Dave and Cheri Garvin’s 1929 Ford Model A wagon is more than just metal, wood, tires, wires, and an engine. It’s a daily reminder of Cheri’s dad, Bob Mathers. Not only was the car Bob’s favorite classic vehicle, working on it together strengthened the family bond. Now the Garvins are sharing the automotive passion.

“We always had antique cars,” Cheri says in our latest Why I Drive video. “My dad would buy them in bushel baskets and put them together… [He] was always buying and selling… When you see pictures of us as kids, we’re always standing next to an old car. We used to joke that if the price was high enough, he’d sell us too.”

“He always wanted a woody wagon, and he eventually bought one from a guy who was in an antique automobile club in Boyne City [Michigan],” Dave says. “We worked on it together whenever we’d come up [from Traverse City] for the weekend.”

1929 Ford Model A Woodie
1929 Ford Model A Woodie

1929 Ford Model A Woodie

It was during those many months that the Model A also became Dave’s favorite. After Cheri’s parents passed away within three years of each other, there was no question which one of Bob’s 11 classic vehicles they wanted to hang onto.

“Knowing that I helped with it and knowing that [we’ll] keep it in the family, I think that’s the most fun [thing] about it,” Dave says.

There’s more to operating a Model A than simply jumping inside, turning the key, and driving away. As Cheri explains, “You have to turn on the gas, and then you have to do the spark and mess with the levers and pull out the choke… so [there’s] quite a bit of action getting everything going to get it started. But it starts right up.”

Once on the road, Dave warns that the Model A doesn’t have hydraulic brakes—it has standard mechanical brakes. “You don’t follow too close, because you can push as hard as you can [on the pedal] and it doesn’t stop right away. So we kind of stay back.” Top speed is about 50 mph… downhill.

1929 Ford Model A Woodie

Of course, driving the car isn’t about comfort or speed.

“It’s fun to watch people as you drive by,” Cheri says. “And just the history is so cool—that you get to drive something that’s 90 years old.”

“You’d be surprised how many people wave at ya, beep the horn at ya,” Dave says. “Little kids wave at ya.”

The Garvins drove the Model A to visit Dave’s mother in assisted living, and it turned into an event that the other residents also enjoyed. “They all came out, [and we] gave them a ride,” Dave says. “They were all excited because they remember that kind of car and how it starts, or they remember the ooga horn. That’s why the door is always open, because we want people to enjoy the car, young or old.”

Just as Bob Mathers would have wanted.

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

Pickup trucks were designed to get work done. Bare-bones and sturdy, a pickup like Kacy Smith’s green 1972 Chevrolet C10 has years of service in its wake, but now it is in semi-retirement and gets to relax—and help Kacy relax at the same time.

More than pure happenstance, there’s a reason that Kacy and I share the same last name. She is my sister. You might even recognize this pickup from a few of our Hagerty DIY videos. It’s a pickup that has been a part of Kacy’s life for more than a decade now, and her history with it is a story some might recognize.

“I was looking for a project car to work on during my time studying for my Automotive Restoration degree at McPherson College,” Kacy says about the hunt for a fun project. “We had a blue ’59 GMC for years when I was growing up [in Kansas], but it had been sold before any of us were old enough to fix it up.”

That blue GMC might have been the start of Kacy’s love for the utilitarian beauty of pickups. This particular Chevrolet, however, was not a beauty when Kacy exchanged $500 for it and drove it home. It required careful entry and exit to keep from catching either skin or pants on the rotten rocker panels, and the paint was in pretty terrible shape. It was reliable though, starting each time the ignition was turned.

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10
Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10
Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

Kacy drove the Chevy a lot in those first years of ownership, back and forth to summer jobs while doing the necessary maintenance to keep it roadworthy. Even while studying at McPherson, the truck got anything it needed, but a restoration was not yet in the cards. Until…

“I was taking sheet metal fabrication as an interterm class in January 2008, and the professor gave me the option to replace the rocker panels and cab corners,” Kacy says in Hagerty’s latest Why I Drive video. “The only problem was it spiraled out of control from there.”

The ensuing restoration kept the truck in some state of disassembly for almost 10 years. A classmate’s restoration shop in Kansas kept working on the pickup after Kacy moved north to Michigan to work on Hagerty’s claims team in 2009.

“It is rewarding to use my restoration experience to help fellow owners through tough times as they repair their beloved rides,” she says. “It used to wear me down a bit though to talk about classics all day but not be able to enjoy my own.”

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

That all changed when she had the truck shipped from Kansas in 2016. While there were still some finishing touches that needed to be done, it was ready to cruise. And cruise it has. A lot.

