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Bennett Horne/Monitor
Phyllis Pippin, left, and Doug Pippin stand beside Doug’s 1932 Model A, five-window coup at their home in Los Alamos Sunday.

This is a Valentine’s Day love story about a man, his wife and his girlfriend.

The man is Doug Pippin, 75, who lives in White Rock with Phyllis, 74, his wife of 56 years. Phyllis is, in fact, the one who introduced Doug to his girlfriend when he turned 70, six years ago.

The “girlfriend” is actually a bright yellow 1931 Ford Model A, five-window coupe he received as a surprise gift from his wife.

“We call it ‘his girlfriend’ because that ‘girlfriend’ is costing him money (in repairs),” Phyllis laughed.

Doug’s love affair with that kind of vehicle started when he was in high school in Española. Another young man had a 1932 Ford Model A, five-window coupe and Doug offered to buy it. They made a “handshake agreement,” and soon after Doug towed the car to his house and was making payments to the young man at a rate of $8 a month, money he collected while working at a full-service gas station for 50 cents an hour.

“I was going to hot rod that car,” Doug grinned.

In the meantime, Doug found his real love the day in 1960 when Phyllis rode into the gas station where he worked.

“That’s how I met her,” Doug said, “working at the gas station.”

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