Classic automobile returns to Dover after three-decade absence

Classic automobile returns to Dover after three-decade absence

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Michael Francioni of Long Island, NY, poses with his 1964 Buick Electra 225 at the Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum in Dover.  The car's previous owner was Loretta Eleanor Deis of Dover.

DOVER — On Monday, “Loretta” returned for a visit to Dover after an absence of more than 32 years.

“Loretta” is a 1964 Buick Electra 225, desert beige with 60,000 miles on her. She is owned by Michael Francioni of Long Island, NY, only the second person to own the vehicle.

Loretta Eleanor Deis of 708 N. Wooster Ave., Dover, purchased the car brand new in 1964 from the Weaver Motor Co. of Dover. She paid $5,000 for the vehicle, trading in a 1954 Oldsmobile 98 at the same time.

Deis died in 1988, and Francioni purchased the Buick from the estate in 1990.

“It’s been a wonderful, wonderful car,” he said. “At this point, it’s practically family. I don’t call it the Buick. It’s called Loretta. All my family and friends know that when I say Loretta, it’s that car.”

The Buick is one of eight classic cars he owns.

He has taken the car to shows all across the country and was on his way to the Buick Nationals in Chicago when he stopped in Dover on Monday to visit spots associated with Loretta Deis. He came with his friend and fellow car enthusiast David Kycia of Connecticut.

The 1964 Buick Electra 225 was purchased new from the Weaver Motor Co. in Dover for $5,000 in 1964.

They visited her family home; Dover Burial Park, where she is buried; and the site of the Weaver Motor Co. on Front Street in Dover. They also stopped at the Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum in Dover.

Plans to come home

He had been planned on coming to Dover for several years, but the trip was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming here was on his bucket list.

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