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Ted Burleson



Rick Wittenborn & Ted Burleson

My love for cars and motorcycles started early in my life.  I was 8 years old when my dad got a car and we rode the bus until then.  I would name the cars off as they went by and at seven I could tell what years they were.


I got my first motorcycle when I was twelve from the money I made on my paper route and my first car at 14.

The car was a 47 Chevy Fleetline. With the help of a body man I shaved the hood and deck, frenched the head lights along with spot lights and split the manifold.


I sold the 47 in Oct of 1957 and with the money I made from working for my uncle on a dairy farm and  I bought a 1952 Ford Victoria and started working on it to have it the way I wanted it to be when I got my drivers license in July 58.   I shaved the hood and deck, removed door handles, frenched the headlights, installed 1952 Oldsmobile tail light lens and removed the bumper guards, and painted the car black lacquer with R & M paint and had it ready in July of 1958.  In July 1959 I traded the Ford for a 56 Chevy V8 stick two door sedan.  I painted it black and shaved the hood and deck. I installed skirts and 55 Dodge Lancer hub caps. I was a senior in high school then.

I worked at a grocery store for 26 hours a week in my junior and senior years to support my car habit. 

My wife and I dated all my senior year and got married the year after I graduated 

After high school I went to work for an  Auto Electric Parts Distributor in the parts department.  I was an  outside salesman at 20 years old. 


A customer, friend told me I should start rebuilding wrecked cars because I could do body work instead of spending all my money  on hot rods and customs so I started doing just that. I rebuilt many cars including 59 and 60 Corvette, a 63 split window and many others.


I also was riding Harley Davidson motorcycles. I had a 57 Sportster and a 60 CH that wasn't stock.


After working 6 years for the Auto Electric Co I decided to go into business for  myself. I was going into the Auto Parts business and the Harley Davidson dealership became available in my area so I applied for that dealership and to my surprise I got it. I was Harley Davidson's  youngest dealer at 24 years old. This was 1966. After opening my dealership I was drafted in the Army in Oct of that year. I had a friend run the dealership until I returned in 1968.  In 1980 I also got the Honda Franchise.


While being in the Motorcycle business I also built many cars and hotrods and customs. 

Karen and I sold the Dealership in 2000.

In the last 23 years I have built a 32 steel Ford Roadster full fendered,  49 Merc, 48 Ford, 52 Ford, 55 Chevy, 56 Chevy, 52 Chevy and many others.

Ted and his wife Karen are some of the nicest folks you can meet.  You need to come by the show and meet these folks.  Ted is full of car and motorcycle stories and always has a premium Custom Car with him at the show for you to check out as well.


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