Today Harold and I were “free stylin’” Pickers style though Elizabethtown, PA. It was a slow day, spotting only a ’62 four door Studebaker and a primered 1960 Buick convertible. Neither car created much interest, so we moved on.
However our next stop through Mt. Joy piqued our interest when Harold spotted an old car, possibly an Oldsmobile, in an old showroom store front. Heisey’s Garage was founded in 1933, by the current owner Jim Heisey’s grandfather.
The building was originally a blacksmith shop built in the 1800s. The Heiseys converted it to a Sunoco full service gas station and repair shop in the 1930s. From 1964-1971 it was a Simca and Sunbeam new car dealership. Today Heisey sells a few used cars and does some mechanical work.
The car turned out to be a rare ’64 Dodge 880 convertible; and of course, it had a Car Tale. Heisey said that a man, driving a ’64 Dodge travelled to Mt. Joy, twice, attempting to purchase the car. When he said it was not for sale the man told the rest of the story.
He owns fourteen ’64 Dodges and was prepared to purchase the 880 convertible on the spot. He already owned one exactly like this one, but another would likely fit well with the rest. Evidently he had done some homework before he came, proclaiming that there are twelve ’64 Dodge 880 convertibles in existence. This is lucky number 13.
Heisey was proud to show us the other cars in the building. The 1940 Ford business coupe was purchased nearly 50 years ago and has gone through numerous upgrades: 350 Chevy motor, modern interior, and what’s in the trunk.
This baby would best be called a “Moonshine Runner” because the trunk area is set up with a still. Heisey’s son scoured local flea markets and antique shops to equip the Ford with an authentic looking still.
We helped Heisey push his 1955 Studebaker pickup truck into position so that a rollback could load it for a trip to the paint shop. This local purchase was going to be a driver with a few modern upgrades.
A 1935 Ford convertible was in an adjacent garage. This is a driver which he takes out during the summer and fall months. All of his cars have recent inspection and current license tags.
To round up our visit we spotted a true classic. Heisey’s soapbox racer, which ran in the last Mt. Joy fair in 1958. He was quick to say that he didn’t win. But we were all winners today, enjoying the cars and sharing memorable CAR TALES.