sonphetOn December 12, 1976, Sonphet Tim Chanthavong was born in Thailand.  Due to Laos’ aide to the US in the Vietnam War, his parents became refugees in Thailand and later moved to the United States with aide from the United Nations in 1980.  Sonphet was three years old.  Sonphet’s family of five Cham (Father), Sompong (Mother), Sengsouk (Sister), and Lethdar (Brother) began their new life in Stockton, CA.

Sonphet’s parents went to school, learned English, and entered the workforce.  Sonphet entered school in Stockton, CA knowing little to no English.  He grew up finding interest in all the things boys his age did in that era.  He enjoyed video games, skateboarding, and listening to the popular music.  By the early 90′s, Sonphet began listening to Freestyle hits and from that, he chose his American name of “Timmy” from the Freestyle artist Timmy T.  While attending high school, Tim worked at McDonalds as a part time job.

In 1994, Tim’s Senior year in High School his parents decided that the family would move to St. Petersburg, Fl.  St. Petersburg was chosen by Tim’s parents due to family ties.  Tim, as every child would, wanted to finish his final year in High School in the town he had grown up in, and had known as home.  His mother persuaded him into finishing his Senior year in Florida by buying him his very first car.image-4

Tim began his Senior year at St. Pete High with his brand new 1994 Honda Civic.  He worked part time at the movie theater and then Eckerds.  With the money he made, he began “Suping Up” his car.  In this year, he met his best friend William Bruce Landes.  Tim graduated and went directly into working full time.  Beginning at Flagship Mortgage he set forth on his career of being a Loan Officer.  While working full time, Tim attended some college.

imageIn 1997,Tim, still living at home with his parents, could now upgrade his Civic to a Mazda RX7.  Sleek, shiny black, and fast, Tim was living every young man’s dream. Often washing his car multiple times a week, there was always a chance of seeing him out by his car if you drove by his family’s home.  He enjoyed driving, going to the beach, and playing volley ball.  Before long, Tim had set his sites on his dream car, an Acura NSX.  Purchasing posters of it and hanging them within his room.

nsx_rx7By 1999, Tim had furthered his career within the Mortgage arena as a Loan Officer and had landed a position at Fidelity Mortgage. With this he could now make his dream car a reality.  Tim purchased the 1994 Acura NSX, proud and over joyed as he worked very hard to obtain his prize possession.  He continued doing his favorite things in life; hanging out with friends, going to the beach, and playing volleyball.  Unknowing to Tim, obtaining his dream car would mean losing his life that same year…