GTA family searches for vintage car as a tribute to late husband, father

Anthony Pedatella loved cars.  A 1990 Honda CRX SI was one of his most treasured vehicles. The bright saffron colour made it impossible to miss.

Marisa Pedatella fell in love with Anthony when they were in high school. The two married, and had three girls together. To this day, Marisa said she remembers every detail of the Honda that Anthony loved so much.

“I remember the leather, I remember the shift knob,” Marisa said with a smile on her face. “I remember all the things he tweaked about the car, the name of the stereo system, and then obviously the sound of the car.”

After studying computer science, Anthony became an auto mechanic.  As his life with Marisa unfolded, the Honda had to take a back seat for future plans.  “We were starting to think family,” Marisa said. “It’s a two seater, so it wasn’t really something you could have with a family [and] we weren’t really in the position to own multiple cars at the time.”

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Anthony lived into his dream of being a father of three girls. But their time together was cut short when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died when he was 36 years old. Family members say the loss was devastating for those who knew him.

Photo courtesy of Marisa Pedatella.

“He was everything to us, and when we lost him we obviously lost a part of ourselves,” Anthony’s mother Mary said.

This summer it will be ten years since Anthony passed away. Not long ago, his cousin Julia Riviglia, was driving and saw a Honda that reminded her of the one Anthony loved so much.  “I thought that if that thing is still on the road in the condition that it’s in, maybe his car is,” Riviglia said.

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It was then that Riviglia decided to see if she could find the Honda CRX.

Riviglia posted a message to several car group pages on Facebook.

She said the response she got was incredible. Riviglia said many people offered advice about ways she might track down the vehicle. One thing was clear, if she could get the VIN it would be helpful.

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Even though the car was sold years ago, the family got a break. “By some miracle the person who first bought the car, had the ownership information,” Riviglia said. Though some further assistance from people online, they were able to find the person they believe last purchased the car.

“Somebody helped me find him on Facebook, I’ve reached out to him, but unfortunately he hasn’t responded yet,” Riviglia said.

Anthony’s Honda. Photo by Marisa Pedatella.

Marisa said she remains hopeful that the car might be found. While the vehicle does have monetary value as a collectable, for the family, it is one of the most significant reminders of the joy Anthony brought to the world.

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“If we could find it, that would be one of the best things ever,” Marisa said.

The family said they would love to buy back the car, or simply see it again. Marisa said it would be one way for the girls to be with their Father. “We don’t really have anything as tangible as that, that they could see touch, feel, even drive and say this is everything our dad was about.”

Photo courtesy of Marisa Pedatella.

Photo courtesy of Marisa Pedatella.