Many people have a hobby and for some of us, those hobbies become a passion. For Dan, this was the case. His interest in cars and trucks started at the very young age of three. It rapidly grew into a passion. As he got older his love of cars and trucks grew into a passion for restoring them. This labor of love was an investment of his time, money, and skills.
Dan was about 17 years old when he worked on his first car – a 1929 Chevy. He didn’t do much to this first car, but by the time he was around 18 or 19 he had customized a 1947 Mercury Coup. Over the next few decades, Dan tinkered on cars and trucks, mostly to keep them running. Around 1994 he began investing heavily his time and money into restoring vehicles.
His favorite restoration was a 1953 Chevy Model 5700 cab over engine (COE). Dan says this is the first one he “went all out on.” Some of the vehicles he rebuilt took months and some took years. He did all of this while simultaneously managing and running his successful RV park. Over the years, Dan would acquire vehicles as they came up. Some he was not able to restore but many he was. He cannot count the number of vehicles he restored, but he does currently still have 8 of these beautifully restored vehicles in his possession.
When I asked about what he enjoyed about restoration, he did not hesitate to say, he loves tearing them apart and putting them back together – rebuilding, upgrading, and customizing. When I asked what was the hardest part of restoration he said it was oftentimes having to hire out for some parts of the job, like rebuilding the engines and the paintwork. The most difficult vehicle he restored was a 1951 GMC COE. He converted this to a 6-cylinder cummings diesel engine.
Not surprisingly, Dan began entering these vehicles into car and truck shows and this resulted in him winning 21 awards for his restorations. His most prized award is the one from the 20th Annual High Lakes Show ‘n Shine in 2018. He won 2nd place for his Corvette T-Bird at this local show in Redmond, Oregon.
Although Dan loves these beautiful vehicles and the history he has with them and the time he has invested, he has decided to sell the remaining vehicles in his possession.