Ryan Benedict, 30, of Rusk, owns a 2000 Dodge Ram he dropped the body and painted gold and black flames with blue pin striping. The interior features shade and vinyl seats and an iPad mount. It also has American racing wheels and a DAD subwoofer from JMH Audio Concepts. It took Benedict three years to build the truck. Benedict is a member of the Texas chapter of the Severed Ties car club. 

Curt and Valerie Sheldon of Livingston are pictured with Frank the pug in their 1980 Triumph Spitfire. “She wanted a convertible, so I sold my Corvette and got her this one,” Curt said. He found the car online and surprised her with it after returning home from a trip for their wedding anniversary. “It was a 4 1/2 hour drive from Waco. When she saw it, she loved it.” The Spitfire is a British sports car. It was produced from 1962-1980. 

Craig Taylor, 45, of Tyler, turned his 1994 Impala into a Pittsburgh Steelers football team themed car by colorful using decals he made himself. Taylor works at Classic Toyota in Tyler. He has specialized in tinting windows for 30 years. He says that many people have seen his car and want him to work on their cars, but doesn’t feel that that’s his calling. “I want to be the only one in town with something different,” he said, “We can’t have everyone driving around with sports teams on their car.” Taylor’s car wasn’t always rooting for the Steelers. Many Tylerites recognize Taylor as the man with the Dallas Cowboys car. “This car used to be the Dallas Cowboys car. I switched it two years ago after they got rid of the good quarterbacks. They started going downhill with Romo, and everyone started chunking rocks at my car, sticking gum on it and throwing Dr. Pepper on the windshield. It went downhill with no brakes.”
He decided to do a Steelers theme for several reasons. “They’ve got got a better quarterback- Roethlisberger- He’s strong. They have a black coach. I said, well, let me support a black coach, their team color is black and I have a black car. They’ve got a pretty good team. I get a lot of people still that want to take a picture of it, so we still have a fan club. I met a guy yesterday who gave me a brand new Steelers hat.”
Taylor also has a 1992 Buick Roadmaster with University of Texas Longhorn decals and an autograph by Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell.

Craig Taylor, 45, of Tyler, turned his 1994 Impala into a Pittsburgh Steelers football team themed car by colorful using decals he made himself. Taylor works at Classic Toyota in Tyler. He has specialized in tinting windows for 30 years. He says that many people have seen his car and want him to work on their cars, but doesn’t feel that that’s his calling. “I want to be the only one in town with something different,” he said, “We can’t have everyone driving around with sports teams on their car.” Taylor’s car wasn’t always rooting for the Steelers. Many Tylerites recognize Taylor as the man with the Dallas Cowboys car. “This car used to be the Dallas Cowboys car. I switched it two years ago after they got rid of the good quarterbacks. They started going downhill with Romo, and everyone started chunking rocks at my car, sticking gum on it and throwing Dr. Pepper on the windshield. It went downhill with no brakes.”

He decided to do a Steelers theme for several reasons. “They’ve got got a better quarterback- Roethlisberger- He’s strong. They have a black coach. I said, well, let me support a black coach, their team color is black and I have a black car. They’ve got a pretty good team. I get a lot of people still that want to take a picture of it, so we still have a fan club. I met a guy yesterday who gave me a brand new Steelers hat.”

Taylor also has a 1992 Buick Roadmaster with University of Texas Longhorn decals and an autograph by Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell.

Christian Carreon, 22, of Jacksonville, Texas is proud of his Texas themed 1985 Lincoln Towncar. The car features custom paint from his father Timo, chrome details, wheels, and of course the longhorn horns on the hood. “I tried to give it a Texas look,” he said. Carreon is a member of Tiempos Viejos car club in Jacksonville. He’s a local rapper and has written and recorded a theme song for the car club. In the future Carreon plans to chop the top of his car into a convertible. 

Christian Carreon, 22, of Jacksonville, Texas is proud of his Texas themed 1985 Lincoln Towncar. The car features custom paint from his father Timo, chrome details, wheels, and of course the longhorn horns on the hood. “I tried to give it a Texas look,” he said. Carreon is a member of Tiempos Viejos car club in Jacksonville. He’s a local rapper and has written and recorded a theme song for the car club. In the future Carreon plans to chop the top of his car into a convertible. 

Ray Davis, 63, of Carthage collects and loves oddities and rare items. He’s pictured at a car show in Jacksonville with 1974 Volkswagen Thing and 1962 Type 2 Single Cab. The Thing was only sold in the United States for two years. He bought the off-road military style vehicle because it reminded him of his youth. “I had a dune buggy when I was young, but now I’m too old for that. This is like a dune buggy, but it has doors.” Davis is a member of the East Texas Vee Dub Club in Nacogdoches.

Douglas Scruggs of Bullard, Texas with his ‘38 Chevy he rebuilt in the 90s. “It was a rust bucket. It was a pile of junk. It was solid rust,” he said.

Scruggs spent two years rebuilding the car using parts from junkyards including pieces from Lincolns, Volkswagens, and a Mercury. Most of the interior is from an ‘88 Grand Am. “Some people spend $25,000 on the interior, but we didn’t do that. I didn’t go to a catalog or a magazine to get my parts, I got them from a wrecking yard.”

He got the idea for the unique paint job from a car he saw in Memphis, Tennessee. He and his wife Betty have put many miles on the hot rod, taking it Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and beyond. “I’m not scared to drive it, I’d go to California right now,” he said, “I have boxes and boxes of awards from this thing.”

the latest from my Unique Cars of East Texas project! This is Lawrence and Wanda Harper of Big Sandy, Texas in their 1956 Chevy Bel Air convertible. They purchased it from a seller on e-Bay and picked it up in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. 

"Wanda says it’s a ladies car. She likes to drive it with the top down, and I like to drive it with the top up. My favorite thing about it is the blue top because most convertible tops are black or white. The top is what got my attention, and it gets attention everywhere it goes." -Lawrence