Since retiring in 1993, Dean Shore decided to stay active by returning to the workforce.
“I started working at Farver’s True Value,” Shore said. “(I) worked inside as a salesmen, and looking at parts and all that. When (my boss) opened up the motor shop, I worked at the motor shop, as a small-engine mechanic. I’ve been a mechanic all of my life. I’ve worked on cars all of my life.”
Shore used to work in the military on planes, and said it just seemed natural to work on cars. When asked which is more difficult, cars or airplanes, he said, “They’re about the same.” He worked on cars until the day he was told he could not.
“My back finally quit on me,” Shore said. “I finally (truly) retired when I was 61, or 62 I guess,” Shore said. “I got with the Medicare people and they finally retired me. “
He said he does miss working on cars, but admits it is an expensive hobby to get into.
“I spent more of my paycheck on car (parts),” he said.
He used to build cars for fun, including a Pink 1937 Chevy Coupe for his wife.
“I’ve had quite a few cars I built through the years,” he said. “I used to buy them, build them and sell them. I used the extra money for the kids, or for the house or whatever. “
Anyone who loves cars, has one car that they always wanted, but Shore was lucky, he owns his dream car.
“I got (my dream car),” Shore said. “When (my wife and I) got married, we had a 53’ Oldsmobile, two-door hardtop, and a ‘54 Chevy convertible. Well, I had to leave those behind to go in the military. I was in tech school and my dad had a ‘55 Pontiac four-door. He sold my Olds and he sold my Chevy. He gave me a ‘55 Pontiac for it, and told me I owed him money.”
Luckily, he was reunited with his favorite car.
“I looked in the paper, and saw somebody from Fort Dodge had a ‘53 Oldsmobile, two-door hardtop (for sale) and I bought it,” Shore said. “I had it for about 31 years now. I just tinker with it and I take it car show, and drive it occasionally, just to play around.”
With owning a classic car like a ‘53 Oldsmobile, one can get lost in the atmosphere of the classic car show circuit.
“I used to go to out to Des Moines (to) Hardee’s on the Southwest nights (near) the Army Post, every Friday night,” Shore said. “I drive up there and have a sandwich.”
He said the restaurant was full of old cars, but soon realized it cost him about $50 a night, for gas and food.
“Fifty dollars, once a week that’s a lot of money,” he said. “(My car got about) 10 to 11 miles a gallon. So I didn’t drive it that much, (but) it is fun to play with. (Now I have a) 5-year-old Honda and a pickup.”
One might think the camaraderie of the classic car scene would be all fun and games, but for Shore it was not.
“They had their cliques (and) I tried to stay out of them,” Shore said. “I was in one car club up there, and people quit because it got too clique-ish. The car club that they found had the same cliques, only the same type of people where in it.”
He said he takes his car up to the classic car show, and enjoys hearing people’s memories of the car.
“People will look at it and say, ‘I used to have a car like this,’” Shore said. “(I said), ‘Well, I still got it.’”