Chad Terhar, proud owner of his rebuilt ’55 Chevy Handyman Wagon talks to PowerBlock about his entire experience before, during and after Search & Restore. … And dealing with host Tim Strange.
Who introduced you to your hobby of working on cars?
My dad. He’s always been in cars for many years before I was born. Growing up when me and my brother were babies, there were always hotrods that my dad worked on. As soon as I was old enough, I was out in the garage with him working on stuff.
Did you nominate yourself for Search & Restore, or did someone else do it for you?
My wife. I never thought it would happen.
When Tommy arrived at your home, what were your initial thoughts? Did you have any idea that Search & Restore was coming that same day?
I wasn’t sure what to think of it. Tommy had called me the day before to talk about what time he was going to be there. (Search & Restore Producer) Tom Spy said that a guy named Tommy was gonna call me.
(Then, when it happened.)
I knew exactly who it was. I was like, “Is this Tommy from MuscleCar? He said, “Maybe.”
I thought … they were just scouting.
What was your first impression of Tim Strange?
I’ve heard this from people who know him now, say he is the exact same person you see on TV. He is one of the coolest people I’ve met and become friends with. Genuine, the Tim you see on TV is the Tim you know. He’s crazy and funny. He’s a bit much at times, but I can handle it.
What were you anticipating as Search & Restore was working on your ride?
Um, I think I was really looking forward to meeting the people and seeing Tim and Tommy. I was definitely excited to see the car. I was also excited about the people I was meeting, and I was excited to go to Tennessee.
How would you describe your experience being chosen for Search & Restore? How has it changed your life?
The whole experience from the beginning, to even now, is surreal because being a gearhead my whole life, you dream of stuff like that. You think, “Oh man, what if that was me?” They came and took the car and it was like, “Did that just happen? When did it sink in? Is this my car? Did this really happen?” It’s really changed our lives because we have made so many new friends.
And that’s probably the biggest way it’s affected our lives. We have so much fun when we hop in the car when we go to get something to eat or cruise to a show. It’s definitely what I imagined when I got that car originally. I pictured what I remember when I was little cruising around in my dad’s Nomad. I could see the same happening for my daughter. One night, We were coming home from a show, and I look in the back seat, and my daughter is laying sideways in the backseat, and just like I used to in my dad’s Nomad. That’s what I pictured, having memories with her.
How has public reaction been toward you and your restored ride been so far?
People who haven’t seen the show are intrigued. People who have seen the show, I think, a few people have come up to me and said it’s inspired them in their lives. I’ve heard nothing but positive about the way things.
How often do you and/or your Chevy get recognized in public?
If we just go out in general just to go somewhere or take it to go eat dinner, it’s pretty rare if you’re not in a setting where there’s other car people. But at the shows, I really think it’s probably about a 50/50.
A couple weeks ago some people were yelling out of a bus, “Hey, I saw you on TV!”
What has been the overall response to your Chevy? Has it won any awards at the car shows that its been to?
One at Goodguys, and I’ve probably had 6-8 shows, and only at 2 it hasn’t won something.
What are your daughter and your wife’s favorite part about your restored Chevy? The experience of us doing stuff together, when we’re just cruising around. My wife was never into the car thing, but her favorite part is how it involves the family.
If you have any other automotive projects that you’re currently working on, or planning to work on in the near future, could you tell me about it?
Actually when Tim and the guys picked up the car, I had a 57 Chevy that my dad and I bought together because ot was a super cheap deal, and we thought we’d just let it sit, and I’ve been working on that lately, kinda like a rat rod project, trying to come up with something cool.
If you or someone you know would like to be considered for Search & Restore, check out www.searchandrestoretv.com, and click on “Application.”
See all of Chad’s story in Issue #44 of PowerBlock Magazine! Just click on the icon below.