There are a lot of people behind the scenes at RepairPal who do wonderful and amazing things—Roy Preston is one of them. Roy is our parts expert and he spends a lot of time and effort making sure that the cost of parts in our RepairPrice Estimator are up-to-date and accurate. Roy owned his own body shop for 15 years and also owned two NAPA Auto Parts stores. He has been building and showing muscle cars for 25 years and is also a California Licensed General Contractor.
Recently, Roy pulled me aside to show me some of the cars he has restored. I really admire people who can take an old hunk of metal and turn it into a living, breathing work of art. It must be so satisfying to work on something for so long and then be able to look upon the finished product. As a writer, any "masterpiece" of mine only consists of words and I have always wished I had the skills to build something real, something that you can touch, something that does something!
I was so impressed with the work that Roy had done, I asked him for some pictures and a little history behind his cars so I could share them with everyone. Here's what he passed along:
1966 427 Corvette Coupe
I found this car in the San Francisco Examiner, listed for $21,000. When I saw it, it literally took my breath away. My wife said, "If you want it, go buy it!" The owner said he would get it out of the barn and when I pulled up, it was all stock and cherry.
1963 Daytona Blue Split Window Corvette
I bought this car in 1993, the year my daughter was born. I had it towed to my body shop, along with 20 to 30 boxes of parts. Now it's a show winner.
1974 Pontiac Trans Am 455
After visiting one of my customers, I noticed this white Trans Am with the faded 455 on the shaker hood. I pulled over and asked the woman if it was for sale. She said it had a rod knock. (A rod knock is a rhythmic banging sound, like banging on the engine with a baseball bat. The higher the speed, the faster the knock). I gave her my number and two weeks later, I ended up buying it for $3,000. I rebuilt and repainted it and my son drove it to high school every day.
I found the GTO on Craigslist and bought it for $11,000 cash. It had an automatic transmission in it, though it was originally a 4-speed, so I changed it back to the original manual transmission. I tinker with it every weekend.