“Getting out for a drive in this truck is just relaxing for me,” kacy says. “It’s not fast, so I just have to take it easy and relax for a bit whenever I take it out. It might be a lot shinier than it used to be, but I still feel like those days when I was using it on the Kansas backroads.”

Who would have thought a big green pickup would be the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of life? It might be a bit unconventional, but that’s fine by Kacy. The enjoyment of driving her vintage Chevy is a lifelong passion now.

Kacy Smith's 1972 Chevy C10

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

When looking for a fun-to-drive drop-top, Keith Hamersma was pretty focused. It had to be a Porsche 911. Certainly, there are many options for open-air driving, but Hamersma fell in love with the 911 decades ago, so when he finally reached a point in his life where he could afford one, he really didn’t have a choice.

Interestingly, as we learn in the latest edition of Why I Drive, Hamersma didn’t jump straight into the air-cooled cult. Instead he elected to purchase a cabriolet from the 996 generation, which started in 1999. Liquid coolant courses through the innards of the flat-six engine, which is blasphemy to the purist, but Hamersma doesn’t get caught up on it. He chooses to enjoy the drive.

Hamersma even eschews a manual transmission in favor of the six-speed Tiptronic, which allows him to sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s all about the fun of driving, which is a highly personal thing and doesn’t always require three pedals.

While Hamersma loves his water-cooled 996, he elected to add a slightly older sibling to the garage when he grabbed an air-cooled 993—also a cabriolet. The pair represent the end of an era and the beginning of another, but that is merely a bonus to the driving enjoyment they bring Hamersma.

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

As an automotive designer, Richard Vaughan appreciates the simple beauty of the Aston Martin Lagonda, which definitely was not what Peter Sprague had in mind when he bought the bankrupt automaker in 1975 and rolled out the four-door sedan.

“His idea was to come out with the most advanced, space-aged car that anyone could imagine—the first car ever to have digital instrumentation,” Vaughan says in Hagerty’s latest Why I Drive video, and in that regard Sprague succeeded. “It looks like a giant calculator in front of you… You feel like you’ve been transported to the 1980s.”

But that isn’t why Vaughan loves the car so much.

“When people think [of a] four-door Aston Martin these days, they think of the Rapide, but before the Rapide, there was the Lagonda,” Vaughan says. “In 1975, nobody had ever seen anything like it. Cars were very decorative, over-bodied, often ill-proportioned—and the Lagonda is the opposite of that. It’s the essence of purity of line and simplicity.”

Growing up, Vaughan was the kid who was always drawing cars in class, and he eventually turned that passion into a career. Before that, he remembers peeking through the windows at the local Aston Martin dealership and dreaming of owning a hand-built Lagonda someday. That dream is now a reality, and he can’t imagine ever being without the “classically proportioned” luxury vehicle.

“The wheelbase is very long, the ride is extremely smooth, and you’ll notice that the tires are very tall, so you don’t feel any imperfections in the road,” he says. “It handles extremely well for a car of that era, almost as if, as they say, it’s on rails.”

The ’84 Lagonda, one of fewer than 650 built, has the “Desert Touring Package,” which includes two air-conditioners, “because so many of the original owners were Middle Eastern royalty… A car that cost $150,000 in 1984 had to be good.”

Although Vaughan jokes that the “ownership history of Lagonda reads like a who’s who of third-world dictators, criminals, despots, and the titans of industry,” he’s all-too happy to be a member of the Lagonda club.

“I drive it as much as I possibly can,” he says. “I’m never going to sell the car. It’s my dream car. For me, it represents more than just transportation.”

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

The 216-cube Chevrolet inline-six is the less-favored little brother to the vaunted 235, but that is no reason to put it out to pasture before its time. Davin saw potential in the 216 from our recently unearthed 1950 Chevrolet 3600, and thus, it got resurrected in the latest episode of Redline Rebuild.

“This truck just oozed cool when I first saw it. The potential was there and it really looked to be worth saving,” Davin said of the project when it arrived at the shop.

One of the key features that makes this truck stand out in a crowd is the extra rear quarter windows that are unique to trucks of the late-’40s to mid-’50s era. Chevrolet initially marketed these relatively small chunks of glass as “Nue-View rear corner windows.” The goal was to increase rearward visibility, but the side effect was that it made the truck timeless and unique.

With those awesome looks, many would consider it a bit of a disservice that this truck got saddled with the 216-cubic-inch inline-six engine. The fact the small-block V-8 was still half a decade away meant this engine was the most stout and sensible option of its time. I must admit, my gut reaction when I first learned of Davin’s intention to rebuild the 216 was that he should just swap it out for a 235.

