22 May 2012

Our Cars: Kacy Smith's Chevy C10

Kacy Smith isn’t your average collector car enthusiast. In addition to being a woman in a male-dominated hobby, her favorite collector vehicles are pickup trucks. “From a very young age, I was extremely interested in cars and have always had a passion for anything mechanical. Instead of playing ‘dress up’ like the other gals, I’d be in the garage working on a project with my dad. To this day, my father and I share the same passion for classic vehicles. He still has both Ford Model A’s that he and my uncle drove when they were in college.” Kacy joined Hagerty immediately upon graduation from the Automotive Restoration Program at McPherson (Kan.) College.

Employee: Kacy Smith

Title: Claims Adjuster

Years at Hagerty: Three

Car: 1972 Chevrolet C10

Why a Chevy C10? I’ve always been a truck fan. Growing up in the Midwest, trucks were a part of everyday life, and I guess this mentality is embedded now. I also thought a pickup would be a little easier as my first project vehicle. I bought it for $500 and drove it for about three years before I decided to do a little repair work on it.

Repairs and Modifications (planned or completed): I’m knee deep in the restoration process. It all started when I decided to replace the rocker panels, and it snowballed from there. We replaced quite a bit of metal on the bottom of the cab, completely rebuilt the engine and are going to be giving the chassis an overhaul before finishing everything off with a complete repaint. My restoration goal is to make this a solid driver. I’m not looking for a show-quality restoration.

Hobby Activities (clubs, events, etc.): Since my truck is still in progress, I haven’t been able to get very involved, but I plan to join a couple of local clubs. Before I started the restoration, a group of friends from college started up a weekly cruise night and thoroughly enjoy cruising around the small town of McPherson.

Interesting Car Stories: Like any other classic vehicle owner, I’ve had some pretty interesting things happen. One of my favorite stories is about my family’s dog, Chance, who unofficially adopted the truck as his own. He can tell when it pulls into the driveway, and he loves going for rides.

Favorite Drive: My favorite drive is taking the back roads to Lindsborg, Kan. During my years at McPherson, all the automotive restoration students would make a road trip to a local, family-owned barbeque buffet. Every time I think about that trip or barbeque, I remember the good times we had on this mini road trip.

Best and Worst Moments (in the hobby or with this car): Some of the best moments are ones that just happen. I’ll never forget all those Thursday nights when my closest friends from McPherson and I would close the local Sonic, then cruise around town. I also enjoy sharing my experiences with clients. As a claims adjuster, I hear a lot of sad stories about damaged vehicles, and I think it helps put our clients’ minds at ease knowing I have a classic myself. I understand where they’re coming from. My worst moment was when I began the restoration as a student at McPherson. I had an opportunity to bring the truck into the shop and work on it as a class project, and I told the instructor I’d only be replacing the rocker panels, so I’d be in and out in three weeks. It turned into a full-blown restoration. My friends and I ended up working long hours, but our instructor was there to help every step of the way. I learned a lot about planning a restoration and expecting the worst, which has helped immensely with the rest of the restoration. I still get asked about my “rocker panel” project every time I go back to McPherson. I have a feeling I’ll never live that down.

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