SNS: Former racing champion travels from Northern Ireland to Cedar Rapids to buy back old car

Published: Jun. 16, 2019 at 10:51 PM CDT
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Racing has always been in Doug Schumacher's blood. The Cedar Rapids native has been racing for more than 40 years and has taken more of an interest in vintage racing in his later years.

He's enjoyed one car he brought from a man in Seattle five years ago. He did some research after he purchased it.

"The person I bought it from said that it was from the Scottish National Championship," said Schumacher. "So I went online to try and sort it out. It didn't gel."

His research led him to the family of the original owner, Michael Nugent, from Northern Ireland. He won the Formula Atlantic Championship with the car back in 1980. Not too long after winning the championship, he sold the car to a man in Seattle and had never seen it since that day.

Until this past Thursday.

His sons, Ryan and Marc, surprised him by buying the car from Schumacher. The family flew from Ireland to Chicago, and then drove to Cedar Rapids to see the car for the first time in 40 years.

Nugent also drove the car around the track at Hawkeye Downs.

"I feel a bit different, but the car doesn't feel any different," said Nugent. "It's hard to believe that you can be out of it so long, get in again and feel comfortable in the car."

Even though Schumacher enjoyed owning the car, he knows that selling the car to Nugent was the right thing to do.

"This would have been my retirement car, for sure, but I've got a couple of others," he said. "So it's worth it."

The Nugent family will ship the car back to Northern Ireland. It could take up to 30-45 days.

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