From Rusted to Roadworthy 

Curtis Smith

Curtis Smith was no older than six when he accompanied his dad to pick up a 1951 Ford Coupe. If there’s such a thing as the classic car bug, then that’s when it bit him. He’s since owned over 100 cars and restored countless others from his garage at Smitty’s Classics. 

His current craft of taking classic cars from rusted to roadworthy started as a child in his grandpa’s garage. “Grandpa always had a car in the garage,” Curtis said. “I’d go out and tinker, handing him wrenches and sweeping stuff up.” This soon accelerated into more in-depth jobs, as Curtis spent his high school years tuning up old cars alongside his dad, Arland. 

“When I could drive, my dad gave me a 1970 Chevelle,” Curtis said. “I think that’s the one that really launched me into classics.” From there, Curtis’ garage became a revolving door for classic cars in need of a little love. “I was always finding something. I’d fix it up, sell it, and do it all over again.” And that wheel has never stopped turning. 

“I got married in ‘96, bought my first house in ‘98, and two weeks later, I rolled a 1961 Dodge Dart into the garage.” Though he poured his heart into each project, restoring cars remained a hobby until Curtis received a phone call from California. 

“In 2018 I got a call from a TV producer,” he explained. “He was looking for cool stories about classic cars.” And, of course, Curtis delivered. “At the time, my dad and I were partnering on a 1963 Thunderbird that was really an emotional escape for us while facing an illness in our family.” 

Three days of travel, 14 hours on set, and three hours of filming later, Curtis, his dad, and his car starred in season one, episode 15 of Sticker Shock. Though the show didn’t stand the test of time, it shined a nationwide spotlight on Curtis’ impressive skills and evident passion for restoring classic cars. The calls started coming, and Smitty’s Classics opened its doors that same year. 

The shop has since relocated from Kansas to Edmond where Curtis and his talented team work on classics that he qualifies as “anything over 25 years, technically.” But ultimately, Curtis thinks of classics as cars that were made pre-electronics and pre-computer – the ones that will run forever. 

Despite the overwhelming amount of cars Curtis has commanded, he doesn’t consider himself a collector but rather an enthusiast. “I’m going to drive these vehicles. I’m all about enjoying the miles and the smiles these beauties bring.” 

A polished and shining example is the 1949 Chevy Fleetline parked in Smitty’s showroom. “This is the car my dad proposed to my mother in,” Curtis said. “I got to take him for a ride in it two weeks before he passed away.” And following some final touches, he plans to take his mother out on a date in it. 

Curtis’ connection to classics is clear: “When I’m behind the wheel of a classic, it takes me back to a time when life was a lot slower. When people weren’t in the hurry they are now. When we were just able to enjoy life a little bit more.” 

If you see Curtis driving around Edmond in a completely restored classic, windows rolled down – manually, of course – and Edmond’s only AM station blasting, be sure to say hello. The passenger door is always open to the classics community. 

Learn more at or stop by the shop at 13065 S Kelly Avenue in Edmond. 

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