When Holly Troxel’s husband, Sgt. First Class Adam Troxel, returned from his previous tours with the Army, she did her best to always surprise him with something.
“I’m kind of known for having my husband some sort of surprise after he returns from deployment, whether it’s a new lawn mower that he wanted or a new watch,” she said.
However, the surprise that Adam Troxel received after his nine-month long tour in Kuwait this time cost a little more than a watch.
Holly Troxel decided to get help from Marietta’s Classic Glass Corvette Club to restore her husband’s 1980 red Corvette that he traded his Bronco for last January.
Their 15-year-old son, Cody, coaxed his dad into going to the dealership to show him a car he was interested in when he turns 16.
When the Troxel family arrived at the dealership, a large crowd in the showroom welcomed them with a round of applause not only because of the project, but also for Adam Troxel’s service to his country.
“Today is your day,” said outgoing president of the club, Larry Yon. “I want you to know that Classic Glass Corvette Club is honored and proud of what we’ve done for you. We are proud to have you as a member of our club and we are proud of your service.”
Adam Troxel joined the military in 1988, returned to active duty in 2006 after 11 years with the Acworth Police Department and has been deployed multiple times during his career to places such as South Korea, Iraq and Panama. He works with military intelligence, Holly Troxel said.
It took a while for Adam Troxel to recover from the shock because he thought his wife took the car to get the brakes fixed and an estimate on a paint job.
“Wow!” he said. “Thank you all so much. I am so humbled and so proud at the same time. I don’t even know if I can sit in it, it’s such a great work of art. It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen since I met my wife.”
Restoration began in the fall after Holly Troxel gave the club $6,000 from a bonus her husband had received for re-enlisting. The club worked to find out what she could afford to restore on the car.
“(Holly Troxel) was on a limited budget and since I was on the board, I was able to bring it to the board of directors for a great project for the Corvette club and giving back to someone who is fighting for our country,” said Scott Oliver, a member of the club who helped coordinate the restoration.
“(The car) was running but it couldn’t stop,” he said. “The brakes were horrible. You couldn’t open the drivers side door because the lock was punched out, door handles were broken and the interior looked like a pack of wolves were let loose in there.”
He said about 15 club members and 15 area vendors deserve all the credit for the incredible job they did on Adam Troxel’s Corvette. They volunteered their time and services to make his dream come true.
“It was awesome to get everybody in the Corvette community together,” Oliver said. “We had a lot of people who wanted to help who had never done this before. It kind of became like a high school shop class.”
Spending between $15,000 and $18,000 to restore the car, they gave it a new paint job, replaced the interior, and installed new brakes, brake lines and a master cylinder.
The only parts that were not restored were part of the engine, but the club found a vendor who was willing to pay for the parts.
“Adam wanted to restore that with his sons,” Oliver said.
Troxel said he traded his Bronco with someone on the base at Fort Gordon where he lives during the week.
“I saw it on the post and figured that if someone could drive it on the post, it would run,” Adam Troxel said. “The car was in really bad shape, but I could see the potential.”
It was his intention to take the next 10 years to restore the car on his own, possibly working on it with his children.
The couple have three children, Cody, 19-year-old Casey and 13-year-old Kyla.
“This is 10 years worth of work and investment for me and a project that would have taken me a long time to do but now I get to enjoy it,” he said. “This is far and above what I expected.”