When Ray Johnson went looking for a classic car, he was looking for one thing: "I wanted one that was about the same age as I am," he said.
He found the perfect match in a 1932 Chevy 2-door Deluxe Sedan that shared his birth year.
Photo by Anna Haecherl-Smith
Ray Johnson sits proudly in his 1932 Chevy 2-door Deluxe Sedan. If you want a closer look at this classic and others, this weekend’s Shades of the Past event is the place to be.
"It was available and it was running," Johnson said. "I was able to drive it home."
Johnson said it is a local car, originally belonging to a family in Hanley Falls. They were the original owners and had put the car in storage for more than 41 years.
After someone bought it at their estate sale in the late 1990s, Johnson came across it in Canby in 2001 and had it restored at a shop in Porter.
"It was completely taken apart, and anything that needed repair got repaired," Johnson said. "We also overhauled the engine."
Unlike most classic cars that sport a big engine with a lot of chrome, Johnson's '32 Chevy runs on a simple and compact straight six engine.
"You can work on everything in the car, it's a simple-construction, durable engine," Johnson said.
The engine still runs great, but Johnson doesn't like to take it too far from home.
"It had around 45,000 miles on it when I got it," Johnson said. "The furthest I've driven it is to Lake Shetek, but it would probably make it all the way to California."
Johnson tried to keep everything on the car stock.
"The only thing I added was a 12-volt electrical system for easier starts," Johnson said.
A common feature that was both useful and decorative on cars of the era was dual side mounts (or dual spare tires) mounted on either side of the front hood.
"You needed two tires in those days," Johnson said. "My mom was from St. Paul, and we'd never make the trip when I was young without changing a couple of tires."