Bud Lemley’s “passion” in life is the automobile, particularly restored historic autos.
“The idea of rebuilding it - noting the appreciative comments from others, it’s in my blood,” said the Mount Gilead resident. Cars have been a part of his entire life.
Lemley became the owner of two cars when he was but 15 years old, a 1950 Studebaker and a 1940 Ford Coupe. His father, a GM fan, was not happy with the Ford- and ordered it off the driveway!”
It was 1961 when he acquired a 1931 Chevy two door sedan for $50. “I rebuilt it as a drag racer,” said Lemley but after three or four years decided it wasn’t paying off so he put it in storage for a short time. Resurrecting the little Chevy, he turned it into a “Rod” and painted it a 1957 Pontiac Lime Green color. The car took him and his wife, Diane, on numerous trips to Florida, St Paul, Minn., and Canada.
Eighteen months ago he updated the car with all new leather interior, four-wheel power (disc) brakes, Corvette suspension, AC/heat, power windows and a brand new coat of, this time Lime Rock green. The car was one of 236 on display at the recent Rod ‘N Tiques Car Show at the Morrow County fairgrounds.
Sharing his “passion” for the historic auto is his wife, Diane. It was 1975 when she purchased a 1948 Packard - in pieces, for $600. This automobile, put together in fine fashion, has been the mode of transportation for them on as many as 25 trips to Florida, numerous trips to Tulsa, OK; Vermont, Canada, etc., proving the Packard was the “car to own” as proclaimed in the 1930’s and 1940’s
The Lemleys own eight or nine cars, most of them GM, said Bud. There is also a 1933 Ford Coupe and a 1926 Model T.
But it’s the Lime Rock Green Chevy they take to the car shows and just this summer he has brought home three trophies from the five shows he has attended - one each from the shows at the recent Sweet Corn Festival, Woodside Village and Morrow County Hospital. “It’s been a fun car,” he said.
Of course, the love of the automobile is shared by their son, Shannon, who owns a 1963 Corvette and a 1964 Nova.
Lemley’s “passion” for the restored historic auto extends to the annual Rod “N Tiques car show held on Father’s Day each year on the Morrow County Fairgrounds, a show that was born of an idea by him and two others.
He and those two friends, Richard Day and Homer Helman were sitting in Lemley’s backyard about 39 years ago when they came up with the idea of a car show. Lemley is the only member of that trio who is still active with the Rod “N Tiques, who held the 38th show in June.
Lemley and 15 other couples, dubbed “On the Road Again” meet annually the eve before the annual car show. This year there were 200 people at the party, held in the Youth Building, where the Lemleys presented the debut of the newly restored 1931 Chevy.
Lemley invites other people who share his passion for the restored historic vehicle into a “rod” to join Rod ‘N Tiques. “We welcome new members,” he said.
Correspondent Evelyn Long can be reached at email@example.com.