Villages Resident’s Passion For Cars Inspires Metal Artwork

Mitch Hadfield, of the Village of Pine Ridge, works on a metal sign in his garage.

When Mitch Hadfield and his wife, Diane, moved to the Village of Pine Ridge three years ago, Mitch brought along his tools and set aside space for a workshop in the extra large garage.
He just didn’t know what he wanted to work on.
Six months later, the workshop was complete. Art was on the wall, and every piece of furniture was in place. Mitch had an idea while tinkering around in the garage one day. Maybe he could create something to celebrate their beloved 50th anniversary Mustang — something that could hang in the garage.
When Mitch started to tinker with his tools, some metal and a few other scraps of this and that, an image started to float around in his head. Eventually, a few tries and misses turned into a three-dimensional piece of car art.
For two weeks, Mitch diligently worked up to six hours a day. Trusting the opinion of his spouse of nearly 38 years, he presented the finished project to Diane.
“I was impressed,” Diane said of her husband’s newfound hobby.
Not long after this perfectionistic Mustang fan proudly hung his creation on the garage wall, a buddy — a Corvette fan — bragged on it so much that Mitch made one for him.
Using his drill press, Mitch hand cuts all the letters from sheet metal then cleans up any jagged edges.
“Making the letters alone takes about four hours,” he said. “I wanted to do everything by hand.”
Because he only uses wheel covers that match the car he features, Mitch has made a few trips to area salvage yards. But he scores a lot more often online. “Every sign is made from different kinds of metal,” he said.
For all of his adult life in Rochester, New York, Mitch could be found in his home garage, greasy, sweaty and smiling. Through the years, he’s restored 14 Mustangs. While he enjoys playing golf, he’s glad he found a way to use some of his down time working with his hands that is related to his love for muscle cars, classics cars — just cars.
“Cars have been my passion since I was a kid,” he said.
Staff writer Sherri Coner can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5400, or sherri.coner@thevillagesmedia.com.