Jade Small
Jade Small
February 8, 2024 ·  3 min read

Man Finally Gets Beloved Mom’s Car 40 Years After Her Death–And it Still Has Her Sunglasses Inside

Losing a parent is never an easy thing. Especially when you lose them at a young age. Having some of their mementos or items they once loved, is a way to receive comfort despite that loss. Maybe it’s a favorite shirt they loved, or a figurine, a ticket stub to a football game, or even a tool box. It can be something as little as a pin…or as large as a car.

John Berry lost his mother, Janis, when he was only 15-years old. She passed away unexpectedly, and the heartache was experienced for years to follow. Sadly, John’s dad had to sell her beloved automobile in order to help settle debts.

Janis Berry
John Berry’s Mother, Janis – GoodNewsNetwork

The car was a beautiful, pristine 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, in the shade of lime green. The interior was a light cream color, and the wheels and bumpers had a chrome finish. It was a truly stunning car, and everyone admired it when they saw it on the road, or while Janis and the kids were picking up groceries.

John was always in love with that car. Unfortunately, whether it was due to his age at the time, or the emotional toll of losing a mother so young, he never kept any of Janis’s belongings. However, after his dad sold the car, John never stopped looking for it.

40 Years Later a Dream Becomes reality

Recently, on September 26th, John Berry’s dreams came true. After searching long and hard for the car’s previous owners, John found someone who could help him. His determination assisted him with locating the car’s second owner. However, no matter how often John asked, the owner would not part with the vehicle. At least, not until 40 years later.

1971 Cutlass Supreme
1971 Cutlass Supreme – GoodNewsNetwork

“Each time John contacted him, he was never interested in selling the car,” said Shannon Berry, John’s wife. “Thankfully, he was a ‘car guy’ and collector of classic Buick, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile cars.”


The car’s owner was a collector of classic vehicles, so John was happy that the car was in good hands. But he still wasn’t satisfied. He knew the car belonged with his family, and refused to give up.

Without warning, out of the blue, the owner of Janis’s once-beloved automobile sent John a letter. He said he had a change of heart and wanted John to have the car. Knowing how much it meant to him to keep the car in the family, the owner did something wonderful.

“To say he is thrilled, overjoyed and unbelievably emotional is an understatement,” Shannon told GNN.


The 1971 Cutlass Supreme is still in the original condition John last remembered seeing it in, and the memories came rushing back. With only 42,000 miles on the odometer, it even has the same smell it did all those years ago.

When John finally was able to take a look at the missing car, he noticed a few of his mother’s belongings in it as well, making his heart swell with fond memories.

John even found some of his mom’s belongings still in the glove box—her sunglasses, maps of trips she’d taken, some earrings, an unused postage stamp from 1971, and a comb.

car with kids

It has been a real journey down memory lane, detailing and driving the car,” John says.

Keep Reading: These Women Were Photographed Before And After Becoming Mothers


  1. Man Finally Gets Beloved Mom’s Car 40 Years After Her Death–And it Still Has Her Sunglasses Inside.” Good News Network. October 17, 2021
  2. “‘Trip down memory lane’: Union man buys back his late mother’s car decades after her death” WCPO Cincinnati. September 27th, 2021.