Dreams Come True With Work...

Larry & LaVonne Hummel's
1964 Galaxie 500 2 Door Hardtop

Hummel's restore car dating to their "courting" days...
by Ronna VanEnglen


A bittersweet yearning for things of the past. This is one of those unique states that can exist for anyone and at the same time take on a different meaning for each individual.
To some of us nostalgic feelings surface at any moment, dreaming about something that "used to be." Others find reminiscing to be just the beginning of a dream needing to be fulfilled.
Larry and LaVonne Hummel had just this dream. Back in the early 90's the Hummels began thinking about starting a restoration project. They both loved cars and nostalgia for Larry and LaVonned was a '64 Ford.
LaVonne said, "When Larry and I started dating it was in a car just like this and it's also what we had the year we were married." Larry added; "The memories tied to this particular kind of car gave this restoration project a real air of fun."
In the spring of 1991, the Hummel's son, Doug, was living in Oklahoma when he found this car for his parents. The Ford was towed back to Nebraska and for the next three years "spare time" was often spent in the garage. As LaVonne remembers, "The engine needed to be rebuilt, the chrome needed buffing and the under carriage required sand blasting. Larry did all of this himself." "But," as Larry added, "restoring an old car doesn't end there. LaVonne also had her hands (and feet) in the effort. She helped when the headliiner was installed, the carpeting was put in, and she even climbed in the trunk when support was needed while I snapped chrome onto the outside."
One of their grandsons visiting from Oklahoma showed such interest in the car that the bitter cold January didn't deter him from dragging Grandpa Larry into the garage with the trouble light and a desire to "check things out." La Vonne said, "He also made a special call to be sure Grandma would be VERY careful if she drove the Ford."
Anxious to enjoy the finished product, the Himmels decided to have the outside painting done by Renner Auto Body. So, three years after they started, Larry and LaVonne realized they dream.
Some of the features on their "new" car are a 460 engine bored .30 over, automatic transmission, a Ford nine inch rear end with 3.70 gears and positraction.
The next step seemed obvious. They started entering car shows. LaVonne remembers one in particular as being extra special. Larry was working so she and another grandson took the Ford to a show. "He was six years old and full of energy and excitement," LaVonne said. While LaVonne detailed the engine her grandson vacuumed and polished. The whole time Grandma was using the opportunity to teach her grandson the old "it doesn't matter if you win or lose, what's important is to have fun," lesson. Well, they ended up having a lot of "fun" when they brought home two trophies. Larry and LaVonne have since made trips to Colorado and Oklahoma to show off their effort, and the summer of '95 brought continued recognition. At a big show in West Point they received honorable mention and at Norfolk's show this year they were especially overwhelmed when they won first place in their class.
They both agreed, "This has been a gratifying experience and a chance to meet a lot of wonderful people who share their love for old cars." Just think, when Larry and LaVonne are enjoying their golden years, they can credit a '64 Ford for nostalgic memories from the 60's and again in the 90's.

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