She's been into cars since she was a baby. When she was old enough to talk, she said her dad, Cliff Cooper of Delta, would quiz her. "When we were driving, he'd ask, ‘What year is that truck?' I totally inherited this from Dad," she said. Of his three daughters, Sarah is the only one who really got into cars.
When she was 15, her dad brought home a '68 Buick Electra, and the two ﬁxed it up. She still has the car today. "We ﬁxed it together," she said. "Then I wrecked it and we ﬁxed it together again."
After that ﬁrst go-round with Dad, Sarah was off and running. A few years later, she ﬁxed up another '68 Electra, by herself, and painted this one pink. That one is still in her collection, too.
That car was even in a movie, a short indie horror ﬂick called "Hotchkiss Meats." The director was looking for an older model convertible; he contacted Orville Proctor, who sent the director on to Sarah.
"At the end, the robot drives off into the sunset in my car," she said laughing. She and her husband David also got to play extras in the movie, which was shot two years ago in this area by Adam Barker.
All in all, Sarah has restored or ﬁxed up ﬁve cars, and she still has them all. "I get attached to them," she said.
She is currently working on ﬁxing up a '53 New Yorker. David, a car aﬁcionado as well, helps her with the mechanical aspect of ﬁxing up a car - which means he gets his hands dirty more often than Sarah does.
"I could, but I don't want to get dirty," she said. "When we see a car we want to be a part of, David sees an engine; I see a color. If it's gray, I can't see the possibilities." The couple works on cars together, but Sarah looks for cars that have decent engines so she can put all her efforts in snazzing up the car's body and paint.
She and her husband own Brickyard Motors in south Delta. When a customer recently traded in an '84 Corvette for a Camaro, instead of putting it on the lot, Sarah laid claim to the ‘vette. She has big plans for the car. "Pink, like Barbie's Corvette. With zebra seat covers." "She has her cars. And I have my cars," said David, who has already said he will never ride in her pink Barbie-esque car.
David and Sarah have no preference over the cars they ﬁx up; they are equal opportunity car lovers. "We're totally random about it," Sarah said. David has in his collection a '20s era car and a 1947 Packard hearse, one of only ﬁve left in the world.
"We have tons of projects we haven't even started on," she said.
For Sarah, her love of cars is more than just ﬁxing them up. She is the secretary of the Delta Street Rodders car club. David is the vice-president, and they've been members since the club's inception. The couple has shown several of their own vehicles in the club's shows. Sarah and David, along with other club members, are gearing up for their annual summertime car show, held in conjunction with Deltarado Days each year. This year the show will be July 20.
She also collects license plates. At their car dealership, by law old license plates have to be removed from the cars on the lot. Not willing to just throw those old plates away, Sarah began collecting. Now, the walls of Brickyard's ofﬁce are covered in a couple hundred licenses plates. Plates also adorn the bathroom walls and an outside storage shed.
Sarah has plates from all 50 states, Canada, St. Martin and Germany. Her oldest plate is a Colorado plate dated from 1923. Some are sentimental; her grandmother gave her two antique Wisconsin plates. She also has on display a Wisconsin plate from her aunt's old car.
Once he saw Sarah's collection, a friend of David's started bringing plates by the ofﬁce. A former customer of Brickyard's gave her a Montana Centennial plate. She's always on the lookout for more license plates for her collection.
Sarah also races, and has been for about ﬁve years. She's been in the Powderpuff women's demolition derby at the Delta County Fair in past years, and is also an avid participant in Thunder Mountain Speedway's races.
She races with her youngest sister Julie Cooper in a cruiser race. Sarah works the steering wheel and the brakes while Julie works the gas pedal. They race in a '78 Chevy Caprice, one of Sarah's projects. She's painted the car purple on the driver's side and yellow on the passenger's side. "It's a great car," she said, pride evident in her voice.
She and Julie sometimes race against family. In a past "fear factor" race, they raced against David and a friend of his. Contestants had to drive the course and then scarf a jalapeño dog.
"We got our butts kicked in that one. They pretty much always beat us. But it's still fun," she said of her husband and his friend.
Her dad also races at Thunder Mountain, and helps her ﬁx up her racecar from time to time, as well.
Sarah and her husband live in Delta. She works for the county as an eligibility technician for long term care.blog comments powered by Disqus