Dream becomes reality

Published 4:03 pm Friday, July 1, 2011

Eric and Kathy Joiner proudly display their classic cars inside their new showroom in Chelsea. The new business is a dream come true for Eric. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Eric Joiner has found his dream right here in Chelsea.

A car lover since he was a little boy, he could name every car on the road when he was 5 years old. When he was 11, he began working every summer with his dad in his transmission business. He was 15 when he helped his dad restore his first car, a 1939 LaSalle.

“He got his first Corvette in 1979 (at the age of 21), and by the time he was 30 years old, he had owned over 5,000 Corvettes,” his wife Kathy laughed.

All the while, Eric was dreaming of owning his on automobile shop and showroom. That dream recently came true when he opened Eric Joiner Classics at the corner of Highways 39/47 and the railroad crossing in Chelsea.

Before moving to Chelsea, the Joiners had a small lot on Valleydale Road and a warehouse on U.S. 280. They sell on eBay and have shipped cars all over the U.S. and Canada. Now, they also have a showroom, office, mechanics’ shop and pleasant waiting area where people can come in and see the cars in person.

“God put it all together for us,” Kathy said, excitement evident in her voice.

She said their life is like the reality T.V. show, Chasing Classic Cars.

“We’ve spent many a Saturday and Sunday driving and looking for old cars. We’ve found them in barns, in fields with trees growing through them, under sheds and sitting locked in a garage for 30 years untouched,” she said. “We’ll see an old car sitting out someplace, and Eric will go knock on a door and say, ‘Is that car for sale?’”

They buy, sell and consign classic and late-model cars, do classic car appraisals and provide auction representation for clients. Eric has represented buyers at both Barrett-Jackson and Mecum Auctions. He has also worked for several large auto sales companies.

The Joiners have four children and one grandchild.

Eric Joiner Classics can be reached at 678-6001 and on Facebook, where you can view some of their cars. Watch for their new website at Ericjoinerclassics.com.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.