FERNDALE - Tom Elbrecht, whose friends rebuilt a 1940s hot rod for him after he was stricken with leukemia, died Friday, March 22.
Elbrecht, 64, was diagnosed in May 2012. The following month about 30 friends began the rebuild of the 1940 Hudson Business Coupe Elbrecht had purchased just months earlier with a dream of restoring it.
The friends were constant companions for Elbrecht as they worked on the car for months. They took it on its inaugural drive in January, but Elbrecht was too ill to ride along. The event was chronicled by The Bellingham Herald.
James Thomas Elbrecht was born in Bellingham, attended Lynden High School and was a founding member of Combat Veterans International. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, their two children and three grandchildren, according to the Ferndale Record Journal.
To read more about the effort to restore the car and see a photo gallery of it, read our story published in January.