Abigail Clark and her grandfather Jim White stand outside the refinished 1940 Ford Coupe
Recent Alfred State College autobody repair graduate, Abigail Clark, has a special bond with her grandfather. A bond that revolves around a 1940 Ford Coupe and their shared love of classic cars.
When Abigail was three, her grandfather bought a 1940 Ford Coupe. After getting over the loudness of the car, she went to countless car shows and loved seeing all the cool cars. Her love of cars and their shiny, sparkly paint led her on the path to Alfred State and the autobody repair program.
“I applied to Alfred State and when I got there I was completely scared and wondered if it was going to work out for me. I have loved it here and I have learned that I am more capable than I ever thought I was. I have learned how to do great paint jobs here.”
As she approached graduation, she needed a car to work on for her senior project. She brought the Ford Coupe back to campus and started restoring it for her grandpa.
“I always knew that one day I would be repaying my grandfather for everything he has ever done for me. I never imagined that I would be repaying him by fixing and repainting the car that started all of this for me.”
Abigail shared some early pictures of the project with grandpa but kept him in the dark when she approached the finish line. The project proved to be more than expected but with the help of some friends and automotive instructor, CJ Tremper, it was completed and ready for the big reveal.
As finishing touches were being made and her grandfather and her parents were nearing the Wellsville campus, Abigail was anxious and excited. “The last time he saw the car it was in primer. He walked in here and was like, ‘oh, God, that is my car.’”
Waiting on the other side of the shop doors, Grandpa Jim was just as excited to see his car. “I am very happy that she has something that she loves to do.”
As the garage door opened Abigail drove the car out to the delight of her grandfather. “You have done good kiddo. It looks a whole lot better.”
Now with her degree and her grandpa’s car finished, Abigail starts a job at Corby’s Collision Center. She looks forward to building her knowledge of the autobody industry.
“I consider myself to be the luckiest person ever right now because I just have so much love for what I am doing.”