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Meet Mitt Romney, car guy

 

RANDOLPH, NH -- Stopping to gas up his campaign bus at a tiny service station along Route 2 here in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney got the chance to reminisce about a great love he doesn't much talk about: his cars.

Born in the suburbs of Detroit, and raised in the industry -- his father, George Romney, was the CEO of American Motors -- it should come as no surprise that Romney is something of a car buff.

Today, at this isolated gas and service station, the press corps got a glimpse of Romney's background as a car guy when the former Massachusetts governor saw a photo of a 1955 Nash Metropolitan taped to the wall behind the counter. The Metropolitan was a creation of Nash Motors, one half of the merger that created American Motors in 1954.

"Who had the Metropolitan? Do you still have the Metropolitan?" Romney asked the crowd gathered around him, before spotting the owner. "Do you want to sell it?"

Without missing a beat, the car's owner replied simply: "Ten thousand dollars."

Romney caught the joke on his infamous bet with Rick Perry, and he responded dryly, "That's way too expensive for my tastes."

Romney's eyes wandered over the other cars pictured on the wall. He noted other classics like a 1955 Ford and a Ford Fairlane 500. But his heart was set on the Metropolitan.

"Will it start, you think?" He asked the car's owner. "Back to your Metropolitan, are you really selling that? Are you thinking about it?"

Romney, who was quoted in the past saying he owns "a couple" of Cadillacs,  revealed a little bit more of what he has parked in his garages in Belmont, MA and La Jolla, CA.

"I've got a 62 Rambler, American, convertible, that my son gave me for my birthday," Romney said to a patron at the gas station, before turning back to his new obsession. "But I'd love to get a Metropolitan."

And when his wife, Ann, got wind some years that Romney was scouring eBay for a late 60s model Mustang, she bought him an orange, convertible 2005 model instead.

"It has the look, but not the classic history," Romney said of the '05 Mustang, before declaring the car "a great gift."

And while the owner of the Metropolitan today might not be selling, Romney said he has his sights set on another classic car, some day down the line.

"Someday when I have the time to fuss with a car that's temperamental and needs repair all the time I might think about an old Mustang or a old Corvette," Romney said. "I would love to get an early 1950s vintage Corvette."

Christmas, after all, is just around the corner.