Although he was a “car nut” as a child, John Hrehoruk took time out from automobiles when his own children were born. But as he and his wife Roxanne saw their sons Johnathan and Brennan grow and gain their independence, John fuelled his automotive passion with a 1975 Chevrolet Laguna Type S-3 and membership in Motor City.
“I’d always loved cars and always played with them ever since I was young,” he says. “I took automotive in high school and had all intentions of being a mechanic. When I graduated from high school I won an automotive award for marks and participation. But then I saw some of my friends, who were a few years older and apprentice mechanics and they were coming home buried in grease making minimum wage, so I thought I didn’t want to be a mechanic!”
Instead, at the age of 18 he worked first at Houdaille Industries making car bumpers and then at General Motors. After deciding it wasn’t for him, he went back to college, got his diploma in electronics, and started with IBM building printers. He moved up into new product development and then into education, teaching courses and travelling the U.S. and Europe for training. He now works as an operations engineering services analyst for an OEM electronics company.
“I still had a real interest in cars all along,” he says. “My first car was a 1964 Pontiac which I acquired from my Dad when he bought a new one in 1975. It was rusty and needed the engine rebuilt, so I did a body job, tore out the engine and rebuilt it, doing it all myself.
“I had old beaters that I fixed up and drove, and had buddies that
were mostly into muscle cars. I bought the Laguna in 1979.” It
belonged to a friend’s sister and he’d seen the car since it was new.
“I used to bug her all the time to sell it to me, and in 1979 she
was going to buy a new Oldsmobile and she asked if I was still
interested. I’m the second owner.”
Due to his young family, the car was taken off the road and stored
for twelve years. In 2001, it was time to take it out and bring it back to
He knew a few of the Motor City members, including Zoli Prokop,
whom he’d known since they were both teenagers, and he’d attended
Autofest several times. “I had talked with my wife for several years
that I’d like to be more involved doing stuff with cars. I was going to the little meets in Ajax, and I just felt that it was a point in my life where I wanted to be part of something,” he says. “I ran into Mike Kalynko in 2004 and asked if they were taking on new members. He invited me to come to meetings, and I learned about the community involvement, as well as the shows they put on.” He became a probationary member in 2004, the same year as the club’s 45th anniversary, and finally achieved full membership status.
Along with four wheels, he’s also a fan of two, and owns a 2002 Honda 919 motorcycle. In his spare time he also builds his own computers and assists the club on technical matters when it’s time to get involved online.
He has also been hands-on at Autofest, taking car of the Pot-Rod Run for two years, the Poker Run, looking after the GM parking lot and helping with the soapbox derby.
“I’ve learned the ins and outs of the club, and I really appreciate when I see Gary Challice and the guys do in terms of putting on shows,” he says. “I stand back and listen and try to learn. I assume that one day I’ll be in a position with some of the younger members that we can carry on the tradition and keep the club on the forefront in terms of events and keeping the name. There’s a dream that this club could go on for generations to come and I would hope that I can contribute towards that and make that happen.”