Family loves old Chevys

Staff writer

During his school days, Kim Abrahams would forgo listening to his teachers and would draw cars in the margins of his notebooks.

Abrahams has dedicated his life to automotive pursuits. He painted cars for a living. He is currently an employee at Carquest Auto Parts in Hillsboro. He spends a portion of his spare time promoting the Route 56 Classic Cruisers auto show, this year on June 8.

Some of his current and past car loves include a 1956 Chevrolet, a 1970 Chevy Nova, and 1967 Camaro RS/SS.

If Abrahams could travel back in time, he would tell his past self to keep the gold Camaro. He took good care of the convertible, constantly tinkering with it, even though it drove perfectly fine. The car becomes rarer with each passing year, with equivalent restored models fetching $70,000.

“I’ve never seen another one like it,” Abrahams said.

The inclination to tinker comes from Abraham’s father, who was constantly working on vehicles throughout Kim’s youth. A love of cars has been passed down in the Abrahams family. Kim has about 20 classic cars. His brother, Rex, has about that many in a pristine garage in Canton.

While Kim’s car love is directed to the muscle cars of the late 60s, Ray’s passion focused to models constructed three decades earlier. Nearly as much a part of the family as Kim and Rex was the 1932 Chevy Ray purchased in 1962.

Although Ray remodeled the car himself in 1964, chipping away layer after layer of brush-coated paint, Kim wanted to update the car for his dad. He wanted Ray, now 87, to see the car in tiptop condition one more time.

Kim enlisted the help of Lowell Heinrichs of rural Hillsboro. Kim and Ray kept abreast of the progress on the vehicle over the past five years. Heinrichs completed his work by the summer of 2012. Kim recently took the car to Tulsa, Okla., for pin striping. The painters, who work on cars from all over the country, said the remodeling job on the ’32 Chevy was one of the finest they had seen.

Ray admired as much himself when he looked at the car two weeks ago outside of Parkside Homes.

“He was out there looking at it quite a while,” wife Sylvia Abrahams said.

Ray rode in the car as recently as a year ago. Unfortunately, he will be unable to fit the narrow doors of the car after suffering a stroke.

“He was all excited but he can’t get in,” Kim said. “It kills him that he can’t ride.”

The elder Abrahams can take solace that the car is likely to remain a part of the family for at least one more generation.

“I don’t think this one is going to get sold outside of the family,” Kim said.

 

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