Charles T. "Ted" Maedel, Jr.'s journey into the world of automotive excellence began on a humble farm near Toledo, Ohio. Born in 1925, young Ted's fascination with cars, particularly racecars, blossomed early. At just 16, with his father's assistance, he transformed a small building on their property into a speed shop. This establishment, strategically located on the highway to Toledo, soon garnered attention for Ted's exceptional skills in fabrication and his knack for sourcing elusive performance parts.
The War Years: Valor and Ingenuity
The outbreak of World War II saw Ted enlisting in the military, pausing his burgeoning business. Serving as a Waist Gunner on a B-17 Bomber in the famed 100th Bomb Group "The Bloody Hundredth," and later in Italy with the 483rd Bomb Group, Ted's automotive expertise became invaluable. His intimate knowledge of supercharger technology, crucial in both auto racing and aircraft engines of the era, enabled him to provide critical insights to his squadron. His contributions were instrumental in numerous harrowing missions, earning him multiple commendations, including the Purple Heart.
Post-War Prosperity: Maedel's Sales and Service
Returning from the war, Ted swiftly rejuvenated his shop, officially opening Maedel's Sales and Service in May 1945. By 1946, his inventory was exhaustive, featuring the finest performance parts in the U.S. A strategic relocation in 1947 to a prime storefront in Toledo, suggested by his friends at DeVilbiss, marked a new chapter. The original Speed Shop sign, a token of his journey, was prominently displayed at this new location.
Ted Maedel's craftsmanship and innovation soon attracted widespread acclaim. In 1951, Auto Trend Magazine spotlighted him and his iconic 1940 Ford convertible, a testament to his exceptional customizing skills. Unlike many speed shops of the time, Maedel's also specialized in authentic restorations, a rarity in the industry.
The Utah Years
Influenced by a ski trip to Utah in 1969, Ted relocated his business to the picturesque mountains near Park City in 1977. This move allowed him to indulge in his passion for skiing while continuing to expand his business. Maedel's offerings grew to include speed equipment, modifications, restoration, and select high-end collision repairs.
The Toledo Legacy: Maedel's Original Shop
The original location of Maedel's shop at 3520 Lagrange Street in Toledo stands as a historical landmark. Despite alterations over the years, it remains a testament to Ted Maedel's enduring legacy in the world of custom and classic cars.
Ted Maedel's Cars
Ted Maedel's 1940 Ford Convertible
Cars Built or restyled by Ted Maedel
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