John was known for building cars from scrap heaps out of his one car garage on Paulison Avenue in Clifton, but he grew up in the mountains, in the small town of Belsena, Pennsylvania. While growing up he knew that he didn't want to be a farmer or a coal miner, and because of that he became kind of a hell-raiser. He purchased his first car, a 1940 Chevrolet Special Deluxe, at age 14. Unfortunately he rolled it over shortly afterwards. John was approved to graduate from high school early, with an advice from the local constable to join the US Army at age 17 1/2. He served from 1956 to 1965, spending most of his time stationed in Smiley Barracks in Karlsruhe, West Germany. While serving in Germany, John had several cars such as a 1957 Ford 2 door, a 1957 Oldsmobile 88 2 door and a 1957 VW beetle with hand pinstriped flames and beer can exhaust tips. John met his future wife in Germany. They got married, and had a son. John blew the engine in his 1957 Oldsmobile while speeding down the autobahn getting to the hospital to be there for the birth of his first son Michael. Later on, back in the US, John bought another 1957 Oldsmobile that he built into looking like the one he drove around Karlsruhe in.
John was a self taught mechanic, welder, body man and painter, and his son Michael would estimate that his father restored and drove well over 150 cars. In 1983 John and his son Michael built a 1941 Ford into a one of a kind street rod. The Ford had a past on the strip as a gasser. Around 1985 John bought John Sak's Third 1941 Ford convertible, an old Syracuse, New York custom named "Barbie". According to his son Michael, John had a relentless passion for cars, and his knowledge around 1940s and 1950s cars was amazing. Before parts were being reproduced, John would be seen at all local swap meets. Carlisle and Hersey were his favorites, and he could spot parts to restore for his latest and future projects from aisles away. He would move on to the next build sometime just starting with a grille shell he scored for a great price. He would also always be there to help anyone with a problem with their classic cars, even in his Sunday best clothes.
John liked fat fendered 1940 Fords, and for his son Michael he saved a 1940 Ford 2 door sedan for 15 years before he built it into a daily driven high school and college street rod. Later on John built two more 1940 Ford coupes that he gave to two of his grandsons. The third grandson got a 1932 Ford roadster. The roadster was John's last project before he passed away in 2011, and the grandson was 4 years old when he got it.
John Zedack's Cars
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