Father-daughter duo bring past to life

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rae Perry
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
For Master Sgt. Marty Stanton, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle management superintendent, and his daughter, Alicia, restoring pieces of the past is something they both enjoy.

Stanton's love for working on cars was established while he was in high school. Unable to afford the equipment for welding class, he settled on body shop. From there, shaping and bending metal to fix cars became a passion.

"I really liked fixing something, so no one could tell what was done," said Stanton. "It's like bringing a car or truck back to life. I just can't get enough."

When Alicia was three years old she became curious about what her dad was doing in the garage. So she put on her mother's black boots to check it out.

"She said, 'Daddy, I wanna help you today.' I mean, what can you say?" Stanton said with a chuckle. "It sounded like a great idea."

During their first project together, Stanton taught Alicia how to remove the chrome rings on his 1967 Stingray Corvette.

"I went over grabbed a small pry spoon and showed her how to take the hub caps and beauty rings off of my Corvette," said Stanton. "She took the pry bar, put it under the ring and
pushed on it. The beauty ring came off, rolled around on the floor, she started jumping up and down, waving the pry bar around, just celebrating."

From there, Alicia has helped her dad with the family business.

"My favorite part is hanging out with my dad and working on cars," Alicia said. "It's kind of like a family thing."

Even though she is only 12, she already has her first car, which she and her father plan on restoring for her 16th birthday.

"I was excited about getting the Celica," Alicia said. "I just wondered if I was too young, but my dad's thinking was that it would take a couple years to get it fixed up."

The 1977 Toyota Celica GT fastback, five-speed with a 2.2 liter motor, is heavily styled off older Ford Mustangs. Many Japanese car clubs have given the car the nickname Tokyo Pony.

"Since Alicia is part Japanese, and it's a Japanese muscle car, I figured that was a perfect fit," Stanton said. "I'm not going to give my beautiful, young, 16-year-old daughter a Mustang to drive around town in, but it looks just like a Mustang, except it's cooler because it is Japanese."

"I'm looking forward to doing the paint job," Alicia said. "It's going to be Dodge Viper blue with white racing stripes."

Even though the car has a standard transmission, Alicia is not afraid of learning how to drive it.

"My mom is actually really good at driving stick shifts, so I'm going to learn from both my mom and dad," said Alicia.

Although the car is far from being able to be driven on the road, the father-daughter duo looks forward to fixing it up.

"I'm just really happy that my daughter and I are going to get to restore her Celica together," Stanton added.

Stanton plans on fixing cars, not only for the Air Force, but until he can no longer do it.

"I cannot get enough of it," Stanton said. "I'll probably be doing this until I'm in a wheel chair, then I'll get Alicia or one of her sisters to push me around. I'll just keep sanding or doing stuff with my hands, until I can't anymore."