Frank Butler, Ooltewah
Frank Butler has been fascinated by the mechanics of cars since he was a teenager. “What really got me into the scene was when I was 19 and my dad called and asked if I was interested in a 1974 Cadillac that his buddy needed out of his garage,” Butler remembers. Unfortunately, the Cadillac had been rotting away in the garage for almost two decades, but Butler and his father still managed to get it running on the first day after picking it up. Butler then took on the project of cleaning the car up, and the rest, they say, is history.
“I’ve been passionate about cars ever since,” Butler tells us. “I love to visit museums with them anywhere we happen to travel to.” He also holds membership with the Porsche Club of America and the Cadillac & LaSalle Club, and he writes for The Self-Starter, which is the national publication of the latter.
However, as much as he loves the world of restoring, maintaining, and collecting cars, Butler acknowledges it’s not without its challenges. In his experience, one of the trickier elements of the hobby is part sourcing. “For my Cadillac, it can be difficult finding the parts, as there are specific pieces that can be much harder to come across,” he explains. “This is probably true for most classics, since the cars have been out of production, often for quite some time.”
That being said, the joy of it all often outweighs the difficulties. Butler’s 1986 Porsche 911 has been one of his favorite purchases, and after all the work he’s put into it – including an engine rebuild – it’s a car he loves to drive. “There’s just something special about that car,” he shares.
Beyond the machines themselves, Butler loves the way that cars can bring people together. “One of my favorite experiences is winning Best in Show with my parents’ 1964 Cadillac Eldorado,” he tells us. “It was the first time my wife attended something like that with me to help with prepping it for presentation and judging. My parents were there as well, so it turned into a family experience. It was a really special time.”
In the future, Butler hopes to continue navigating the world of collectible cars with a hands-on approach. “I like to do the mechanical work myself, as much as possible,” he explains. And for him, though it may be time-consuming, it’s absolutely worth it.
Current Collection: 1974 Cadillac Eldorado | 1986 Porsche 911 (pictured)