A Shreveport auto parts dealer rescued a classic car from the crusher to give back to the community that supported his family business for decades.
John Treadaway, owner of Napa Auto Parts in Shreveport, plans to auction a restored 1968 Mustang and donate the proceeds to a couple of local charities.
"I was born and raised here in Shreveport, and I've gone from sweeping the floors to manufacturing level, then back down to owning my own business," Treadaway said.
"It's coming time for me to turn my business over to the kids," he said. "I decided to restore this Mustang, or a Mustang, and all the money that was generated from it, is gonna go straight to charities here in Shreveport."
Treadaway says he'll pick a couple of local charities that will keep the money in the community to serve children.
Ford started producing Mustangs in the mid-1960s, but few of the classic models remain.
He teamed up with loyal customer and car enthusiast Jim McGee to restore a rust bucket 1968 model bolt by bolt. McGee discovered just the right car – for next to nothing – close to home.
"We found it over in Haughton in a guy's back yard," McGee said. "There was a tree growing out of the hood. There were red ants in the brakes. We had to disassemble the brakes before we could put it on the trailer."
Workers blasted old paint off the car, revealing rust everywhere. McGee replaced the flooring and some of the body. He and others replaced worn parts, dropped in a new engine, put on bigger wheels and refurbished the upholstery and interior.
They also put in a few extras that weren't standard a half century ago.
"We added a classic auto air conditioning, a dual master cylinder, disc brakes and power steering," McGee said. "I probably put a thousand hours into it."
The end result after hundreds of hours of elbow grease and a few thousand dollars is a car that looks like it just came off the show room floor.
In 1968, this classic would have sold for about $3,000. Treadaway estimates the restored car could sell for $65,000 to $75,000 through a dealer or collector. Raffle tickets will be $50 each and will be available at any Napa Auto Parts location in Shreveport-Bossier City starting June 1.
Treadaway says tinkering with cars may be one of his hobbies when he retires – but his first priority is a long vacation with his wife.
"We're gonna get on a train and we're gonna go to California and we're gonna go the Southern route and then we're gonna take the Northern route to New York and come back, and if it takes me a month, two months, that'll be just fine with me."