You have probably heard the expression "jack of all trades and master of none." Danville resident Fred "Red" Pfeiffer could be described as a jack of many trades and master of them all.

He is a member of what Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation." He has had a number of careers, all of which he mastered. He is a World War II Army veteran who served under Gen. George Patton. He was a supermarket manager for more than 30 years. He owned Red Pfeiffer's Bowling World, a national publication for almost 20 years, but he had to sell it after the first of five heart attacks.

He managed KWUN, a Concord radio station, and also was a disc jockey there. He managed a 40-lane bowling alley, and to top it off, he's really a nice guy.

Nice as he is, I believe he put a lot of pressure on some of his married friends one Christmas season. Imagine going to a neighborhood party and learning Pfeiffer gave his wife a new car for Christmas when you had given your wife a new toaster.

In December 1968, he bought a new 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger two-door hardtop as a Christmas present for his wife, Ruth. "I bought it from my good friend and Lafayette Dodge dealer, George Conti. He personally delivered the car secretly early Christmas morning, parked it in our garage so it was a complete surprise for Ruth. I paid $1,900 ($12,863 in today's dollars) for the car."

The Dart name has a long history. The first Dodge Dart in 1960 was a full-size car. In 1962, the Dart became a mid-size car, and in 1963 it became a compact. More than 3.7 million compact Dart cars were built from 1963 through the 1975 model year.

The name was dropped when the company produced a newly designed compact and called it Aspen. Because of the reputation of previous Darts, Dodge started using the Dart name again in 2013.

In 1969, the Dart had three trim levels, the low line, the high line and the premium line. I suspect the sales and marketing guys got with the bean counters to come up with the Dart Swinger package. They started with the 2,932-pound low-line Dart and added, at a discounted price, a special package of popular equipment sold with the more expensive models. That package included power steering, an AM/FM radio, wheel covers, a vinyl top, white sidewall tires, a driver's side remote control mirror, and turn signal indicators on the top of the front fenders.

It was an attractive package, making the Dart Swinger significantly less expensive than the comparable high-line model with the same equipment.

The 111-inch wheel base Dodge Dart had six engine options for 1969, from a 170 c.i. slant-six rated at 115 HP to a 383 c.i. V8 rated at 330 HP. Pfeiffer's Dart has the very popular 225 c.i., 145 HP slant-six engine mated with a TorqueFlite automatic transmission and torsion bar front suspension.

Since the car didn't have air conditioning, and Pfeiffer frequently drove Interstate 5 to Los Angeles, he added an aftermarket sun roof for better air circulation. He also added a personalized license plate, CO C8B, to remember Company C, 8th Battalion, his old Army unit.

"It's the best car I have ever owned," he said. "It has traveled almost 400,000 miles."

What makes his story even more impressive is that the car is completely original, including the engine and transmission. The only exceptions are the interior and the vinyl top, which had to be replaced when the sun roof was added. Even the gold metallic paint is original. This is not a collector car, or even a local show car. This is his only car.

"I drive it every day," he said proudly. "Almost every time I drive this car and park it somewhere, when I return there is someone asking me questions about it. One fellow I met wanted to buy the car and offered me $14,000 for my Dart."

I thought Pfeiffer must have some magic formula for maintenance, but no: "I just take care of my car," he said. "When I hear something or I can tell there is something wrong, I take it in. A few days ago, I took it in because I heard a 'thump, thump' sound. It turned out it was a lug nut rattling around in the wheel cover."

As far as oil changes go, Pfeiffer doesn't change the oil on a mileage basis. "I look at the dip stick," he said. "If the oil looks dirty, I change it. If it doesn't, I don't."

When I asked if he thought he would ever buy a new car Pfeiffer, 85, said: "Why would I? This one is perfect."

Have an interesting vehicle? Contact David Krumboltz at MOBopoly@yahoo.com.