responses came from Lincoln and Bentley. Lincoln sent a sketch of a Continental (all car lovers enjoy drawing cars, right?), and Bentley sent a wheel center cap. How awesome is that?

The story reminds us of something that can easily be lost in all of the negativity involved with the auto industry: Everybody is in this because of a common infatuation with automobiles. For more details on the souvenirs Patch received and accompanying photos, read the rest of the story.

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