Boys and their Toys

2014 Top Business Stories
January 2, 2015
TGMC moves Ladies Night Out fundraiser to September 2015
January 2, 2015
2014 Top Business Stories
January 2, 2015
TGMC moves Ladies Night Out fundraiser to September 2015
January 2, 2015

Children tend to grow out of toys or certain hobbies once they reach a certain age. 

For Cut Off resident Gerald Breaux, his toy collection only heightened with age. 

Breaux always felt gravitation toward cars. He remembers playing on the floor with toy cars when he was a child, which turned into an obsession.

He began collecting toy car models during his teenage years, which now cover the walls of his barbershop in Cut Off. Now he has worked up quite a collection of cars that are not so small. 

“They say the only difference between a man and a boy is the price of the toys,” Breaux said. “Everyone likes to do certain things. I am not a hunter, fisher or golf player. When I was a kid, I always had [car] models.”

In his adult years, Breaux has upgraded from toy cars to cars that he can drive. 

The 66-year-old bought his replica 1929 Mercedes in 1998 for $2,500 after bugging the original owner to concede to selling. The replica was originally built 1979 with a Chevette motor.

Once Breaux had enough money to spend, it was time to play hardball. 

“I chased it around and kept looking at the car,” Breaux said. “I never could afford it. When I was able to, I started bugging the guy to sell it to me because it was sitting in his garage and the kids were drawing all over it with marks-a-lot.”

Breaux immediately began working on his new vehicle by redoing the body kit, flooring and seats. 

“I took it here and started playing with it. That is the heart of it, is playing with it. 

You like it better when you do it yourself,” Breaux said. “You can say I did that. It was already built so it took me about a year to finish it.”

Ten years later, Breaux bought his second vehicle for $10,000. He found a 1968 Chevelle being used as a racecar with the front end lowered and a roll bar on the inside. 

“I wanted to buy another one. I didn’t find the exact one I wanted, but this one came up for sale,” he said. “Most of the time you have to go to the Internet or an auction.”

Breaux wanted to create a more classic feel with a few tweaks to his new purchase so he started stripping down the racer. 

“I took all that out and brought it back to what it should look like,” Breaux said. “It has a different seat and a different motor. I made the seats more narrow, and I put a small block engine in it.”

Breaux took his car to the track just to see how much muscle it has. He found out quickly that it can reach up to 99 miles per hour and clocks in at 14.2 in the quarter mile. 

“Getting on a light and then taking off and burning rubber, I get that feeling of the smoke and your foot is shaking. There is nothing like it,” Breaux said. 

Breaux takes his cars to shows or “cruise nights” to show off his work and also see other car enthusiasts’ work. 

“We have clubs here that have cruise nights. People will drive their cars from one place to another. They will park and sit by their cars and play music. People will shoot the bull and talk to other guys about their cars. That is what it is all about,” he said. “It is a family getting together knowing that everybody likes cars. What is fun about it is that every car you see is different. One car may be decked out one way, and another car may be decked out another way. That is what is fun about it.”

Breaux said the best part about having the cars is closing the generational gap and receiving compliments from younger people, even small children. 

“I pull up at Walmart or something, and a young boy or girl with tell me that the car is cool. It is cool to have a young person looking up to you,” Breaux said. “A lot of people will make comments because maybe their parents had that car.”

Cut Off native Gerald Breaux loves his cars and has come a long way from toy models as he sits in his 1929 Mercedes replica that he purchased in 1998. Breaux is among vintage car collectors looking forward to the Antique Automotive Club of America (AACA) Fall Meet, which will be held Nov. 5-7, 2015, at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.