Each year many people visit Undiscovered Classics from near and far, and increasingly, many of those visitors are from other countries. While our available time to host visitors is a welcomed challenge, when we do so we have more to show concerning our ongoing operations. Storage facilities, workshops, restoration partners and more. When time allows, visits can be fun for everyone as you’ll see in today’s story about Thom and Elizabeth Pederson’s visit last year.
Thom is from Denmark and belongs to the Danish Vintage Car Club which was founded in 1954 (coincidently the same year many of my cars were newly built). Click here to visit the Danish Vintage Car Club on the web. Thom and his wife Elizabeth visit the states each year and stay in Florida. When Thom wrote to me it sounded like it would be an interesting visit for both of us so we put it in our respective calendars. Depending on the day of the visit, activities can vary considerably, and as you’ll see in Thom’s story his club, we visited several of our workshops and storage facilities, spent time with good friend and one of our restorers, Ralph Smith and even visited Fiberglass Farms. Fun for all.
Recently, Thom published an article about his visit in the Danish Vintage Car Club magazine. While I don’t read or speak “Danish,” thankfully Google translates the written word, so I’ve translated the article below about his visit into English and shared the original magazine pages at the end of the story. Lots of good photos to look at as well as some of our cars in restoration. Check out the story and photos below in their “Car History Journal” magazine and have some fun 🙂
Car History Journal
Danish Vintage Car Club
By Thom Bang Pedersen
This story starts like so many others on the web. Each day I receive an e-mail from the Barn Finds website (www.barnfinds.com) which is a web page about cars for sale found cars in barns and other locations. It’s impressive that something special is constantly emerging from this website, and one day there was a prototype that caught my attention.
It appeared that this car had been in the hands of a man in Tampa, Florida. Geoffrey R. Hacker was the principal owner of Undiscovered Classics, which consisted of rare and special-interest cars from the early postwar era and handcrafted special cars with intriguing histories.
This sounded like a big operation so I studied his website and saw that it covered more than you could even see. I decided to write to him to ask if I could visit. We were going to Florida and staying close by (within an hour’s drive).
I got a very friendly response that we should just call when we were on vacation and then we could make an appointment.
We then got an appointment one Saturday and met at his house at 9 am. I thought he probably wouldn’t be disturbed during working hours so therefore it should be a Saturday.
When we arrived at the address it was a sight to behold. The driveway and carport were filled with cars in several stages of condition. These were covered with car covers and it could clearly be seen that they were not ordinary cars. Geoffrey came out to greet us and the first thing he asked was how much time do you have? I replied, of course, that we had all the time he would spend on us. My wife asked how long do you think it would take? Geoff thought maybe 2-3 hours. It turned out to be much different than that in a very good way.
We headed out to Ralph Smith’s workshop that is one of the restoration shops that restores Geoff’s and his customer’s cars. Out there we had a super experience and were shown around the whole way. Ralph had several garages we visited where it was exciting to see the cars in the process of restoration. Ralph’s own house was a story by itself with lots of interesting items on display.
In Ralph’s backyard stood a small very old house that he built as a tribute to his father’s old residence and workshop which now stood as a museum. In Ralph’s workshop were several projects including the 1948 Kurtis Omohundro Comet that we was working on. There was a lot of time for us to look around and learn all about each and every car project.
Next Geoff asked if we would like to next visit Fiberglass Farms, so we drove from this visit and hereby explained why it was on Saturday we could visit. Saturdays are always when he visits different customer projects in person so in this way we got to see a lot and heard more stories of how his company, Undiscovered Classics, has grown over the years.
After a drive north we ended up far out in the countryside, and when we arrived we toured all the cars on the property. Some of the cars were customer cars waiting for their turn in restoration. Some were in Geoff’s personal collection, and some were getting readied to be shipped to make room for new arrivals. I will let the pictures tell the tale.
I recommend going to Geoff’s website www.UndiscoveredClassics.com Most recently the website has expanded with new stories and detail and extended documentation of all these special cars. After Geoff had talked to the owner of Fiberglass Farms, we headed back to Tampa. On the way, we also stopped and visited various garages with finished and cars in the process of restoration. We ended back at Geoff’s house and reviewed the cars there and also got a glimpse of the large historical magazine archive he uses for documenting Undiscovered Classic cars.
Yes it was a 9 hour tour. A bit more than we had thought it would take. But my wife admitted that it had been very interesting and that Geoff was very entertaining so we thanked him for a good day. I also thought that this article would be worth telling to others about how to do such a thing as Geoff does without great financial support.
A great many people help Geoff at Undiscovered Classics and at the same time help preserve and showcase some special interest, rare cars which would otherwise have disappeared. Several of the cars have participated in car shows, exhibits, concours and special displays around the USA. As written there is lots of information on the website and this one is getting better and better.
Thom Bang Pedersen
The original article from Denmark appears below for reference. Thanks to Thom for such kind words and I’m glad that he and his wife Elizabeth enjoyed their day with us. We’re looking forward to your next visit Thom and Elizabeth 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.