The Belton Journal
In life, you kind of ride the waves. It takes turns, and twists and some of them lead to some wonderful experiences.
For Troy Tubbs, owner of Tubbs Paint & Body, one of these turns ended up being one of the most rewarding experiences you can have – bringing joy into other people’s lives.
He restores residents’ tricycles, dirt bikes, vending machines, pedal cars, old refrigerators, signs, ice boxes, old bicycles, and just about anything old made of metal.
It is much deeper than that. He restores memories of life through metal. In speaking with Troy, his eyes lit up talking about restoration.
“I never dreamed it would be like this when I started doing (restoration). It was a hobby I had, and started with a mini bike I once had. I found one like it, and restored it. Then I went on to restore gas pumps. After a while people started bringing me stuff to restore,” said Tubbs.
The work he does is top-notch body shop work. The paint shines and the restored pieces look better than brand new.
There is a restored jukebox in Tubbs’ office that brings back memories and looks like it did 60 years or so ago.
“Most of the work I take apart at home and take pictures as I take it apart. Bolts go into labeled bags and I use a Sharpie to label them. I have done anything from Tonka trucks to barber chairs. Toys, when folks are young, tend to be a big thing. I event did a wheelbarrow once.
“One of my better projects was restoring two old steel golf cards. That project was awesome and a lot of fun,” said Tubbs. “When I retire this will give me something to do. This is something that I could do that is cool.”
Remember those old riding horses at the grocery store you could ride for a dime? Well, those born way before cell phones might remember bugging mom for a dime. He restored a boat like that.
“I find most of the old decals that go with these projects online. I have restored a multitude of stingray bicycles. I did a Dr Pepper machine once I was proud of it. It ended up in an office.
“They come to me with their toys and stuff. When they get it back, their response means the world to me,” Tubbs said. “It is not the money that I do this for. It is the joy of bringing something back to life for someone else. Many times, they bring me something to restore as a gift for a loved one. I get to see all this. It is awesome, it thrills them to no end. I get to be a part of that.”
BELTON JOURNAL/DAVID TUMA
Troy Tubbs, owner of Tubbs Paint & Body, stands beside a Mobil gas pump he restored. Tubbs finds joy in restoring old metal things, bringing them back to what many remember from childhood.
BELTON JOURNAL/DAVID TUMA
Above Left: A metal tractor is just one of the many items that Troy Tubbs, owner of Tubbs Paint & Body, has restored. Above Right: A lighted green and white metal arrow looks good as new after being restored.