In Bob Puckett’s garage sit two restored cars: a 1964 Ford Falcon Futura and Lotus Super 7, both bright red.
They’re the latest in Puckett’s litany of rebuilt automobiles, spanning decades. He’s been fixing and rebuilding vehicles for more than 50 years, he says, getting into the hobby as a teenager.
Puckett says he’s always been mechanically and electrically inclined, and remembers using — and losing — his dad’s tools as he worked on everything from his wagon as a kid to automobiles as he got older. While Puckett learned some of his auto skills from his dad, he’s mostly been self-taught, learning through trial and error.
Working on cars is a kind of an escape for him, says Puckett.
“It’s relaxing, and you don’t have to think about work or what the world is doing.”
Still, it’s a hobby that’s time and money intensive. For example, his current Ford Falcon had had some work already done on it when he bought it, but he also has made many changes — a new rear end, new interior and quarter panels, he explains. And it still needs more work done.
His attitude toward his projects has shifted a bit over time. When he was younger, he cared less about what the car looked like and more about how fast it could go, he says.
Today, he still likes to go fast (hence, his acquisition of the Lotus, a lightweight car with high horsepower, Puckett explains), but he also has a greater appreciation for the aesthetics.
Puckett estimates he’s worked on 40 to 50 cars, selling some of them. Two of his favorites: a 1926 Ford Model T and a 1954 Ford F-100 pickup.
Puckett found the Model T in a junk yard. All they had to work with was the body of the car, he remembers. It took two years to rebuild.
While he stumbled across the Model T, his search for the F-100 was more deliberate. Puckett had been looking for one, saw the ad and found that it was only about three miles from his house. It was the pickup’s body style that appealed to him, he says.
While working on cars is fun, he says the best part is driving them, which he likes to do with his wife, Rita.Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or Darren@dmcityview.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”