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Labor Day weekend means one thing for NASCAR fans: The Southern 500 from Darlington, South Carolina.

The race at the Track Too Tough to Tame was a tradition ... until 2004 when the NASCAR fools in charge powers that be decided to move the early September race to other spots in the schedule.

But this year the race is back where and when it belongs, underscoring not only the sport's roots, but America's enduring love affair with cars.

Kansas car lover's tough tax choice: Dorce Stapleton knows a thing or two about what a car can mean.

The 78-year-old Hutchinson, Kansas, resident bought her 1955 Ford Fairlane 47 years ago from the original owner. She paid $125 for the then 13-year-old auto.

Ford Fairlane 1955_Velocity Automotive Journal
Collectors love classic cars, like this 1955 Ford Fairlane. A Kansas woman owned the same make and model, but feared should would have to sell her beloved Ford to pay overdue property taxes on her home ... until an automotive angel arrived in her driveway.

Even after she eventually replaced the Ford with a Chevrolet, she held onto the older auto and all its memories.

But it looked like she would finally have to sell the antique Fairlane to get money so should could pay off her home's 2½ years of overdue property taxes.

Car lovers help out: Then an automotive angel arrived.

The man showed up in her driveway early on Sept. 1. He didn't want to buy her beloved car. Instead, he asked what she needed, then headed to the county courthouse.

He was soon back with the receipts showing that the $2,100 in Stapleton's delinquent real estate taxes had been paid in full.

The man asked to remain anonymous, telling Stapleton that he had a good life and he just wanted to help. Then he was gone.

Now Stapleton still has her house, her Fairlane and a new wonderful car-related memory.

But the good Samaritans kept coming. 

Another person showed up with an envelope containing money to pay her back taxes. When he learned that the bill had been paid, he told Stapleton to keep it.

Stapleton plans to put the money toward her 2015 property taxes.

Any leftover cash, she says, will go toward a new battery for the Ford Fairlane.

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