From a very early age, even before I was able to drive, I was a “Certified Car Nut.” One of my first experiences with old cars was when I was a sophomore in high school, I disassembled, repainted, and re-assembled a Model ‘A’ Ford engine and transmission in my bedroom one winter; due to the fact it was 20 degrees in our garage.. When I got it finished, it looked real shinny, but I had to have three other guys help me haul it out of my basement. Looking back, I didn’t really do much other than clean it up, but I got hooked on old cars anyway, and have been fixing up cars ever since.
In high school, my friends and I used to ditch school and drive through the country looking for old cars. I have memories of discarded cars out in the fields, which you could have for the asking. The main objective was just to find a really nice one to drag home and fix up. Once, I found a 1939 Pontiac Coupe, and spent months talking the farmer into selling it to me for $75.00. However, once he agreed to sell it, I didn’t have $75.00 to buy it. Back then $75.00 was a lot of money to an unemployed kid in high school. However, I did return a month later with the money figuring the car would still be there waiting for me. That’s when I learned the valuable lesson of “Cash Talks and BS Walks.” Once I had spent all that time talking him into selling it, the farmer sold it to the very next guy that came along.
I’ve had lots of cars over the years; a ’29 Ford Sedan, a ’29 Ford Roadster, a ’40 Chevy Sedan, a ‘40 Ford Pickup (which most of the SOCRC club members are familiar with), a ’41 Chevy Coupe, a ’42 Chevy Coupe, a ’55, ’56 and ’57 Chevy, ’63 Split-Window Corvette, a ’67 Firebird, and I’m just completing a ‘29 Ford Roadster Pickup. When I talk about the cars I’ve had in the past, I usually never discuss anything newer than the 63 Vette. I also enjoy riding motorcycles and have had four Harley-Davidsons’.
Growing up in the small town of Logan Utah, reminds me a lot of the movie “American Graffiti.” We used to cruise Main Street all night long looking for somebody to hang out with, or to drag race. All of my friends had what I have termed “Flat Glass Cars.”
I’ve enjoyed being in several car clubs over the years, and it’s really helped me to network for parts, services, and to socialize with others who share my same love of old cars. I’ve become good friends with a lot of great people.
Old cars are great, but in my opinion every guy needs an “Old Truck.”
My wife and I go way back to high school days. However, even in Junior High, I knew who she was. After convincing her to go out with me, we began a long courtship of three years. Marriage came in September of 1971.
Prior to marriage, and after about two years of college, I took a leave of absence from my schooling to ski and just generally bum around a while. I was working as an operating engineer, running heavy equipment on road construction. The company I worked for built highways in remote areas throughout Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. The job and money was great and it was exciting for a young guy running this type of equipment. Driving a 641 Caterpillar Scraper is like driving a house down the side of a mountain. I would be out on the road all week long, and come home only on the weekends.
Contemplating marriage, I knew this kind of life was no way to start off a new family. I decided to get my butt back to school, since I now had to become responsible for a wife and a family sometime in the future. I found my niche in landscape architecture where I could be creative and imaginative. Upon graduating three years later and having our first child, we moved to Monrovia California, where I began my new career.
Since we were a one-car family, I eventually needed to buy a second car for my wife and our little son to get around in. Being a car guy, and not being able to help myself, I thought “why not kill two birds with one stone.” I bought her a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan which ran, but I would eventually need to fix up. How lucky could she be! She has recollections of driving down the road in what she called “The Beetle,” with many stares and even chuckles, from people as they passed by. I’m sure she really appreciated being the object of their discussions. In fact, that was the last “old car” I’ve ever gotten her to drive. This was another one of life’s valuable lessons: “Don’t make your wife drive a car she doesn’t want to drive”! Pam was not a stranger to old cars though. When in high school, she drove a 1954 International pickup, which she bought from her father for $50.00. We kept the truck until we moved to California. How we wished we had it today, or even could find one like it to buy. Pam has been putting up with my car habit for almost 38 years now.
Pam’s passion is quilting, and is well known in quilting circles. She belongs to “The Flying Geese Quilt Guild,” where she has served in a variety of positions. Pam was in charge of the guild’s last quilt show, which was a huge success. She is an excellent seamstress, and is marveled by others for her preciseness in piecing quilts together. Lately she has developed a love for appliqué, and designing quilts, which she is excellent at also. She always has several projects going at any given time. She has drug me along with her to quilt shows and shops throughout California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. Pam has won national recognition for some of her quilting.
We have a cabin in Big Bear California, where we enjoy many weekends and holidays with family and friends. We have three grown children, and now three beautiful grandchildren.
Dale and Pam Hadfield