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nd when you grow up poor, drive and a good name are perhaps your most precious assets. Doc can certainly attest to this, sharing “I’m the son of a concrete construction worker. In the wintertime we’d nearly starve to death eating beans and cornbread and stuff.” Then in the warmer months, when school was out, he recalls having to work all summer to be able to buy clothes for the following year.
It was in those early years a Chevrolet Monte Carlo was central to Doc’s life.
“My first actual car was a ’77 Monte Carlo given to me by my parents. We were dirt poor — I was given mom’s car to help get my brother and sister to school, and for me to go to work so I could afford gas to get my brother and sister to school,” he explains.
And when he had the opportunity to buy the first car with his own money, he went for another Monte Carlo, this time a ’72 model — for $75. With fondness he recalls, “Put a timing chain on it and some rear brakes and drove that for quite a while.”
Around this time, Doc’s determination and mechanical aptitude began to pay dividends. He went to technical school at UTI and became a young diesel mechanic, turning wrenches to tool up further. Soon he was shop foreman at the Peterbilt dealership in town, and after a few years founded a new venture, Southwest Diesel Service, where he’s been the sole proprietor for 15 years now.
All the while Doc bought and played around with a variety of cars, but as important as those were to him, the responsibilities of a growing family and a growing business took priority. So for a period of 12 or 13 years he put his automotive passion on hold, selling all his cars including his favorite toy, a 1969 Chevelle SS 396. As many of us know, however, vehicular obsession is hard to shake.