The Man and the Car

By Paula Ashton


I don’t remember too much about the boys I dated, but I do remember their cars. A ’55 Chevy, a ’66

Chevy II, a ’62 Bel Air …. do you see the pattern? Well, when I was a senior at Cocoa High in 1968, I

had a dream I was in the carport at 504 North Fiske Blvd. I had no idea who lived there but I did

know the 1966 Chevelle (Gray Ghost) lived there. I could hear people talking and see shadows, but

no faces. I was there, standing by that car.


Well, wouldn’t you know that in January, 1970 fate had me working on 3 South at Wuesthoff

Hospital that afternoon when a young 25 year old guy came in who had fallen from a power pole

while working for Florida Power and Light? I think because I was able to order him a cheeseburger, I

won his heart. Later, in the evening I learned that HE was the owner of that beautiful car that I had .

dreamed of a couple years earlier. And wouldn’t you know, in May of that same year, I became Mrs.

Doug Ashton.


Doug’s middle name should be Chevrolet instead of Jay. Little did I know just how much cars

would become a part of my life. For this part of the county, if you are into cars and racing, you know

the name of Doug Ashton. The big question that is most asked of him at car shows is “Doug, what

did you bring.” How does a wife compete with a car??? Of course, the Gray Ghost is NOT just a car.

She has raced with some of the best. She is pampered, washed, waxed and AL WAYS kept inside.

She has been shown off at Car Shows, Parades and even been a part of the Power Tour that stopped

in Cape Canaveral. She brings back so many memories for those who grew up around here and are

“into” cars, even those in their bicycle days. As a product of Indian River Chevrolet, I wonder how

many cars are still around with the Indian River Chevrolet emblem on them (where she was bought)

AND still with the original paint. She still gets the ooo’s and ahhh’s as she proudly goes down the

street. There is so much more to her but most important, she is the reason behind my 43 years of



The Gray Ghost and Doug Ashton are true legends in Brevard County…


Article provided courtesy of the Central Brevard Mosquito Beaters, Memory Book 2013, available at the Florida

Historical Library, 435 Brevard Av., Cocoa Village


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