Through his 1965 GTO, Dave Fenton has the opportunity to reconnect with his past.
Fenton owned a car just like it right after he graduated from high school — back when they cost a lot less, he points out.
He gave up the car when he married and raised a family in the Quad Cities. In 1992, he married an Albia native and the pair moved to Moravia, in between her hometown and his hometown of Centerville. The next year he bought a car like his old one.
“When I moved down here, I decided I would like to have one again,” he says.
But Fenton did not stop with the GTO, which he has completely restored. He has three other cars he shows — a 1967 Chevelle SS, a 1957 Ford Custom and a 1931 Model A hot rod — and another five or six he is currently restoring.
“I’ve always been kind of a car-crazy person but probably really seriously since I moved down here,” he says.
Fenton, who has worked for industrial battery supplier Hubill Incorporated for 28 years, travels around the eastern half of the state for work. During his travels, he often runs across potential car projects. The number of projects fluctuates as Fenton acquires old cars and, occasionally, thinks better of it and resells them.
“I look for old cars sitting in barns and stuff,” he says. “I buy a lot more cars to repair than I really end up finishing. Last year I sold three of them, then I turned around and bought three more this spring — I don’t really get ahead.”
Fenton has been active in Moravia, serving on the city council for 12 years and as co-chairman of the Moravia Fall Festival for the past three years. He is currently in his second term as mayor.
Fenton says he enjoys car shows but now leans more toward just taking his cars cruising. He built the Chevelle for his wife, Dianna, because she also enjoys cruising. It doesn’t get driven much though, he says, because it turns out she enjoys riding with him more than she enjoys driving herself.
Fenton has two sons and a daughter, and his daughter recently purchased a 1957 Thunderbird and started taking it to car shows.
“She follows the old man’s footsteps better than the boys do,” he says.Contact Darren at 515-953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”