Love of classic cars makes life ‘Forever Fridays’ for recent transplant to Hopkins County
By PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer
Sept 25, 2007 - It's "Fridays Forever" for Larry Friday Sr., recently retired and finally able to pursue his passion for vintage vehicles through the buying, selling and trading of classics from the front yard of his home south of Sulphur Springs on State Highway 154.
"I have always had an interest in classic cars. I just haven't been able to do much with it until I got settled in here," explained Friday, who moved to the area 2 1/2 years ago from Pasadena after his retirement to be near his son, Larry Friday Jr., of Friday's Law Firm. "It gives me a little something to do other than get into trouble.
"I'd hate to have to call on that lawyer son of mine," he added with a laugh.
Edsels, Thunderbirds, a Wayfarer, Windsors and a 1936 Ford Humpback, his personal favorite, line the roadside of his property just over a mile outside of town.
"I have a little bit of everything around here that I tinker with," he said.
He describes his 1950 Dodge Wayfarer as "a businessman's coupe;" the '49 Chrysler Windsor is an old Bonnie and Clyde gangster-type car with suicide doors that swing backwards; and a '65 Ford Thunderbird with slide-over steering that is completely restored and next to new.
"The steering slides over to let you in and out. It's for those who have that midsection bulge," he said, laughing. "I don't know why that feature doesn't come back around - people today are a lot bigger than they were back then."
Friday says the cars are a part of history and draw interest from young and old alike.
"People love them — they pull in, they look," he said. "The young, because they've never seen these cars. The older generation, the baby boomers, because they like to look at them and reminisce — they take them back in time."
According to Friday, he doesn't go hunting for old cars to buy, but rather enjoys stumbling across them. He said he might see one in an old barn or beside a shed somewhere, or read about one in an auto trading magazine.
"It's all a part of the fun," said Friday. "I may have to clean one up a little bit, or do a few things to them, but basically people buy what they see."
Customers usually have a pretty good idea of what the vehicles are worth, according to Friday. His range from $4,000 to $4,500.
"These are just originals, but they have potential," he explained. "They can buy them and do exactly what they want with them. Everybody's different. They may want to fully restore one, or just modify or fix it up a little bit. They might want to darken the windows, change the wheels, put in a big engine.
" They can bring it up to date and have the best of both worlds," he added. "Some people can afford to really restore them and bring them back to first class. "
The joy of it, according to Friday, is the customer can put what they want into it.
"I sell my cars as is," he said. "Everything runs. If it cranks and is presentable to the public, then I can make an honest deal and make somebody happy and put a smile on their face, and make me a little extra money — that's what it's all about."
More important than the success of his business, however, is the fact that what he does is enjoyable.
"I may sell one occasionally. Or I might hang on to one for awhile and fix it up myself," he explained. "Now that I'm retired and have some time, I can have some toys and play around a bit. I'm like a kid again."
Friday said that he has met people from as far away as Wisconsin and New Jersey, and customers learn about his business by word of mouth or just passing through.
"I have a lot of fun sharing my cars with others," he said. "Many people don't make it to retirement, but the Lord's given me a little extra time to enjoy something, and this is what I enjoy."
The phone number to Friday's Forever is 903-885-5972.