Sun City car club enjoys temporary shop

By Rusty Bradshaw
Independent Newsmedia

Vintage Vehicles Club of Sun City members are not working on their cars at their own homes anymore – unless they choose to.

During the summer there is plenty of room to work on vehicles in the club shop. But when winter visitors return, they will have to schedule time in the facility.

The club moved into its temporary location behind Lakeview Lanes, 10502 W. Thunderbird Blvd., in June. The location became available when Recreation Centers of Sun City officials built a new shop south of Union Hills Drive on the South Golf Course, 10600 N. Boswell Blvd.

“We are happy with this location,” said Troy Janicki, club president during an Independent tour of the facility. “But we’re just as eager to get the new shop on the Grand Avenue property.”

The car club was one of several RCSC chartered clubs approved for the Grand Avenue property, 10415 W. Grand Ave. The RCSC board purchased the property in 2016 then established an ad hoc Long Range Planning Committee to develop recommendations for the property’s use.

The board approved the committee’s recommendations during its September 2017 meeting. The three clubs to be housed in the existing structure will be the Sun City Clay Club from Lakeview Recreation Center, 10626 W. Thunderbird Blvd.; the Camera Guild from Sundial Recreation Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave.; an office for the Sun City Garden Club from Oakmont Recreation Center, 10725 W. Oakmont Drive, with storage and an added greenhouse. The Sun City Posse will also have a branch office on the property and there will be classroom space to be used by a variety of RCSC clubs and the corporation.

The board also approved the committee’s recommendation the property be designed for construction of additional buildings for the Vintage Vehicle Club and the Conservation and Sportsman’s Club’s archery range.

“We don’t know how long it will be before our building on Grand Avenue will be ready, or even started,” Mr. Janicki said.

RCSC officials are working with architects to determine spacing within the existing building for the groups targeted for occupation of that structure. The additional construction will be considered in the future.

The Vintage Vehicles Club has more than 300 members and conducts a wide range of activities through the year. Club members are in the process of finalizing the schedule for the 2018-19 year, according to Mr. Janicki.

John Edwards checks the oil in the 1957 Chevy short bed truck he is rebuilding using the Vintage Vehicles Club of Sun City shop in its temporary location behind Lakeview Lanes, 10502 W. Thunderbird Blvd.

Many of their activities include fundraising activities to help pay for construction of their new facility, similar to the Auto Restoration Club of Sun City West. That group was able to take out a loan from the Recreation Centers of Sun City West and is paying it back in installments. The Sun City Club is doing it a little differently, raising its own funds prior to construction.

The club will giveaway a 1980 Corvette as part of its fundraising. Tickets for a chance on the car are $10 each and are available from any club member. The drawing for the winner is scheduled for March 2, 2019.

In planning a for a new building, the Sun City club is following the Sun City West club’s lead.

“They have been very helpful to us,” Mr. Janicki said.

Restoring older vehicles is a labor of love for car club members, and it is hard to move away from. Club member Ed Gordon said he tried to get away from rebuilding hot rods after his wife, who supported and helped him with his efforts, died.

“It just seemed to remind me of her,” he said.

But after moving to Sun City, he was bitten by the car bug again.

“I hadn’t been here a month before I bought the Model A I am working on now,” he said.

Club member John Edwards also feels a strong pull to restoring a 1957 Chevy short bed pickup. The truck had been stolen and dumped into a canal before he started his project on it. But his work had to overcome an onstacle shortly after the club moved into its temporary facilities.

“I had a stroke here at the shop,” Mr. Edwards said. “But I didn’t waste any time getting back here as soon as they cleared me.”

The car club’s temporary location has room for the two lifts it owned and had at members’ homes.

Such is the draw of seeing a vehicle restoration through to the final stages. But, in reality, the work is rarely ever completed.

“You’re always going to be tinkering with it,” Mr. Gordon said.

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