Dennis Williams and Bob Martin, both of West Des Moines, crossed paths years ago when they both were members of a Ford Model T car club, but their friendship was cemented about a decade ago when Martin hauled a 1936 Ford pickup truck he bought online to Williams’ garage for repairs.
“The truck didn’t run when he bought it, so we put a new distributor in it and did some other things to get it up and running, like putting in a ’53 Mercury flathead engine. It also has three speeds on the floor and can run at highway speeds,” says Williams. “It was during that time that we got to be friends.”
Their friendship has grown during the years thanks to their mutual admiration for classic cars and trucks and their willingness to conduct business with one another. Martin brings his automobiles to Williams for repairs, and he even sold a 1927 Ford Model T Coupe to his trustworthy and mechanically inclined friend.
“Bob asks the questions, and I try to find the answers,” says Williams. “With old cars, there’s always something to be fixed. They’re like old houses.”
Martin says he bought the ’36 Ford pickup truck for his wife, Donna, so she could transport merchandise to and from her longtime former shop in Valley Junction, Donna’s Country Collection. He even had his wife’s first name painted on the truck’s doors.
“Donna owns it. I drive it and maintain it, and when mechanical needs pop up, Dennis helps fix it,” says Martin. “I drive it daily, and it’s very dependable and fun to ride in. It’s a driver, not a trailer queen.”
Williams says he likes working on old vehicles, drinking coffee and talking with friends in his garage.
“It’s kind of like a coffee shop in here on Tuesdays when we tinker with cars and try to solve the world’s problems,” he says. “Everyone who comes in here has an opinion.
“I’ve always had a love for working on cars and trucks and doing projects in my garage and hanging out with my pets and my friends. I suppose my garage is more of a man cave than it is a garage.”
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