Soon-to-be sophomore and dad restore classic
GLADSTONE — About three years ago, Gladstone 16-year-old Cameron McKenzie had little background knowledge when it came to cars. Now — three years and one 1957 Chevy restoration later — things are a little different.
This last weekend, McKenzie — who just completed his freshman year at Gladstone High School — had his ’57 Chevy on display in both the Kruisin’ Klassics Fun Run and car show.
“It was really cool to see people enjoy it, especially because I’m so young,” said McKenzie. “It was really awesome to see such different cars at the show.”
The project, which McKenzie worked on with his father Rob, took two and a half years. The time spent on the car was well worth it when things really started to come together said McKenzie.
“The best part of the whole build was putting it together after all of the hard bodywork and painting,” he said. “It all made everything worth it in the end.”
Without his father, however, the project may have never gotten underway.
“The project began with my dad wanting to build a classic car,” said McKenzie. “I started it with him and soon turned into a father/son project.”
McKenzie is familiar with tinkering with and putting things together.
Though he is on the cusp of beginning his sophomore year next fall, he has been a member of the Gladstone robotics team since he was in fifth grade.
He has also taken an interest in welding over the years.
The Chevy, McKenzie said, came from Minnesota before he and his father began work on it after picking it up in Escanaba.
Now that the 2021 Fun Run has come and gone, McKenzie still has plans in store for the car.
“My plans after the Fun Run are to rebuild the engine and attempt to sew some seat covers,” he said. “I would say everything you do to a car is worth it because it is a great learning experience, unique to you and what kind of car you like, very rewarding once you are finished and could enjoy it for many, many, years.
“Anyone that thinks about rebuilding a car and is capable of doing so, they should do it.”