Gary Hiatt likes buying and selling old cars.
Hiatt is a car dealer who owns Hiway 2 Auto Sales, but he says when he buys and sells older cars it is more of a hobby.
One of his most recent is a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 he bought in April. He traveled to Lubbock, Texas, to pick up the car, which has not been restored and was always in Texas up to that point.
“It had been sitting for at least 10 years or longer from what I understood,” he says. “It required just a little maintenance, but other than that it still runs and drives good.”
The price was a big factor, Hiatt says, but the location was an even bigger one because Texas’ drier, rust-free climate preserves old vehicles well.
“If somebody had that in Minnesota or the East, I wouldn’t have bought it,” he says. “When you buy the old cars, you would like to have the best example you can, and most of the rust-free stuff is in the South or Southwest.”
The Fairlane is the type of car his parents would have driven when he was a kid, he says.
Hiatt says he doesn’t like restored cars because he likes to drive the cars he buys.
“The high-dollar cars, you get a little more afraid of driving them after you spend thousands of dollars on them,” he says. “I don’t mind driving one that is still fairly original.”
He does, though, enjoy getting older cars in driving condition and seeing the comparison between older cars and newer ones.
“For one thing, driving an old car shows you how much technology has improved cars over the years,” he says. “They certainly don’t run, drive or ride like the new ones.”
This is only one of Hiatt’s many car projects. He says he mainly likes to drive Fords, and some of his other cars include a 1956 Thunderbird he has owned since the early 1980s, two 1957 Thunderbirds, a 1940 Ford coupe, a 1958 Edsel station wagon, a 1963 Falcon convertible and a 1955 Ford Victoria.
His wife, Debbie Hiatt, says she enjoys old cars like the Fairlane because they take her back to the era when she was growing up.
“It still needs a little TLC, but there’s always something to do with them,” she says of the Fairlane.
Contact Darren at 515-953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”