During the regular season 49ers wide receiver Jason Hill spends six out of seven days of the week heavily focused on football. In the NFL, players only get one day off each week during the season for personal time, and that typically comes every Tuesday.
While most, including Hill, usually see some part of the 49ers practice facility that day getting treatment, meeting with coaches or watching film, they try to get some “Me” time in too.
This season, Hill spent several Tuesdays at Troy’s Body and Paint in Tracy, CA, where his passion for classic cars grew with each visit. Troy’s specialized in restoration, repair and customization of cars of all years, makes and models – giving Hill everything he needed to recreate a classic automobile of his own.
“When I was a kid I got a race car that was an old Mustang, and ever since then, whenever I saw them I remembered that. I always wanted one but never could afford it. Finally I have the opportunity so I got one.”
During the season Hill bought a 1967 Mustang convertible that needed a lot of work to restore back to its original condition. But through a recommendation from a friend, Hill headed over to Troy’s to get his clunker restored into a classic in just 21 days.
“That is a five-star shop, I was lucky to find them,” Hill said. “I went up there every Tuesday to see the work they were doing and they turned it around real quick. I felt like they were only working on my car they did it so fast. It was a great experience.”
Once the car was finished, Hill was in awe of his new Mustang.
“It came out great, second to none. I showed some guys on the team, like Delanie (Walker) and some of the classic car people, and they loved it. There are a lot of people who I see around who tell me how much they love it.”
But it wasn’t an easy job.
Hill’s car needed a full remodel, including new flooring and new parts of the body of the car along with exterior parts. It needed to be repainted, sanded and polished. It also needed a new interior kit for the car, new carpet, new seat covers and new door panels. Troy’s staff even took apart the dash, and replaced all the mechanisms around the gages. Around the exterior they replaced all the chrome exterior including door handles and headlamps and put the wheels and tires on the car as well.
Troy’s staff left no detail unnoticed.
“We’ve done promotional cars before but Jason was the first football player we’ve ever done,” said shop owner Troy Gaskins. “We are huge 49ers fans but this was more of an emotional experience for us.
“When we met Jason, he’s such a humble person. The guys all got a chance to talk to him and I think just the experience of meeting him and being such big 49ers fans. He came all the way out into Tracy, especially for a guy who doesn’t have a lot of experience in restoring an old car; it really meant a lot that he chose us.
The opportunity for Gaskins and his employees was one they relished.
“The car was in pretty rough shape, normally it would take us a couple months but it was a challenge and something that was presented to us. We had a shop meeting and we decided this is something we wanted to do.”
Hill plans to keep his main focus on football but one day he may be the owner of many restored classic cars.
“Maybe one day I’ll own more. I wanted to see how this first one went, but it went well, so wouldn’t rule it out.”
This off-season, Hill plans to spend a lot of time with his Mustang and might even be found trying to learn a thing or two, if Troy has any influence.
“We’d love to have Jason, or anyone for that matter who is passionate about classic cars, come into our shop and learn more about it.”
Hill would like to thank Troy’s Body and Paint and their employees for their hard work and dedication to the project: Owner- Troy Gaskins, GM- Chris Jones, Front Office Assistant- Shannon Jones, Head Painter- Dario Hernandez, Preper- Robert Gonzales, Preper- Andrew Alexander, Bodyman/Fabricator- Steve Ambrose, Bodyman/Fabricator- Chris Fink, Detailer- Doug Beardsley.
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