RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — An auto shop and family friends have joined forces to restore a prized classic car once owned by the Riverside police officer killed at the hands of Christopher Dorner.
Michael Crain, 34, was shot to death Feb. 7 when he was ambushed by the ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer.
Since then, support has been flooding in to bring Crain’s beloved 1970 Chevrolet Nova 350 to showroom condition.
“It was his baby,” said Crain’s wife, Gina.
Rob Frazier, who worked on the car every Friday with Crain, said the plan is to eventually give the keys to Crain’s 10-year-old son, Ian—when he’s of age, of course.
“I’m hoping (Ian) is going to get his hands in this project. He’s gonna get the love for classic cars and he’s gonna get in there and have some fun with it,” said Frazier.
Gina said, “I don’t want him wrapped around a tree. But he’ll get to drive it. I want him to build his own car, too.”
Although the price to restore the vehicle is about $100,000, C&C Automotive in Riverside is doing the work for free.
“What we can do is try to ease the pain and try to give (Ian) something to remember his father,” said the body shop’s co-owner.
The co-owner said Ian already knows exactly what he wants in the car.
“He wants the American flag on it, he wants flames on it, he wants cherry red seats. He has this whole vision in his mind,” he said.
Gina said the car will ultimately be a memorial for her husband.
“Something we can take around, something that shows a piece of him,” she said.
It will take about six to eight months to restore the car.