Patterson brings classic cars “back from the dead”

Lili Lomas, Staff Writer

After inheriting a 1966 Ford Mustang, Coppell High School sophomore Joey Patterson has been bringing the 1950s and 60s back to life through his hobby of repairing classic cars.


Six years ago, Patterson’s father bought a 1966 Ford Mustang and after turning 16, Patterson soon began taking an active role in fixing it. He is now finishing up this project and beginning to restore a 1955 First Edition Chevrolet Truck, restoring everything from the engine to the interiors of the cars.


“What I did to was what some people call ‘bring it back from the dead’,” Patterson said.


He took interest in putting cars back together through his father who had owned the Chevrolet since before Patterson was born and who began both of these projects.


“I asked him if I could work on it because I really like the way old cars look,” Patterson said. “I like the way it feels whenever you’re behind the wheel of one, you can tell that there’s some history behind it and you can appreciate it.”

Bringing back a bit of history, Patterson is driven to fix the cars by the thought of the final product and being able to enjoy them once they are complete.


However, Patterson has received no formal training for restoring the cars. He taught himself how to fix everything on the cars by reading car manuals and books, a time consuming, yet fulfilling proces.

“I worked on that day and night, nonstop. I would be in the garage all the time,” Patterson said. “It even got so far to where mom would just leave the plate on the door of the garage so I’d open the door, my plate would be there and I’d walk back outside.”


Patterson’s mother, Diane Patterson, recognizes her son’s determination to work on the cars and how his lifelong personal traits are reflected in this hobby.


“He’s inquisitive, he wants to figure stuff out,” Mrs. Patterson said. “He’s always been the type of kid to break stuff down and put them back together.”


This hobby allows Patterson to not only apply his investigative personality into fixing cars, but also apply skills learned from restoring cars in the classroom where his Principles of Engineering teacher Mike Yakubovsky sees how it provides real world experiences. He notes how fixing cars gains Patterson skills and expertise that most students do not have.


“He’s gaining a lot of experience with things outside of just reading a book,” Yakubovsky said. “He’s learning to interpret technical things and how things work outside of school.”


Today, this hands-on hobby is taking Patterson on an even more out-of-classroom journey as he faces the challenge of fixing the 1955 Chevrolet truck which has a hydra matic transmission, a type of transmission that doesn’t exist any more, while finishing up the Mustang.


The Mustang is now at the New Car Concepts garage in Carrollton where he works with the owner to complete its restoration. He continues to work on both  cars and expects to finish the Mustang within the next couple of months.