Who We Are...
Second Chance Garage, LLC Staff:
Satch Reed, Publisher
In charge of the Internet side of things, Mr. Reed recently retired as the owner of Reed Web Design, an internet consultant/web design firm located in Arlington, Virginia. After a 23 year career in the graphic arts industry where he owned/operated 2 typesetting companies, he lived abroad for 5 years (Germany, Jamaica, Mongolia...his wife is a U.S. diplomat). He returned to the U.S. in 1997 and established Reed Web Design and rekindled his love of classic cars and their restoration. An avid restoration enthusiast, interest in the hobby evolved from his teen-age years when he had a small business buying older cars and selling their parts.
Les Jackson, Editor-in-Chief
Our resident car restoration Guru, Les Jackson is a professional automotive journalist who test-drives and reviews approximately 100 new vehicles from all manufacturers yearly. He has written scores of technical and "how-to" articles for many publications including The Washington Times, Car and Driver, AutoWeek, AAA Buying Guide, Microsoft Motorsite, Modern Maturity, Chicago Tribune Media Services, Journal Newspapers, Family Health and Safety and a large number of specialty publications catering to automotive enthusiasts.
Les is Co-Host and technical expert on "Cruise Control," a syndicated radio program devoted to all aspects of the automotive world and he writes a weekly column entitled "Ask Dr. Crankshaft" for the 255-newspaper Journal Ledger syndicate. He has been teaching automotive theory (adult education) courses since the early 1970s and currently teaches courses on new-vehicle buying and older vehicle restoration. He has hands-on restored (that is, the complete disassembly, repair and restoration of every one of the more than 10,000 parts of an automobile, and reassembly) 15 classic automobiles, performing all the work himself.
During the 1960s, while studying mechanical engineering and laser physics, he successfully competed on sanctioned racing circuits, earning SCCA and Formula One racing licenses.
Llewellyn Hedgbeth, Staff writer.
Tom Benford has been a freelance journalist and photographer for more than thirty years and has had a love affair with cars since he was a toddler. He contributes regularly to several national magazines and writes two monthly columns plus feature articles in Corvette Fever Magazine. He has authored over fifteen books including three on computer science and more than a dozen on automotive subjects including the Corvette Illustrated Encyclopedia, Garage and Workshop Gear Guide, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Restoring Collector Cars, The Street Rod and others. Tom resides with his wife of 30 years, Liz, and their German Shepherd dog, Major, on their 4+ acre estate on the New Jersey Shore. The Benford automotive stable currently includes six Corvettes ranging from a 1963 Split Window Coupe through a 1998 C5 convertible and also a 1933 Dodge 5-window coupe street rod.
Luke Chennell is currently an Assistant Professor of Restoration Technology at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. McPherson College is the only college in the world to offer a Bachelor's Degree is Automotive Restoration. Mr. Chennell has several collector cars, including a 1920 Ford Model T, a 1968 Ford Mustang fastback, and six antique tractors.
John Gunnell - "Gunner" - is best known for his books Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975 and 75 Years of Pontiac Oakland. His first professional writing job was with National Corvette Owners Association in the mid-'70s. He has written thousands of articles about classic cars, motorcycles and airplanes. His 85-plus automotive books include the Standard Catalog series. He also updated 75 Years of Chevrolet for George Dammann's Crestline Publications. John originally hoped to be an industrial designer. He studied fine art in his hometown of Staten Island, New York, before moving to Iola, Wisconsin, in 1978, to work as an editor for Old Cars Weekly. He has contributed to over 50 periodicals. John lives in the sleepy village of Iola, and tries hard to keep his "Gunner's Garage" workshop filled with interesting projects. He currently has 10 automobiles and 15 motorcycles in his collection, including several vehicles that are in various phases of restoration. Gunner's automotive tastes are a bit eclectic. He owns cars and trucks from 1936-2009 and motorcycles from 1940-2001. Twenty of his vehicles qualify for blue and red Wisconsin Collector license plates.
Dennis W. Parks The journalism career of Dennis W. Parks dates back to 1985, when he submitted his first car feature to STREET RODDER magazine. Parks continued to write and photograph car features, event coverage, and shop tours for Street Rodder, Rod & Custom, Street Rod Action, Hot Rod, Rodder's Digest, and various other magazines for several years.
In 1988, Dennis purchased his first real hot rod project, a 1929 Ford Model A Tudor sedan, and documenting the buildup in an article in American Rodder. After a significant delay (in 1999), however, work began on the Model A project again. Parks informed Steve Hendrickson (acquisition editor) at Motorbooks. Hendrickson told Parks that MBI was looking for someone to write a Model A book. "How To Build a Hot Rod Model A Ford" became his Dennis' first book. Since then Dennis has penned: "How To Build a Hot Rod Model A Ford"; "How To Build a Hot Rod"; "How To Paint Your Car"; "American Hot Rod"; "How to Build a Hot Rod with Boyd Coddington"; "How to Restore and Customize Auto Upholstery & Interiors"; "How To Plate, Polish and Chrome"; "How To Build a Cheap Hot Rod"; "The Complete Guide To Auto Body Repair"; and "Hot Rod Body and Chassis Builder's Guide". Parks lives in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri and works a full time job as a technical writer for a defense contractor.
Bruce Saalmans resides in Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada where he owns Saalmans Auto Refinishing, a small shop, specializing in restoration and customization of classic vehicles. He also works as a car salesman at Border Pontiac in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Whenever there is any time left over, he enjoys writing, especially about cars.
Bruce has always worked in the automotive industry in one form or another, from mechanic, to body man and painter, to selling cars, as well as writing.
Cars have always been prominent in Bruce's life, and even played a big role in his wedding. Bruce owns a General Lee (the orange '69 Charger of Dukes of Hazzard fame), and he arrived at his wedding driving the General Lee, being chased by Rosco's Hazzard County Sheriff's car complete with siren and flashing lights. The minister even dressed as Boss Hogg and showed up in a white Cadillac convertible. Their ring bearer was a remote controlled General Lee that drove up the aisle to deliver the rings.
With cars having such a huge influence on his life, it's no wonder so much of his writing is automotive in nature. In addition to writing for Second Chance Garage, Bruce has written a wide variety of articles online, as well as in the Canadian magazine Our Canada.
A life-long "car guy", Bruce lives with his very understanding and supportive wife Carole, their two cats Queenie and Shadow, and their Airedale Terrier Tucker, who was named after the classic car the Tucker Torpedo.
Patrick Smith owns PHS Collector Car Appraisals & Documentation. The company performs post war American collector car appraisals and restoration consulting with independent shops. Patrick also specializes in build sheet decoding for all American makes. Patrick graduated with honors with an Automotive Technician degree from Centennial College and has several honors diplomas in Fuel Injection Systems, Brakes, Exhaust and Engine Emission Controls.
Patrick started writing for magazines after eighteen years in the auto industry working for car dealerships including Buick, Cadillac, Hyundai, and American Jeep-Eagle franchises. Patrick also worked in the automotive aftermarket for Canadian Tire and Acklands-Grainger. His work has appeared in many publications including Muscle Car News, Car Collector, Keith Martin's Sports Car Market, Old Autos, High Performance Pontiac and Vintage Thunderbird Club of America.
Patrick was the managing editor of Canadian Classics and Muscle Car News magazines. He pens several columns including Wide Open Throttle, Super 60s & 70s, and Shop Hound for Old Autos. He has owned and restored many cars over the years and is currently working on the star of his stable, a 1972 Pontiac GTO 455 hardtop. He lives in Georgetown, a suburb west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.