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ARTISTIC DRIVEARIZONA'S ART CARS HIT THE ROAD IN NATIONAL CRAZE FOR AUTO EXOTICA

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That's why Metzler plans to put his custom-car creations on hold for a while after he finishes overhauling the motor on the '53 pickup.

While her husband polishes the bust of a conquistador attached to the pickup's grill, Metzler's wife looks at the car and laughs sardonically. "Did Gary tell you that when he first got this truck, he'd restored it so it looked just like it did in 1953?" asks Jill Metzler, a quick-witted woman who resembles Laraine Newman. "Yeah, well, that was the idea, anyway. Gary had already done the station wagon and so the pickup was going to be our 'we don't have to baby-sit this in the parking lot' vehicle. Then some woman plowed into the front end, and when Gary couldn't find a piece to replace it, well, you can see what happened. It's like God doesn't want us to have a regular car."

Surveying the pickup thoughtfully, she adds, "It's a power piece, definitely. It's what I call 'very Gary.' Some people scratch their heads, but most of them are very positive. Then, every once in a while, we'll run into someone that's very threatened by it."

Could it be, perhaps, that they don't understand the car?
Jill Metzler shakes her head. "The problem is, maybe they do.

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Dewey Webb