After all, the 235 is extremely similar to the untrained eye, but it has a handful of improvements compared to the 216. For example, the mixture of bearing materials in the rotating assembly—in the 216, the main bearings are standard modern insert while the connecting rods are poured Babbitt, whereas in the 235, it’s all insert bearings. Luckily, Davin learned a bit about Babbitt bearings while he was elbow deep in the the last Redline Rebuild of our Swap-to-Street Ford Model A.

The bearings were hardly a hurdle, but when the cylinder head went to the machine shop only to reveal that every combustion chamber had at least a hairline crack headed towards the water passage, we had to pause and consider our options. This is a common failure point on the 216, and luckily the cracks in this particular engine were not to the point where Davin needed to source another head. Instead, he elected to ceramic coat the interior of the water passage to keep combustion pressure from pushing all the coolant out of the radiator.

“It was very similar to many of the engines I have rebuilt for this series, yet it had some really unique points as well. It was a fun challenge and awesome to save the 216 rather than drop a 235 in,” Davin says.

After the Thriftmaster 216 is assembled, it will be settled into the heavily worn 3600 pickup, which will have a new, less-perforated metal floor. Davin has a vision for what this truck will do—to find out more about this workhorse’s future, subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube page.

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

The Redline Rebuild Chevrolet Stovebolt inline-six is fresh out of the paint booth and ready for assembly. There is more to the process than threading bolts into sandwich gaskets, though. With the latest Redline Update comes a look into the process of engine assembly.

It is a joke in the car world that if you take something apart, 50 percent of the restoration is done; but that’s such a good joke because it’s so comically wrong. However, some take that saying as fact, and anyone in that situation has a solid reality check the first time they attempt to finish a project. Doing things properly takes time and getting wrapped up in the excitement of the finished product can’t distract from getting it right the first time. Our own Davin Reckow is not exempt from this rule.

“Even I can get caught up in the vision of the finished engine back in the car and how good that is going to look,” Davin says as he re-arranges the freshly painted parts on the large tables when I visit him during assembly. “It is such a fun time to be assembling the fresh parts, but I always have to stay sharp to not get excited and overlook anything.”

It’s a lesson that applies to every automotive project and not just to engine assembly. Rather than stress about it though, lean back and let Davin talk you through assembling this timeless inline-six. Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to receive a notification with each video that goes live—including the full Redline Rebuild time-lapse of this engine.

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

The Stovebolt inline-six is long departed from our 1950 Chevrolet pickup, and now we’ve dropped off Davin and the parts at the machine shop to see just what we’re dealing with. As the latest Redline Update reveals, while the block needs minimal resurfacing, the cylinder head puts Davin in a conundrum.

The block—the backbone of the engine—cleaned up well. The boring machine skimmed a select amount of material off the cylinder walls to help refresh the compression, and the whole chunk of iron was cleaned and degreased a few times over in prep for the trip to the paint shop.

Next up, the cylinder head. This was an area Davin wasn’t excited to explore this time. His research during teardown of the block indicated the 216’s cylinder head design has a nasty habit of cracking on a tight radius in the combustion chamber.

“At first glance I thought it was an odd design, but with more research it turns out it is quite a pain-in-the-butt design,” Davin says, while eyeing the parts from across the room. “I can see why so many people skip over rebuilding these 216s and just go to the 235.”

It is clear now just what Davin got himself into, but given how this pickup will be used once it’s completed and the current state of the cracks, the fix is actually quite simple. Rather than pre-heating and welding the relatively small cracks, a ceramic coating is poured into the water jacket of the block. This creates a second barrier to prevent combustion pressures from getting into the coolant passages should the cracks get worse.

With all the machine worked wrapped up, it’s time to literally wrap the parts up and head for the paint booth. Davin spends a few hours of prep work before everything is rolled into the booth and sprayed with the proper battleship gray hue.

With all the parts properly coated with color, there’s just one step left—put the engine back together, coming up in the next Redline Update. If you want to be sure not to miss a single blot of Loctite or click of the torque wrench, subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube page to receive notification as each video goes live.

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 pickup has lost its engine, and the inline-six is now ready to be pulled apart. Davin barely had the engine bolted to the stand before he reached for the tools, but luckily, we delayed him long enough to explain the tear-down process to us in the latest Redline Update.

Despite some cleaning, the dirt and corrosion in this engine reveals its many years of work. The hardware didn’t put up much of a fight, but Davin elected to use the oxy-acetylene torch to heat up the bolts holding the intake and exhaust manifolds to the cylinder head as a preemptive measure. Better the extra step now than reaching in the tool chest for the EZ-Outs later.

