Brownfield Residents Restore Studebakers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/31/02

Brownfield Residents Restore Studebakers

It's not every day you see an old Studebaker pick-up truck drive by, but if you look hard enough in the countryside, you'll find decades-old Studebakers stuck in the dirt, waiting for someone like Loy Daniel to rev up their engines.

However, it's not junk to Daniel. For six years, he's restored these old clunkers into classics. Once Loy Daniel finds a Studebaker he likes, he brings it to the shop and gets to work.

"It takes a lot of work and a lot of patience," says Johnny Leija.

With the help of his friend Leija, Loy Daniel spends the next several months hammering out dents, sandblasting metal, and fixing the engine. After scrounging for parts and putting in 300 hours of labor, the finished product is a show room quality Studebaker worth $8,000.

For Daniel, it's priceless because he sees them as time machines. "Takes us back in time when things were a lot simpler," says Daniel.

Back in the days when there was no air conditioning or car radios. But during the 1930s and 1940s, these cars were tough, rugged, and built to last. Today, these cars and their parts are a hot item.

"People on the internet have searched the world over for these visors," says Daniel. Lucky for him, Daniel finds them in his own backyard -- Brownfield.

"We drive down the street, pull up at a Sonic, and the people give us thumbs up," says Daniel. Especially when he cruises around in this 1963 Studebaker Avanti, the best in his collection. "It's a classic -- expensive and beautiful," says one Brownfield resident.

For Loy Daniel, it's not just about revving up the engine, it's about reviving a part of history.

Restoring Studebakers can be an expensive hobby. Loy Daniel says that it costs between $2,000 and $4,000 to restore a Studebaker to show room quality.

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