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Crazy for classic Cars

Highland Springs resident restores old Fords to their former glory

Created date

July 21st, 2014
man standing next to his 1953 hardtop convertible
HSD_field_web.jpg

George Field’s career spans 14 different kinds of businesses, including a 20-year stint at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and 45 years as a rancher in Collin County. But through every transition, George’s affinity for classic cars remains constant.

“I’ve been working on cars since I was a teenager,” says George. “My high school friends and I fixed up our cars to drive and enjoy them. We were what you’d call ‘gearheads’ today.”

George paid $15 for his first car, a Model T Ford, when he was 14. He paid $45 for his second car, a 1929 convertible Ford Model A, two years later.

“The convertible was ten years old when I bought it,” says George. “My wife Charlotte and I were high school sweethearts, and I courted her in that car.”

When life hands you lemons

World War II put both of George’s loves—Charlotte and cars—on hold.

“I tried to buy a car after I got out of the service, but every dealership had a waiting list,” says George. “The salesmen told me their inventory was reserved for existing customers. I’d just spent three years in the South Pacific. How could I be a customer?”

Finally, on a used car lot in South San Antonio, Tex., George located a 1931 Model A Ford sedan.

“I borrowed $350 to buy that car,” he says. “Charlotte and I were married by then and living in an Austin apartment eight miles from the University of Texas campus. I needed a car to get back and forth to school.”

Looking back, George and Charlotte agree they paid too much for the 1931 sedan.

“We jokingly called that car the ‘jet job’ because it didn’t run anything like a jet,’” says George. “I worked on it every evening so I could make it to school the next day.”

Family project

By 1960, Southwestern Bell had transferred George and Charlotte, now with three children in tow, to Dallas.

“I started to get the itch for another Model A,” says George. “I found a rusty, beat-up rumble-seat sport coupe abandoned in the front yard of a house in Oak Cliff. The wheels were missing, so I loaded the frame into the back of our 1955 Chevrolet station wagon and brought it home.”

George set the frame on four apple crates in his garage, where the car became a family project for the next five years.

“Our sons Chip and Tom were 14 and 12 at the time, and our daughter Susan was 9,” says George. “Charlotte and Susan sanded the fenders, while the boys and I worked on the rest of the car. Back then, you could find Model A Fords at most junkyards, so we’d spend Saturday afternoons under old cars getting the parts we needed.”

The family’s interest sparked a larger vision for the classic car community in Dallas. 

“We formed the Dallas Model A Ford Club with seven friends,” says George. “Today the club has over 400 members, and there are more than 300 Model A Fords running around the city.”

Still tinkering

In 2008, George and Charlotte moved to Springs, an Erickson Living community in North Dallas, where George continues to work on cars. He just completed the restoration of a 1936 four-door V8 deluxe Ford he purchased in January 1964.

“A friend of mine, John Mostly, owned Richardson Paint and Body,” says George. “He sold his business but kept his shop. That’s where we worked on the 1936 Ford.”

George and Charlotte can also be seen cruising around North Dallas in a baby-blue 1953 Ford hardtop convertible, a car that George restored and keeps at Highland Springs.

When he’s not working on cars, George teaches a weekly Bible study at Highland Springs, gives talks on early Texas history, chairs the community’s garden club, and participates in the genealogy club.

In spite of his full schedule, George says there’s one more club he’d like to jump-start at Highland Springs.

“I’d love to start a classic car club,” he says. “It would be just like old times—working on cars with my friends.”

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