Even with a little extra caution during teardown, this engine came apart quickly. Looking at the parts on the table, Davin reflects on a few of the things that stand out in his V-8-oriented mind.

“The cylinder head is a really weird design to me,” he says, eyeing the long lump of cast iron on the table. “It looks like they took an L-head design from a flathead and folded it up to make it fit on top.”

True, if you look inside an engine designed for efficiency, you won’t see a flow pattern like that. However, efficiency was not Chevrolet’s initial plan with the 216’s straight-six ancestor. The sales pitch for those initial straight-six engines was “a six for the price of a four,” a slogan that sold the additional cylinder count to those cross-shopping against the smaller, less powerful, and rougher-running engine of the late 1920s and early 1930s. The heritage stuck around and might explain why the valve cover decal Davin uncovered on the 216 was “Thriftmaster.”

With the engine block empty and the worktables full, the next task is to load up select bits and head to the machine shop—a trip that will be covered in the next Redline Update. Be sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel to receive updates with each video that goes live so you never miss a new update.

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

The 1950 Chevrolet 3600 pickup set to donate its heart to the Redline Rebuild garage put up a fight simply to leave the spot where it was slowly returning to the earth. So you might be surprised to hear that Davin immediately wants to see if the straight-six will run, with minimal time investment. It’s in the shop—so why not, right?

“This series of engine is known to be durable as all heck,” says Davin. “It looked pretty complete and nothing I saw on first glance said it shouldn’t run. Seemed like a fun thing to try.”

Luckily, he takes us along for the adventure of getting the long-decaying engine turning again. After creating some space by removing the radiator and hood, Davin pops the hood off. With a fresh six-volt battery in the battery box, a push of the start button actually brings motion.

Fresh plugs replace the tractor plugs in the cylinder head, and, while the plugs are out, the cylinders get a quick shot of PB Blaster to break up any accumulated rust. Of course, to find out whether the electrical system is healthy enough to throw a hot spark, Davin connects the coil while cranking the engine. Unfortunately, the first time he connects the power to the coil, he uses his right arm as a conductor. Ouch.

“I don’t know what’s worse about shocking myself then—that I did it, or that I know it’ll happen again at some point in the future. I even know better!” declares Davin when I ask him about the zap.

With a smooth rumble the trusty engine thrums to life, if only because of the raw gas Davin’s pouring down the carb throat like a sad automotive version of foie gras. The Chevy rejects just enough with a backfire that it spits a flame right over the roof. Let’s just say the straight-six was celebrating its new life with some fireworks.

Once the engine fires off and avoids burning down, it’s off to the races to get the 216 pulled from the truck. A few bolts required the heat of a torch, something to be expected with any truck that has been used as a workhorse at some point in its life.

A quick cleanup in the parking lot shows an engine with some real potential. Will it be as nice inside as out? We’ll find out on the next Redline Update, because Davin will be breaking out the wrenches to prep this engine for the machine shop.

Be sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel to receive updates with each video that goes live.

Next episodes

You may also like

Season 3 Archives | Hagerty Media

Share

You know Davin Reckow and the rest of the Hagerty video crew are in for a whole heap of work on the next Redline Rebuild project when the first tool they use is a shovel.

The crew was preparing to pluck this truck from a treasure trove of cars not far from Hagerty headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan.

The truck was first discovered by Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter while he looked through a treasure trove of cars not far from Hagerty headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan. Davin tagged along during that episode and noticed a 1950 Chevy five-window truck that looked to be worth saving.

Davin’s rescue mission didn’t have a great start, however. In the way was a fifth-generation Thunderbird showing previous rust repair on the quarter panels, and it was nearly ripped in two when it was unceremoniously hauled out by the rear axle. Although the T-bird was parked for less time than the truck, its lower stance and apparent predisposition for corrosion did it in. Davin remained hopeful about the truck, even as the Thunderbird was loaded onto a flatbed and hauled off.

With the route to extraction and resurrection prepped, Davin dug out the truck’s rocker panels so that it too could be dragged onto the flatbed. Ever upbeat, Davin commented, “I prefer to look at is as clearing paths for new opportunities.”

Once the truck was on the flatbed, Davin was able to take a better look, and the project appears promising. The truck is currently residing in Hagerty’s garage, where its six-cylinder awaits the next step. “The truck is here,” Davin said. “I can’t promise anything after that, but we’re gonna give it our best shot!”

Next episodes

You may also like