Don was about six years old when he realized he was obsessed with cars. He was not only fascinated by their exteriors, but he also wanted to know what was under the hood and how it worked. Customizing his bicycle and building models quickly escalated to taking apart and assembling cars in his backyard. He also worked odd jobs at his family-owned service station. Don’s first “official” job at 16 was reconditioning used cars after school at the local Buick/Pontiac dealership.
After graduating high school in 1967 and fulfilling his U.S. Army National Guard obligations, he worked for a jobber, ACME Auto Supply, delivering and retrieving parts. He then worked as a parts counter representative at a Cadillac, Oldsmobile & Pontiac dealership before he was named service writer and manager at a neighboring Chevrolet dealership from 1974 to 1979. Between 1979 and 2012, he moved to the insurance side of the auto industry, serving as an over-the-road auto/property damage appraiser and total loss specialist with two major insurance companies before retiring.
They say you do not work a day in your life if you do what you love, and this could not have been more true for Don. His profession was also his passion. Don bought, sold and/or restored at least 100 cars, including many collectible and antique vehicles from the mid-’50s to the mid-’70s. He has spent countless hours over the last 50-plus years engaged in extensive projects. For example, Don built engines, transmissions and rear-ends, and also performed his own expert body and paint work to complete show-quality restorations of many GM muscle cars – especially A-body Chevelles and 442s – built with straight line speed in mind.
Don considers himself a mild 1/4 mile enthusiast with 25-30 passes down the strip; his results have been as low as the mid-10-second range in cars he has built. Today, he cruises the local circuit in a 2015 C7 Corvette. His daily driver? A 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. With encyclopedic knowledge and an uncanny attention to detail (especially in the body and paint category), Don is one of Muscle Car Appraisal’s resident General Motors experts, and he is ready to consult with you on your GM muscle car today. Like Maurice, Don grew up in the heyday of the automotive high performance world and absorbed every detail as models changed and new models were introduced. Little things such as emblem differences, wheel choices and drive train options are all still embedded in Don’s memory which makes him another great asset to the Muscle Car Appraisal team.