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“My love for classic cars and my aptitude for working on them comes from my dad and uncle – our whole family is into it.” Watch the video to see Jerry’s full story.
“We are at Victory Pig in Wyoming, Pennsylvania. It’s a weekly car cruise,” said Mikielski. “A lot of people come here just to hang out, check out everybody else’s cars. My family’s been doing restorations since I was little. My father and my uncle had been restoring cars before I was even born. We try to restore them to the point where they are an amazing-looking driver. You can take them out to a cruise, drive them 120 miles on a trip and enjoy them. That’s really what we want to do with them.
“My favorite part of restoring a car has to be the journey – the memories that are created working on something and trying to get things right, finding that part, looking for the car in the beginning, trying to find the car you feel is going to be ‘my car.’ You never forget that moment, that adrenaline rush of, ‘Wow, look what I found. This is definitely going to work for me.’ Always an exciting moment. Throughout the years, we’ve accumulated a really nice collection. There’s a lot of really unique stories that go along with each vehicle.”
“When I first bought [my 1965 Corvette Stingray] in 1978, it was in rough shape,” said Gerry Mikielski, Sr. “I went and bought a brand-new short block from General Motors – 327 c.i., 300 hp. I changed the rear-end to a posi 370. I like the low-end.”
“The side pipes roar, but that, to me, is music. The radio works, but I never play it because the music comes out of these side pipes.”
“I bought [my 1958 Pontiac Chieftain four-door hardtop] when I was 14,” said Greg Mikielski. “I fixed it up, made sure everything was okay mechanically and repainted it. And, by the time I was 16, my girlfriend and I went to the senior prom with this car. And then several years later we ended up getting married. Being my first car, you know, you talk to different guys, and they always say, ‘I shouldn’t have sold my first car.’ Well, I still have mine and I plan on keeping it.”
“And this is my wife’s 1957 Nash Metropolitan,” said Gerry Mikielski, Sr. “This is an American-made car by American Motors. It was made in England to help keep the cost down. Four-cylinder English engine in it. It’s a three-speed on the column. It’s designed to be driven in the city, to go shopping. A great, fun car to drive. Turns heads all the time. You don’t see many of them around, and people just love it.”
“These are my Jeeps,” said Jerry Mikielski Jr. “I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ and a 2011 Jeep Wrangler JKU. Unlike all the restoration projects of the classic cars we have, Jeeps are more of an upgrade. The parts available to it are real easy to put on, and you can make it bigger, better, badder so you can take it off-road and put it to the test.
“Working in the garage with my brother and my dad have a huge impact on who I am today. I feel like I’ve gotten a very fulfilling life out of growing up in the family that I did, and I want to pass that along to my girls. They will definitely be in the garage with me getting their hands dirty. I would hope that all those values that have been instilled in me I’ve passed on to them, and they can pass it on to their kids.”