Story and Photos by: Shannon Hammett
Over the course of a couple of years, brothers Anthony, Will and Randy Garner continued restoration on Anthony’s ‘55 Chevy truck. Slowly but surely, the old rusted-out Chevy was beginning to come to life. The next step was a new, sleek, black coat of paint.
The truck was moved down the road to Will’s house where the sanding and painting began. There is an unseen factor that makes this ‘55 Chevy very unique. It is the fact that the flawless paint job on this truck was done by Will, who happens to be legally blind.
“I am legally blind due to a brain tumor,” explained Will. “I went through two surgeries to have the tumor removed. The first was on Jan. 28, 2003, and the second surgery was a couple of days later. The vision in my right eye is completely gone. The outside vision in the left eye is gone also. What I can see isn’t clear and has a grainy effect, kind of like a photo with really poor resolution. I would make a round and paint the truck, and then Anthony would tell me what spots I missed.”
The job of sanding and painting this truck was a team effort between Anthony, Will and Randy. “Will had the know-how, and I had the eyes,” said Anthony. “I’d be working on sanding it, and I would say, ‘Ok, I think I’ve got this,’ and he’d come over and feel of it and say, ‘No, it’s high right here.’ I couldn’t see it or feel it, but he could. He can see better than we can.
“Our brother Randy also helped with the sanding and the spare parts. This project really brought us all together. We’ve got a photo that was taken when Will and I went to have the exhaust system put in. All the glass was out and there were no bumpers on the truck. We went down the road with our hats turned around backwards and goggles on. We got a lot of stares. We didn’t know if people thought the truck was good looking or the two idiots driving it were.”
Two years later, in January of 2007, the Chevy’s restoration was finally complete. It was time to take it out of the garage and start showing it off.
Anthony’s wife Tina Garner said that she has not and doesn’t plan on driving the truck but does enjoy riding along to the cruise-ins and car shows. “We really enjoy going to the cruise-ins and shows,” said Mrs. Garner. “We’ve met a lot of good people.”
Excluding the exhaust system and the front windshield, these three brothers did all the work on Anthony’s truck themselves. “People have asked us where we learned how to do wiring and all of that,” said Anthony. “You learn out of necessity. The way that we were raised, you didn’t call an electrician. You did it yourself.”
“I’m just self-taught,” said Will. “My dad bought me an old car when I was about 15, a 1961 Ford Falcon. When you’re just an old country boy and you get a car, you’ve got to learn how to fix it yourself.”
With Anthony’s truck finished, Will is able to spend a little more time on his own car. “It’s a totally new car,” said Will. “It was built from nothing. I’ve been working on it for seven years now. It’s probably about 85-percent finished. I’ve designed and made a lot of the parts myself.”
Anthony has also been spending a bit of payback time in Will’s garage trying to help out. “I’ve been helping him with his car as much as I can,” said Anthony. “When you’re restoring one, you know where that part goes. It’s different when you’re building one from scratch. He knows where the part goes, but I don’t.”
55’ Chevrolet 2nd Series 3100 Pick Up
Engine: 283 Cubic Inch
Tram: Manual 3 Speed
Interior: Two-Tone Leather
Owner: Anthony Garner
Paint and Body By: Will and Randy Garner
Interior by: M&M
Exhaust by: Ronny Ross