Kellie Flanery and her classic car.

Car has become the icon of her business.

By Rich Wicks | Panora Times

Some things naturally seem to go together, such as hot dogs and baseball or summer and the beach. But what about a hair salon and a classic car? Although this might not seem like a natural match, Kellie Flanery of Panora explained why this pairing works well for her.

“I grew up out at the lake, and my husband is from in town,” she said. “He and his brothers had a garage, and they were always hot-rodders. I never really liked cars all that well, but I started a hair salon and named it Retro LUX. Then I kind of started getting into doing pinup stuff, and it brought me a reason to like that old car stuff.”

Kellie Flanery and her dog take a moment to relax while the car was under repair.

So she talked with her husband, Tom, about incorporating a classic car image into her salon’s motif. After some asking around, Kellie and Tom found someone who owned a 1953 Chevy and who was willing to sell it. 

Flanery recalled that the car was in fairly good shape. 

“The body was all done, except it needed a paint job,” she said. “It drove. It had the original motor, and it was a ‘three on the tree.’ So, we drove it home, and I picked out a nail color from my salon that I really liked and got it painted that color.”

She recalled that the car didn’t have power steering, and the engine smoked. But when Tom had extra time during the pandemic, he started fixing the various issues the car had. Kellie’s brother-in-law, Dan Flanery, also did some work on it, and Kellie is appreciative of the help in getting her car all fixed up.

“It’s running perfect now,” she said.

The car has become the icon of her business, and its personalized license plate says “RETROLX.” Flanery rattled off some of the other details about the car.

“It’s a 1953 Chevy 210 two-door. It has a 355-cubic-inch small-block Chevy automatic transmission and posi-trac rear end,” she said.

But, she added, the specific technical details are not her focus.

Flanery enjoys driving her car in the Panorama Days parade so that others can enjoy it, but the car is especially meaningful to her since it’s been worked on by family, and she likes driving it locally just for fun.

“I just like the look of it and the sound of it,” she said. “I wanted something I could drive around town and look cool in. I love to go out to the lake in the summertime, roll the windows down, and just remember good old times.” n