Bill Dyson still has his first car, a 1948 Ford convertible his dad bought him for $450 in 1956.
“Got my first girlfriend too,” said the 72-year-old retired paint and body man, who lives in Burleson. “Started goin’ together in junior high.”
If everything goes according to plan, Dyson, the girl and the car will all be at the Good Guys 3rd Spring Nationals auto show at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Organizers expect upwards of 2,000 pre-1972 vehicles from around the country, including the 1948 Lincoln Continental that Tim Duran is prepping for the event.
“We just go out there to have fun,” said Duran of Burleson, who plans to drive the maroon V-12 powered convertible instead of taking it on a trailer. “It just kind of floats.”
Gary Schupbach, 63, was so eager to go that he had his folding chairs loaded in the immaculate trunk of his 1968 Chevrolet Impala Custom on Wednesday morning.
Like the others, he wants to have fun, checking out the cars. He plans to look for a transmission dealer too.
The show will be crawling with vendors for parts, old and new, and while Schupbach likes to keep his cars original looking — the Impala wears mag wheels at the moment, but he still has the original hiubcaps — he’s thinking about swapping the original automatic Powerglide transmission for a manual model.
The retired 31-year veteran of the General Motors parts plant is also thinking of trading the original 307 cubic-inch V-8 engine for a bigger powerplant.
“I paid a lot of tickets when I was younger,” he said wistfully. “Haven’t had a ticket for years.”
Barry Walker is driving his Corvette Stingray to the speedway.
“This ’63, I bought about 15 years ago,” the retired Johshua parts salesman said. “I drove it home from Omaha.”
The four-speed ’Vette is silver blue with a white top, dark-blue interior and 327-cubic-inch V-8 engine that cranks out 340 horsepower.
“I just go to enjoy the company of other people; I look at the cars,” Walker said. “It’s the best car show you can go to for the money.”
Dyson’s car isn’t as costly as the Corvette, but like the other guys, he has an investment in it — and an emotional one.
“My dad got it for me. He took his vacation money and spent it,” Dyson said. “Guess I was a good kid.”
Dyson has replaced the engine, the interior, the tail lights and driven his family all over the country in it. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to teach his wife to use a standard transmission in it.
“That’s the last time she drove it,” Dyson said.