The restoration of a ’69 Chevy Chevelle can teach traders a lot about trading.

After my son went into the Army and became a mechanic, he decided to restore a 1969 Chevy Chevelle. He found the Chevelle online, while he was stationed in South Korea and had me go and purchase it. The car had been used for drag racing and was in pretty rough shape — lots of dents and rust but still ran…. when it wanted to.

I found his desire to restore the car hilarious because my son ran his first car without oil (he didn’t know cars needed oil), blowing the engine within the first three months of ownership. Additionally, he had just became a mechanic when he opted to purchase the Chevelle and he knew absolutely nothing about body repair or older engines (like the ones that use carburetors). However, his sergeant in South Korea restored old cars and my son, simply fell in love with the idea of restoring older cars

1969 Chevy Chevelle

The car sat in my driveway (pictured above with some of the body work completed) until my son returned from South Korea (about 7 months later). Of course, the first thing my son wanted to do was to take it for a spin. I suggested that he should wait as he had not taken the time to really inspect the car, engine, complete a tune-up, etc. Of course, he had other plans. So off we go down the old country roads in the Chevelle. What happens? Less than a mile from home, the car knocks off. Like I said, it ran when it wanted to………and when it didn’t want to, would leave you stranded.

Of course, we towed the car back and my son learned very quickly that the Chevelle was not going to provide instant gratification. If he wanted “Chevelle” gratification, then he would need to earn it and it wasn’t going to be easy and he suddenly became very scared of what he had taken on.

To his advantage he has a brother-in-law that is a master mechanic and body restoration expert. In other words, he had an expert mentor that he could call on when needed. The mentor was not going to do the work for him but would be there to guide him as he did the work.

Two years later, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, both the engine and transmission have been rebuilt and the body has been repaired and painted.

What a 69 Chevy Chevelle Can Teach You about Trading
1969 Chevy Chevelle

While this may have seemed like an easy task, it was probably one of the hardest challenges of my son’s career. He knew absolutely nothing about auto body restoration and very little about older engines. There were numerous times that he was scared, angry, disappointed, and frustrated.

I remember the multitude of phone calls and sometimes he just wanted to throw his hands up……….but he didn’t. He focused on the long-term goal. Instead of giving in to fear, he acknowledged it, and proceeded to tackle the next obstacle. When he needed to vent, he called me. When he needed help figuring out something, he called his mentor. But giving up was never an option for him.

What Restoring a ’69 Chevy Chevelle Can Teach You About Trading

My son’s restoration of his ’69 Chevy Chevelle can teach traders a lot about how difficult it is to learn about trading.

  • Don’t expect instant gratification. While some new traders may have “beginner’s luck” eventually it runs out. Expect to put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears if you are going to succeed in trading.
  • Understand there will be times where you are scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed. However, don’t dwell on these. Often I would tell my son to set a time limit on his feelings. For example, he could be angry for two days then he needed to get over it and move forward. If he was scared, then he needed to decide if he was going to let the fear control him or decide to face it. It was his choice to make.
  • Patience was a key ingredient for his success. First, he had to gain the knowledge, then he had to learn to apply it. He often stated that Richard, his mentor, makes it seem so easy. My response was for Richard it is. He has been doing this since he was very young. You are LEARNING. It will be easier for you after five, ten, or fifteen years.
  • It takes time to master anything new. Regardless of whether you are restoring a car or learning to trade, each day brings you closer to achieving your goal as long as you are moving forward and not dwelling on the mistakes you made or what you lost yesterday or last week.
  • Utilize your strengths. My son has always been eager to “figure” things out. I remember as a child I invested a small fortune in figurines that he had to put together. He loved to put them together and some were quite complex yet he could have them together in less than an hour. He was also very artistic — winning both district and state championships for his artwork — something that really helped him when he tackled the bodywork and formed the horizontal lines that went down the side of his car.
  • Know your weaknesses and design a plan for dealing with them. For example, my son was impatient and would sometimes allow his emotions to get the best of him. We put a time limit on those emotions. He was allowed to sulk, feel frustrated, or even depressed for 48 hours. Then he needed to box them up and move forward.
  • Have a mentor. Richard was an invaluable source for my son and my son utilized his experience and knowledge when he could not figure out the issues on his own or from youtube. And, when Richard explained a concept or technique to my son, then my son spent the time he needed to perfect the new concept or technique.