Ellen and Tom Campbell enjoy their time at car shows.

The passion started with a 1932 Ford Model B pickup.

By Rich Wicks | Panora Times

Tom Campbell has caught the classic car bug, and he’s not looking for a cure. He explained the origins of his “affliction.”

“It started out with my father-in-law, who had a 1932 Ford Model B pickup, and my wife, Ellen, always kept telling him that eventually she’d like to have it. She ended up with it, and she wanted to keep everything original on it,” Campbell said. “We went to the Good Guys car show in Des Moines, and on the way back she said, ‘We can’t keep it stock.’ ”

Tom Campbell holds a trophy he was awarded at a car show.

Since then, various changes have been made to the car, but he’s managed to keep the overall outside appearance looking original.  

Campbell said that a few years later, at a car show in Des Moines, Ellen saw a 1941 De Soto and wanted it. After buying it, Campbell discovered a coincidence. 

“Actually, it was from the Bagley area,” he said.

Some of the vehicles that Campbell has obtained were bought for sentimental reasons.

“When we were going together in high school, I had a 1964 Fairlane, and I always told her if I could find one, I was going to buy it,” Campbell said. “A buddy of mine found one on the internet up in Rapid City, South Dakota. I ended up buying it over the phone, sight unseen.”

Currently, Campbell has a truck that he brought “back home.”

“I got a 1955 Ford pickup that I’m doing right now. The reason I got it was, there were some parts on it that belonged to my brother-in-law and my father before he passed away. I wanted to keep it in the family, if I could.”

Campbell and his wife enjoy going to car shows when time allows, and he’s won several awards along the way. He admits that, because he drives his classic cars, they are not 100% pristine, but he said minor imperfections will happen even if a car is always stored in a garage, so he plans to continue driving his cars to the shows where they are displayed.

Campbell enjoys working on his vehicles but understands that he cannot do the entire restoration process himself.

“As far as motor and transmission, I can do that. A lot of the body work, and definitely painting, I farm out,” he said.

Campbell enjoys bringing a classic car up to the level that it’s ready for car shows, but he doesn’t have any particular vehicle that he is currently seeking.

“There isn’t anything special that sticks out,” he said.

Although the cars are what attract most everyone to the car shows, Campbell’s favorite part is socializing with friends — old and new — at the events. For now, at least, he and Ellen plan to continue this hobby that brings them, and others, so much enjoyment.