Edmund Hydes, whose sons presented him with a surprise gift of a 1967 Ford Falcon for his 80th birthday in 2017, is still loving the car and can be seen driving it around Cayman Brac.
The now 81-year-old retiree from West Bay, who lives on the Brac, got the surprise of a lifetime when his sons flew him to Grand Cayman for a birthday bash and unveiled a restored white 1963 Ford Falcon in the front yard – the same made and model he had owned as a young man.
Hydes has owned eight cars in his lifetime, including plenty of Ford models, such as a Granada, Maverick, Fairlane, and, of course, a Falcon.
“It was a big, big surprise when they flew me off to Grand Cayman to show me this nice car they had purchased,” said Hydes, still thrilled more than a year and a half later. He said of the Ford Falcon, “It’s the same model but a different year.”
The idea for the gift came during the planning of a big surprise party for their dad, said Juniour, Hydes’s oldest son.
“In the years when I was a kid, he had a ‘64 Falcon in the yard, this is a ‘63 and we thought it would be a nice gift for him since he had retired from the business,” Juniour said.
Hydes and Sons Ltd., founded by Edmund, is now operated by his children. He and his wife Victoria have eight children – Sharon, Ray, Denny, Kurt, Troy, Minroy, Jonathan and Juniour – 24 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
Juniour had seen a few Falcon cars advertised on an internet site before he decided to purchase the ’63 model for his dad.
“It was kind of sentimental how we came to acquire the car,” Juniour said.
“There was lady in California whose husband had died and left the Ford Falcon for his daughter. She was selling it in order to pay her university tuition. When her mother heard why we were purchasing the car, she became very emotional and said she knew the car would be going to a very good home,” he said.
The car was brought from California to Miami, onto Grand Cayman, and then to the Brac.
On the day of the party, Juniour drove the car to the house. After everyone was inside, he parked it outside and covered it. When the party was about to finish, Edmund was taken to the door and the car was unveiled.
“For a man that talks a lot,” Juniour said, his dad had no words to say other than “Oh! Oh!” before opening the car door, sitting inside and starting the engine.
Edmund Hydes, who was born in 1937, learned to drive an old secondhand standard shift 1956 Ford Granada when he was 25. Now, well more than half a century later, he’s still on the road, driving his 1963 Falcon.
Hydes retired in 2006 and moved to the Brac three years later with Victoria, to whom he has been married for 58 years.
“We are living here enjoying what Cayman Brac has to offer,” he said. “No stress, no worries, no noise and, most of all, no bumper to bumper traffic.”
“Driving my Falcon on the Brac is a breeze in the park. The seats are covered, it has air conditioning, no power steering, but she is classy, and she also won first place in a car show on the Brac,” he added.
He plans to hang on to his car for a very long time.