Though he considers himself a car guy, Sanford – Sandy – Miles admits that he knows very little about how an engine actually works. He recalls a time when he couldn’t even figure out how to put gas in a 1956 Chevy Ambulance he’d just bought for a business venture – and was stuck at the pump until someone did.
“How was I supposed to know you had to pull the left taillight down to get to the gas tank?” he says, laughing.
Despite that lack of basic know-how, Sandy claims to be an automotive expert – but only on one car. One specific car. He even owns a showroom-new clone of that Golden Rocket.
A retired NYC English teacher, Sandy’s first novel – The Buried Plymouth – A Story Unearthed in Tulsa – is a saga about a special family, a special town, and a magical automobile interred as a one-of-a-kind Time Capsule in 1957 with lots of neat things in it – though not all of it was on the record. The car was unearthed in 2007 with the world watching.
Didn’t catch the story when the two-tone Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe made headlines way back when? Or you did but had no idea that something was buried in it with significant cultural value that might be worth millions? Well, as the late Tulsa-born broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say: here’s The Rest of the Story. (You wouldn’t think there’s much to know about a car with all of 00004 miles on its odometer, but in writing this Historical Pictorial and gathering ‘evidence’ to bolster his beliefs, Sandy had two file cabinets worth of stuff and a closetful of books on the subject.)
Born in the Bronx, and now living in Sarasota, Florida, with his best bud – his Airedale, Dale Carnegie – it’s only natural that Sandy has an eensy teensy bit of street smarts. (It was obtained through osmosis, he says.) His one prior “AS TOLD TO” book, The Pope and Me at Yankee Stadium, is about a professional comedian who was also a vendor at Yankee Stadium. Indeed, Sandy worked part-time as a vendor – Get your cold beer here! – not only at Yankee Stadium but at Madison Square Garden, as well, from 1973 – 2009.
As a freelance writer, some of his work has appeared in New York’s Daily News and New York Post, Mad, Hoof Beats, Educational Digest, and Old Cars Weekly.
Sandy once had his 15 Minutes of Fame when he advertised for a wife on his fully-restored 1959 Cadillac Ambulance – yes, like the one in Ghostbusters – and ended up on The Today Show and on news programs from here to Australia (where he said they talk funny).
But – alas – he remains single but is optimistic that before everyone owns a Tesla he’ll meet The One. “It would be nice,” he says, “if she likes Pop Culture – and classic cars, too.”