Lovelady spent 5 years restoring car

News editor

Ever since he was old enough to drive, Bub Lovelady had old cars to tinker with. For a few years in the mid-1990s, he went without working on a car.

That was until 1996, when his wife, Linda, saw an ad in a car directory for a 1931 Chevrolet coupe. Lovelady figured that if it had been in remotely good condition, it already would have sold. Nonetheless, he was curious enough to drive to Wichita to see the car. The ad hadn’t included a phone number, only an address.

When Lovelady arrived, the owner was taking the car out of his garage to go for ice cream. It hadn’t been sold yet, and Lovelady made an agreement to return the next day with money to buy it. When he returned another prospective buyer was waiting to see whether Lovelady returned.

It had all original parts and had sat in a barn for 45 years.

Lovelady dismantled the coupe down to the frame then began rebuilding and customizing it. He completed the project in 2001.

“You can’t buy parts for it,” he said, “so rebuilding it took a lot of custom-made parts. Probably the hardest part is finding the money to do it.”

Lovelady takes the car to shows throughout Kansas and neighboring states. He always drives it rather than taking it on a trailer.

“The biggest pleasure I get is driving to a show and listening to people talk about it,” he said. “It’s the way I wanted to build it.”

He gets many questions from people who are trying to decide whether it is worth their time and money to fix up an old car.

Watching people at car shows, he can tell what kind of cars they like. Some people will walk right past his car and spend a lot of time looking at 1950s cars, while others won’t give a second look to cars from the 50s, preferring older models like Lovelady’s.

He said he always wanted to fix up a Chevrolet because most of the restored cars he sees are Fords.

 

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