Planes and automobiles: Weaver to enter five restored vehicles in local car show

Carl Weaver of rural Hesston is in front of one of his vintage vehicles he restored. He plans to enter five vehicles in the upcoming Newton Car Show. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Carl Weaver of rural Hesston had second thoughts about his career after finding an unusual hole in his airplane wing in Africa.

“When you get back from a flight and discover a bullet hole through the wing, you stop and think what life is about, especially when you have two small kids,” he said, sitting in his barn he converted into a gathering place and location where he stores planes, a camper and several restored vehicles.

For a time, Weaver flew support for missionaries and air ambulances for the Mayan Indians in Central America and southern Mexico, as well as flying in Africa.

“We were in the middle of a civil war and that was in Mozambique, Africa,” he said.

He enjoyed his time in Central America and southern Mexico much better.

Carl Weaver checks out the engine on one of his restored vehicles. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now


“That was the highlight of my life,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of highlights. I spent over a year in Africa doing the same thing.”

He left after the bullet hole incident.

Weaver said he’s had a career in aviation, owning his own business, Weaver Aero International, which he sold a couple of years ago. Now, he’s available as a consultant.

“It’s a fixed-based operation—aircraft sales, maintenance, international deliveries,” he said.

In Weaver’s barn are many flags representing countries he’s either resided in, been to or delivered an airplane to.

From a young age, Weaver has been involved in mechanics and working on cars led him to the aviation business.

“When I was a kid, I grew up on a farm and we were always tinkering with machinery,” he said.

Carl Weaver of rural Hesston sits in one of his vehicles. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

He got his first car at age 16, a 1960 Corvair, which needed much work, and he spent a lot of time maintaining it. All through his teen years, Weaver had numerous cars he’d fix up, drive for a while and sell.

“Like a lot of kids,” he said. “That evolved into airplanes. That’s why I made a career out of aviation.”

He spent time overseas as a bush pilot flying in the jungle and mountains of Latin America.

Weaver still likes working on cars and he plans to enter five in the Newton Car Show, which is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, in downtown Newton. It’s put on by Mid Kansas Muscle Cars and admission is free for spectators. The cost to register a car is $20 before the show day and $25 on show day.

Weaver does part of the vehicle restoration.

“I don’t do that heavy bodywork,” he said. “I do the mechanical work.”

He hires experts to do the bodywork and heavy mechanical work.

The five he plans to enter are a 1959 El Camino, 1960 Impala, 1958 Impala, 1963 Corvair Hounds and 1967 Camaro Rally Sport.

The vehicles’ exteriors are as shiny as a new penny and Weaver recalled the names of the exterior paint on a couple. The El Camino is painted Roman Red, while the 1960 Impala is Riverside. All the vehicles are painted factory-original colors.

In addition to his vehicles and an airplane, Weaver’s extremely tidy barn with a shiny floor has a variety of other vintage and/or antique items.

“I love nostalgic things,” he said, adding his camper is a 1961 model Shasta re-issued in 2015. “They reissued a limited number of them. I love getting things that need restoration.”

That includes airplanes, since he also restores antique planes.

These are some of the vehicles Carl Weaver has restored. Wendy Nugent/Harvey County Now

“I have for many years,” he said.

Sitting in his barn is a 1947 model plane he restored to better than new.

The 76-year-old also restored a jukebox from the 1950s that plays actual records, collects Coca Cola memorabilia and re-created the front of a country store from the deep south with a gas pump next to it. Weaver said he grew up in the south and every crossroad back then had a little country store with a gas pump beside it. He used material from his property to create it.

“All of this is from an old buildings on the place,” he said, adding that in the old days, there’d be a couple of retired farmers playing checkers on the

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