Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes can be a collaboration between your son and a car manufacturer. Let me explain.
YouTube just recommended me a video by Mercedes-AMG that they uploaded a couple of days back. The video has gathered some attention with around 10K views with 65 people who have made their views felt in the comments section. Their views seem to coincide with mine as this video hits a sweet spot and strikes a chord in all of us. It deserves so many more views!
Bart Hickey, a 57-year-old auto mechanic from Mount Greenwood, Southwest Chicago has been living in the small town since he was in high school. His father showed him the ways around a car and he has always been passionate about automobiles ever since. Bart has been able to make a career as an auto mechanic with a shop in Illinois, despite the difficulties of being visually impaired from birth. Although, his inability to see has never allowed him to drive a car by himself. He has driven cars in and out of the shop, but not very far.
Bart’s son, Brendon Hickey said “My father has always loved cars. He’s always had the passion. Just the touch, the smell, the feel of them…But he has never been able to drive a car to get that real experience.
Brendon took it upon himself to try and make his father’s dream come true and began writing letters and emails to different manufacturers and get their attention. It took him five years and then finally Mercedes-Benz decided to try and make that dream a reality.
Mercedes sent him a letter in braille which reads:
We heard about your life long dream of driving all by yourself. And we are more than happy to make this happen. It would be you in this beautiful car (AMG GTR) in the endless desert of Alvord Lake, Oregon. No boundaries, no speed limits, even better than the German Autobahn.
Are you up for a ride?
Your fans at Mercedes-Benz and you loving son Brendon”
Brendon said “Today is definitely a way to say “thank you” to my father. If its anyone who is that deserving, it’s him. This is the number one thing on his bucket list.”
Bart seems like a guy with a good sense of humour as in the video he tries to open up the bonnet to reveal the engine bay. He searches for the hood opening lever in the driver’s foot-well, something even I was struggling to find in Mercedes a couple of days ago. When he eventually finds it, he exclaims “Oh it's right here, I didn’t see it!”
The rest of the video takes us through the journey of Bart at the dried up Alvord Lake where he gets a feel for the surface, and then a Mercedes representative takes him through the controls and briefs him about the AMG GTR. He then straps himself in and begins to drive. We will let you watch the rest of the film for your self to find out what happens. One thing we will say that he reportedly clocked 200kmph in the Mercedes-AMG GTR
Fair warning: Keep some tissues nearby.