Howard Harrell’s love for cars began back when he was in a teenager in high school.
“I’ve been a car guy all my life,” he says. He has owned many cars throughout his lifetime, but he is not sure how many.
In 1993, Harrell purchased his 1965 Chevy II for $600. At that time, it was sitting in a weed patch south of Greenfield. After a bit of tinkering, it was running, and he was able to drive it home. It sat in his garage until 2005 when he decided to restore it.
His car was placed on a rotisserie for complete overhaul and received a new engine and air conditioning. The interior was entirely redone and lap belts were added to the bucket seats for his safety, since he travels every weekend to shows. He installed a tape deck and stereo under the front seat so the dash would still be original. Finally, the car was painted a sleek-looking black and silver.
Harrell had most of the restoration done for him. He prefers to spend his time babying his car. He began showing it in 2008. Sundays are typically the day Harrell is seen out and about driving or showing the Chevy. He cruises to car shows by himself or with other club members and their cars.
“If you leave it in the garage, nobody gets to see it,” he says.
The license plates on his car are the original 1965 ones sporting the number 61 for Madison County. He registers the car with current plates and carries them inside it. He never puts his Chevy away unless it is perfectly clean and wiped down.
“I really never let it get dirty,” he says.
Coming up in October, Harrell will participate in the 30th Annual Cruise to the Woods in Fort Dodge which is the Midwest’s largest and most unusual car show with more than 1,200 cars on display. Harrell has received many second place trophies and plaques at shows with his Chevy. He will continue to work towards a first place win, but mostly he just enjoys cruising and opening the hood and trunk for people to admire.
Harrell belongs to the Central Iowa Auto Car Club.
“There is no official membership roster, but we all know who belongs,” he says.
Contact Darren Tromblay at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of What’s In Your Garage?