Gunners Garage

Talent Show

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent last weekend taking in a number of old car shows.  On the way back from one of them, I stopped to see a collector named Mark Buttles in the next town.  Lately, Mark ihas been keeping himself busy working on a ’54 Hudson and a ’54 Pontiac Custom Star Chief Catalina.  He was working on the Catalina when I stopped by  his garage.  This is a car that sat for over 20 years in indoor storage.  Mark removed the engine and transmission and rebuilt both.  While the parts were at Diesel and Machine Service, in Amherst, Wisconsin, being machined, Mark cleaned and repainted the entire engine bay.  He also went through the brakes and installed new lines. Mark buffed the body and cleaned the interior.  Believe it or not, the wire wheel hub caps went into his dishwasher.  He says it’s the best way to make them look new.  As I watched Mark work, I started thinking about all the talent he was investing in his car.  Then I started to think about all the classic cars I had seen at the show that afternoon and about all the talent it took to restore them. That made me realize that old-car events are far more than ego trips or trophy-hunting sessions . . . they are actually “talent shows.”

A few blogs ago I mentioned that I had seen an unusual King truck with just 15 miles for sale at a  local salvage yard. On my way to the show on Sunday I stopped to take pictures of it. A plaque inside the cab says this “King Mini Truck, Schifeng,Group.” So now we know who made it, but not much else.

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