Community car group rallies together to restore local man’s car

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — It feels good to give back: A number of players in the Virginia car scene joined together to give a hard-working car enthusiast his dream car.

He works three jobs and made his 1998 Camry a custom creation, but people bullied him.

That’s no more. One year and nearly $10,000 later, Christus Bowman is driving around in a new ride, thanks to the work and dedication of his car-loving community.

“You should be [getting] a girlfriend soon. You should … get a girlfriend now. They told me that,” said Christus Bowman.

He once called his car the “batmobile” but after this upgrade, he’s hoping it’s a chick magnet.

“With no kids. I’m 34 years old, single, with no kids,” he said.

Bowman has autism and for several years, he worked three jobs. He was driving his 1998 Toyota Camry that he painted himself, but it wasn’t always reliable.

“And a lot of people were seeing Christus locally here in the 757 area, and they would post pictures of them and be like, you know, ‘What is this?’ Or, you know, kind of making fun or whatever,” said Tiffany Dockery.

She is the administrator for a car community group on Facebook. She said when people learned others were making fun of him, they wanted to step in and give him the car of his dreams, starting first with a GoFundMe for new tires.

“Then it grew to, you know, people wanted to donate parts, they wanted to donate more money. And we had to actually raise the GoFundMe, so that more money could be, you know, donated. And then from that, we bought parts and things to the car. And then shops wanted to do the work and work on a car there was, you know, paint job and mechanical work to make it, you know, run better,” she said.

It took about a year and involved several companies from the Virginia car scene community, Affordable Automotive Repair, Gurganus Automotive Services, Superior Automotive, J&L Automotive, TGD Wraps,SunBlocked Window Tinting, Lana’s Detailing, Explicit Auto Sound, Canady and Branch Complete Car Care, Nyce & Eezy, Associated Motorsports and Dockery Transport.

They donated their time and money to get everything right. This past weekend, they gave him the car — complete with his favorite colors.

“He was ecstatic. He wanted to drive around the parking lot, he could hardly wait to get behind the wheel,” she said.

Dockery said she was happy to see so many people step in over the last year to help.

“It’s a rare thing. But I couldn’t think of anybody better to have this happen to because of the impact that he has made on people just being himself,” she said.

Bowman couldn’t help but show off his ride on a Zoom call with 10 On Your Side.

Dockery says that makes it all worth it.

“It’s a blessing and it’s our way of life. It’s something that we hold true to our hearts and for him to be that excited is beyond anything we could ask for,” she said.

Christus now lives in Richmond but makes several trips Hampton Roads frequently to thank those who helped him with the car.

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