Contractors Get Revved Up About Their Classic WheelsAngie Lewis, Writer
Riding along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
My curiosity runnin’ wild
Cruisin’ and playin’ the radio
With no particular place to go
Chuck Berry’s rock ’n’ roll classic No Particular Place to Go roared up the charts in 1964, the same year that saw the introduction of the Chevrolet Chevelle, Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt and Pontiac GTO.
Today, those metallic masterpieces are considered classics, which devoted collectors – including several roofing contractors — lovingly maintain and show off with pride.
Owner, Mike Boucher Roofing | Jacksonville, FL
1969 Ford Mustang
1972 Ford Gran Torino
“If I’m not roofing, I’m working on cars,” says Mike Boucher, who bought and restored a 1969 Mustang for his wife in 2012. The nearly complete stock vehicle has a Ford Boss 302 engine with a four-barrel carburetor and an automatic transmission.
In 2016, he added a 1972 Gran Torino to his collection. Boucher again restored his second Ford classic to almost completely stock, installing a four-speed 351 Cleveland engine, but with a different top end.
Twice a year, he convenes with other gearheads at car shows such as the annual Daytona Turkey Run in Daytona Beach, FL, where he loves showing off his classic American muscle cars.
Boucher began working in the roofing industry at the age of 16 and never looked back. Fourteen years later, he owns his own company, which serves the North Florida cities of Jacksonville, Orange Park and Middleburg.
Boucher’s classic dream car: 1972 Chevelle SS
Boucher’s modern dream car: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (which he owns)
President, Outback Roofing | Dallas, TX
1963 Chevrolet Impala
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible (x2)
1975 American LaFrance fire truck
Chris Crutcher first fell in love with classic cars the day he rode around in his father’s Nordic Blue 1969 Firebird convertible with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Crutcher’s father grew up with Vaughan in Oak Cliff, TX, and the two went to grade school together.
“The hippie scene was big in Oak Cliff in the ’70s,” he says. “As a kid, I would see Stevie when they would all meet up at Kiest Park, where everyone would cruise in their cars and drink beer on the weekends.”
In 1999, Crutcher bought his dad’s Firebird, which had been passed down through four generations of his family. He plans to continue the tradition by giving it to his 16-year-old daughter.
He bought another 1969 Firebird to keep for himself in 2003. The rare Polar White Pontiac with a blue interior and blue top had undergone a full, frame-off rotisserie restoration before he bought it. A rotisserie lifts a car off of its frame, which allows it to be completely disassembled and rebuilt.
“Everything in the car is as original as you can get,” he says.
Crutcher also added a 1975 American LaFrance fire truck to his classic vehicle collection because he wanted to give back to his community. Every year, he and his workers collect toys for the Dallas Police Department’s Santa Cops and the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots programs. He even drives it around town dressed as Santa.
However, the car he’s most proud of is his “baby,” a one-of-a-kind 1963 Chevrolet Impala that he bought in October 2017. Known as a “restomod,” which combines classic style with modern technology, the car boasts a fully chrome 454 engine, more than 585 horsepower, a Wilwood brake system, air-ride suspension and an exhaust that comes out behind the rear door in front of the wheel. Its custom paint job, in Dubai Sandstone, took more than a year to complete. Perhaps even more impressive though — the immaculate showpiece has only 42 miles on it.
“It’s always been my favorite car,” Crutcher says. “With the time and the workmanship and the craftsmanship that went into revitalizing this car from the dead is pretty amazing. This will be a vehicle I keep for the rest of my life.”
Crutcher worked on roofs as a kid with his grandfather. But losing money on a roofing insurance claim as an adult is what inspired him to open his own roofing business in 2008 and serves commercial and residential customers around Dallas, TX.
Crutcher’s classic dream car: Ford GT40
Crutcher’s modern dream car: 2018 Ford GT
President, H and S Roofing | Green Bay, WI
1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Paul Saharsky’s father bought and sold different vehicles throughout his childhood, so he developed a great appreciation for older-model cars at an early age.
He had always wanted a 1967 Camaro and happened to find one at a customer’s home in 2015.
