Carroll O'Connor began a car restoration business in memory of his son
O'Connor and his son, Hugh, shared an interest in classic cars.
It's always interesting to hear what an actor's hobbies are. Most of the time, fans will get so distracted by an actor's renown, that they fail to understand that fame isn't as much of the gift we expect it to be. Plenty of actors have regular values and interests, just like the rest of us. Knowing that Harrison Ford loves aviation or Tom Hanks collects typewriters adds an extra layer to their personality. Moreover, it reminds us that acting, like anything else, is just a job, and celebrities can have interests that add value to their lives.
For Carroll O'Connor, classic car restoration was the added value in his daily life that he had been seeking. According to an article in the St. Lucie News Tribune, O'Connor owned a car restoration business called "Carroll O'Connor's Classics." Cars were an interest that O'Connor shared with his son Hugh, who passed away before O'Connor began the business.
But even though Hugh wasn't there physically, O'Connor was thinking of him constantly, and the hobby became a gateway to connect with the memory of his son. O'Connor said, "My son and I were always interested in classic cars, and we were going to do this somewhere before he died two years ago."
O'Connor was able to turn his grief into action, and said, "I said,' I think Hugh would like me to go on with this thing.'"
While O'Connor admitted that his son was more knowledgeable than he was about cars, he still wanted to continue working on car restorations by himself, if not with his son, then for his son.
He stated, "I don't know as much about this as my son, but I think he'd like me to do it and he'd get a big kick out of this place."