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Three Spears Business professors show off their classic cars in front of the Business Building at Oklahoma State University.

Old school: Restoring classic rides is a passion for Spears faculty

Friday, June 21, 2024

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

Our faculty are all business when it comes to teaching and research, but after hours, a trio of Spears School of Business professors have headed for the garage and revived some classic rides.

Check out the cool cars of Spears Business, and hear straight from the professors what makes each of these vehicles so special.

Dr. Brad Lawson
Lawson is an associate professor in the OSU School of Accounting, and his passion for classic cars is in his blood. His uncle and grandfather owned a shop in Arkansas for decades, and there the family painstakingly restored these automobiles. They found the 1936 Nash Lafayette abandoned in a field and brought it back to life with a shiny orange paint job prior to Lawson joining the Cowboy family in 2012.
The 1939 Chevy Master Deluxe belonged to Lawson’s great-grandfather. Rumor has it, the vehicle’s suicide doors opened wide to help Lawson’s great-grandpa fit as much moonshine as possible. Don’t let its looks fool you; this Chevy can really get up and go, which helped his great-grandfather avoid the law, Lawson says.
The white 1969 Mercury Montego was Lawson’s ride in high school. Today, he enjoys cruising the streets of Stillwater with it, and taking all of his vehicles to car shows.
Steven West
Hospitality and Tourism Management assistant professor of professional practice Steven West never intended to turn his love of Land Cruisers into a classic car collection, but it happened organically and even despite a lengthy career in the hospitality industry in Australia and Europe. For West, nothing can match the rugged looks and toughness of these 2-ton behemoths, which still serve as work trucks for him.
The red 1978 Land Cruiser was his first, acquiring it in Colorado nearly 40 years ago. You may notice that the steering wheel is on the right side of the tan 1983 Land Cruiser. That’s because West bought it during his time in Australia and loved it so much that he had to bring it back.
West also has a 1981 Land Cruiser at home, and he even converted a Land Cruiser into a limousine when he lived Down Under.
Sarah Johnson
Johnson and her husband, Adam, always had their eyes peeled for a classic car they could restore. One day, while driving down south Main Street in Stillwater, they spotted this 1982 Jeep Wagoneer Limited rusting away behind a local mechanic’s shop.
Sarah and Adam fell in love with the car at first sight, and the mechanic made them a deal too good to pass up. The vehicle needed a lot of TLC, but they instantly had a vision of what it could be. They named it “Redwood” after the massive trees in California, and now it serves as Johnson’s day-to-day transportation.
The Wagoneer is full of personal touches. Her favorite is the Southwest-themed headliner, which also adorns the backs of the sun visors.

Copy by: Stephen Howard | Engage@Spears magazine
Photos by: Adam Luther

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