Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Bez Family History with Cars:
Brad has worked professionally in automotive repair and paint for 35+ years. You could say cars are in his blood. His grandfather who emigrated to the USA, worked for Henry Ford. Grand Dad was on the last Lusitania voyage from Liverpool to America – Feb 1915. The Germans sank this ship on May 1915. Before war broke out, he brought 14 other family members, including his mother from Bohemia. All of the menfolk were highly skilled metal-guild workers, employed by the Vitkovice Mining and Iron Company. After emigrating, most of them settled into Detroit and were employed by Ford Motor Company. Grandfather worked his way up to a management position in the tool and die department.
Ford Tool and Die Department
The interest in automotive continued on down the family line. Although Brad's Father worked in R&D, he enjoyed driving hot, fast cars. He put Brad to work turning wrenches when he was eleven. The first Stude Brad helped him with was a ’54 Champion. From this starting point, there’s a long list of Studebakers that his Dad and he bought, fixed up and turned.
A few of the high points:
’50 Landcruiser ’53 Commander Hardtop ’58 Packard-Hawk ’56 Golden Hawk ’63 Daytona Wagonaire ’63 GT Hawk ’63 Daytona Lark
Add a ’66 2+2 Pontiac Catalina and 4 Toronados into the mix and you get the picture…they are to the core motor heads.
One of Brad's most fun rides was a ’63 Avanti, which he rebuilt. Hopped up the 289 to 299 cubic inches and rebuilt the transmission, then upgraded the brake system. He restored the fiberglass body and painted it in Cadillac Opera Red. His wife fell in love with this car. All it took was giving her the keys that first day they drove it home. She loves nothing more than beating the young homie boys off the line at red stop lights and this Avanti delivered the power to leave them slack jawed, eating her tire smoke...everytime.
Avantis are Brad's superpower, his resto specialty although he continues to restore other Stude makes and models. If you’re stumped, hung up on your car restoration project and need to talk to a car guy who’s worked on a few Studes, give him a call. He's always happy to visit with you and will try to help you sort out your car challenges.
Word of advice…get a shop manual and a parts book specific to your car. It’s much easier to work on these old cars if you have a visual guide with exploded views of all the mechanical parts.