Grant and Kathy Jenkins and their 1960 Chevy Impala. The car was a gift for Grant from Kathy for his retirement and their 40th anniversary. It's just like the car they used in their dating days 40 years ago.
Grant and Kathy take a cruise in the Impala at the recent Castle Dale car show.
What drives people to get into the classic car hobby and lifestyle. Well, for Grant and Kathy Jenkins it just might be a host of memories the cars revive and for certain it's the friendships they have developed along the classic car circuit.
Grant and Kathy were both living in Magna many years ago. Grant had a 1960 Chevy Impala which he drove. He was preparing for a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the time came to sell his car. Not a prospect he was looking forward to, but a necessary step. He sold the car to Kathy's brother.
Grant wanted a picture of Kathy sitting on the car which she sent to him on his mission. Of course, the mission president happened to see the picture and said girl's sitting on cars in their nightgowns wasn't too appropriate for missionaries and requested that Kathy not send any more pictures.
As things turned out, the brother wrecked the car, but Grant got the girl and he and Kathy were later married. "We used to go to the drive-in movie in that car and one time we fell asleep in the car and the people at the movie were knocking on the window trying to wake us up. There are a lot of memories for us centered around that car. Sometimes Grant let me drive the car to school.
"When the opportunity came along for us to get a car just like the one my brother wrecked, we bought it. It was a 30 year retirement present and a 40th anniversary present all in one. Grant worked for Rocky Mountain Power for 30 years. We bought the car from a friend and really had to twist his arm to get it. Grant said, 'if you'll deliver the car to Ferron, I'll take it.'
"We really enjoy the car shows and the rod runs. It's just like family, the friends that we see, it's like a class reunion or a family reunion.
"Grant builds steering wheels for the classic cars. It's the One Off Banjo Steering Wheel Company. He bends the wheels and designs them. He even puts horns in them. He builds the steering wheels to custom fit the car," said Kathy.
Grant said the cars are an investment and the cars become your friends as you work on them. Back after they were first married they had a 57 Nomad and now they have that same car back again. He built the car and then sold it to a friend and then bought it back again. He put original wheels and tires back on it.
Each year the end of April the Jenkins' attend the Moab car show. They attend the Los Angeles Roadster show each year and Grant shows his steering wheels there.
"We have incorporated our car shows and family vacations together," said Kathy.
Grant custom designs each steering wheel and is a certified machinist and welder. Kathy said when people retire they need a hobby and this classic car adventure makes a good hobby for Grant. Grant also shared the interest in classic cars with those he worked with at Rocky Mountain Power. Kurt Killian and Jon Davis both share a love for classic cars. So around the water cooler, they didn't discuss sports, but cars. Jon has a 1929 Ford Sedan delivery vehicle. Jon says that car is his attitude adjustment. Kurt also has a variety of cars he shows.
Grant said, "My grandpa used to put me on his lap in his 1934 Ford and let me turn the steering wheel. I would say go faster grandpa. Those 1932-1934 Fords are very desirable cars now and are hard to find and costly if you do find one. Restoring cars takes a lot of patience and it's not a cheap hobby. I've spent seven years working on just one car. It just takes forever and you have to wait for other people to do what you need, too."
The Jenkins family have come a long way since the days of cruising to the movies in the Impala; they have raised a family, retired from a career, but in a way they are back where they started, still cruising the Impala and enjoying life. One road at a time.