Hi, my name is Bart Hickey. I’m 57 years old and I’ve always had a passion for cars. I like cars and like working on them. I’m an auto mechanic. I think my father’s passion comes from my grandfather. He passed when my dad was very young. And he always taught him how to work with his hands. So I think a lot of that is attributed to my grandfather. Passion and feeling, a lot of that is because it excites his senses and, you know, his abilities. He has driven cars too, you know, not very far but, you know, in and out of the shop. He has pulled cars in and out. I always thought it’d be neat to drive. I have imagined driving, it’d be neat to be able to take a car out on the Salt Flats in Utah and just drive without hitting anything. Because there’s nothing in the way out there. We live in Mount Greenwood, which is Southwest Chicago. It’s a very tight-knit community. Very blue-collar, very hardworking people. So obviously, someone like my father – he’s a very good fit for that community. He’s been living there since he was in high school. So, he has been working on cars for a long time there. Today is our annual car show. We have one every year. We have our friends, family, customers out. We always get some new faces, some new cars, so it’s always exciting. My father has always loved cars. He’s always had that passion. Just the touch, the smell, the feel of them. So he’s always loved them. But he’s never been able to drive a car and get that real experience. Today is definitely a way to say “thank you” to my father. If there’s anyone who’s that deserving, it’s him. This is the number one thing on his bucket list. I think he is definitely going to be smiling and excited and just really surprised. In the past five years, trying to get this project done, Here’s a card. Open it, open it up. It’s been many nights staying up late, writing out emails, writing letters to different companies and just trying to get someone’s attention to possibly give us this opportunity. I need my daughter to help me. I can’t read Braille very well. Dear Bart, we heard about your lifelong dream of driving all by yourself. And we are more than happy to make this happen. It would be you in this beautiful car in the endless desert of Alvord Lake, Oregon. No boundaries, no speed limits, even better than the German Autobahn. I don’t know about that! Are you up for a ride? Your fans at Mercedes-Benz – no shit! – and your loving son Brendan. My father has been blind since birth, but nevertheless he has always been a huge car guy. Just a total petrol head. And that is obviously why he became a mechanic. He just loves cars and everything about them. Open the hood! Oh, it is right here. I didn’t see it! This is the handcrafted placard. Wow! Oh my gosh! Wow! I see where you’re gonna be driving, man. The thing goes on forever. I thought it was going to be a lot softer. Get a feel for this: So that’s the silt that’s breaking down on the tyres. The relationship between me and my father is definitely unique. You see any people out here? Not really. How quiet it is out here. Very quiet out here. We’re definitely very close. I kind of have more of a friendship with him than some of my friends and their fathers have. What do you think? Do you like it? It’s great! Should be good! You got dirt all over you. Watch yourself. It’s a tight squeeze. Let’s do it. Fits like a glove in there. A little bit more towards me, right, you’ll feel: here’s our gear shifter. Okay. Alright? So that’s what’s gonna put us into drive. Then you’ll notice a small button. You feel the ridges on the edge of this? Alright, so if you rotate that, yeah, just go ahead and rotate it back and forth, that’s gonna change our drive modes. Alright, and then I know you’ve already noticed these before, you got some paddle shifters there at your fingertips. So your left one’s gonna shift you down and your right one’s gonna shift you up. Those are a ton of fun to play with. So, what questions do you have for me? Nothing. When can we start? Let’s go! Let’s do it! Alright! Okay, guys! Alright. Are we ready? Just go straight. Just keep it straight
for now. Go. One more. More. Keep going. Keep easing into it. Now, it’s definitely cool. Yes, this is awesome! You’re driving a car! They got a drone out in front of us right now. Nice! This is crazy. How does it feel, guys? Great! Guys, it’s awesome! Yes. You can have fun and just go. Go! How fast are we going? We are going 90. Keep going, keep going. How fast? 90. Keep going! 109, 110. You’re going 110 miles an hour, dude! Guys, this is awesome! What Brendan did for me, to realize my dream of being able to take a car out and drive it – it was awesome. I mean, he talked to people and got things going and here we are.