Custom-painted a dazzling, look-at-me red, the Chevy had been stripped down to the bare frame and rebuilt piece by piece. But its owner no longer had time to drive it and reluctantly agreed to sell it to Saharsky on one condition: “If you ever sell it, you have to give me first chance to buy it back.” It was a deal Saharsky couldn’t pass up.
“It’s a powerful monster,” he says. “When you get in this car, the workday is left behind. You drop it into gear and the tires are spinning without you even trying. The muscle that’s involved takes your mind away from everything and lets you focus on keeping the car straight on the road and the power behind it.”
He shows off his beloved Camaro at car shows several times a year, including the annual Iola Car Show in his home state of Wisconsin.
Saharsky started his own roofing company following a brief stint as a sheriff’s department correctional officer. For the past 18 years, his business has served commercial and residential customers throughout Green Bay, WI.
Saharsky’s classic dream car: Early ’70s Mustang Mach 1
Saharsky’s modern dream car: 2018 Camaro custom GT model
Retired Sales Representative, Atlas Roofing Corporation | Atlanta, GA
1959 Chevrolet Corvette
1965 Chevrolet El Camino
The first time Ed Todd rode in his older brother’s black two-door 1959 Chevrolet Impala hardtop with all red interior, he was hooked.
While working as an outside salesman, he ran across a 1959 Corvette at a customer’s home. Though it was completely disassembled, Todd bought it and spent nearly five years restoring it. Today the classic beauty features a five-speed standard transmission and the original 283-cubic-inch engine with 270 horsepower. It has also been painted in its original Frost Blue with an Ermine White insert.
“I like to do all the work myself because, to me, that’s as important as having the car completed,” he says. “I enjoy doing the work on them, and I help a lot of my friends with their old cars as well.”
His other vintage vehicle is a 1965 El Camino, which reminded him of the ’65 Chevelle he bought new in his youth. He upgraded and modernized virtually everything under the hood, including a 496-cubic-inch engine with 575 horsepower, a turbo 400 automatic transmission, and upgraded tires and wheels. Aesthetically, he kept the rest of the car as stock looking as possible, incorporating the original exterior paint color, Ermine White, and two-tone aqua interior.
Todd is a member of the Peach State Chevelle Club and attends car shows around Atlanta throughout the year.
After working in roofing for four decades, Todd is now retired from the business and works as an independent consultant — which gives him more time to enjoy his two classic rides.
Todd’s classic dream car: AC Cobra in Marina Blue with white stripes, white interior and a 427 engine
Todd’s modern dream car: The latest model high-tech Corvette
Tom and Tevie Fraser
Owners, Fraser Dante Classic Cars | Roswell, GA
1951 Chevrolet 3100
Tom and Tevie Fraser have been in the classic car business for 31 years, so they’ve seen just about every make and model. However, they were still thrilled to add a 1951 Chevrolet 3100 pickup to their showroom of nearly 50 classic vehicles.
Painted in factory Swift Red, the highly sought-after, five-window truck features whitewall tires with a side-mount spare, all of the optional chrome and stainless trim and a solid steel frame. Plus, its fully rebuilt, original engine purrs like new.
“We try really hard to have pretty vehicles, but ones you can also use,” Tevie says. “We’re very proud of our work on the mechanicals as well as the cosmetics.”
Their mechanic, 80-year-old Hutch Hall, maintained the truck for seven years before the Frasers purchased it from its previous owner in early 2017.
A few months later, Atlas Roofing bought it from the Frasers and took it to all of the company’s 2018 road shows. In February 2019, Atlas raffled off the Asphalt Life Chevy at the International Roofing Expo (IRE) in Nashville, TN.
“The truck is a great vehicle to go to a car show or go cruising in," Tevie says. "It's just a fabulous retro vehicle."
Tom’s classic dream car: 1965-66 Mustang Shelby Clone
Tevie’s classic dream car: 1955 Thunderbird
Tom’s modern dream car: Ferrari 458
Tevie’s modern dream car: 2017 Special Edition Grand Sport Corvette convertible (which she owns)
In The Driver's Seat
Classic cars were once the kings of the road, emperors of the asphalt. These days they — sometimes — take life slower, transporting car enthusiasts, including Atlas contractors, back to the days of “cruisin’ and playin’ the radio with no particular place to go.”