It Happened in Crawford County: Businessman Ron Hurst and some of his unusual projects

Ron Hurst is pictured with the unique tin man he built from used paint cans. He didn’t see the need to paint it as tin speaks for itself.
Ron Hurst is pictured with the unique tin man he built from used paint cans. He didn’t see the need to paint it as tin speaks for itself.

Ron Hurst is a son of Preston Eugene and Verna Lee Jones Hurst. He has a brother, Bob. A sister Elaine passed away at 20 years. Ron was raised in Green Township near Ironton on the Ohio River. He went to their schools for 10 years and was in 4-H and the high school band.

When work got bad there, his dad packed up the family and settled west of Bucyrus in Nevada. Ron’s dad passed in 1952 and his mom married Whitey Angel. She opened the bridal shop in Bucyrus called Special Moments.

Ron graduated from Wynford and then married Cheryl Cress, daughter of Naomi and Eugene Cress, both deceased. Ron and Cheryl then purchased the 5-acre old home place west of Bucyrus — a little hobby farm. Ron worked at Swan Rubber for 30 years. He started out driving a tow motor and, by the time he retired, he was managing half of the industrial side. The people Ron worked for when he was younger ended up working for him.

For the next nine years, Ron helped his brother, Bob, put a body shop together called Hurst Custom Paint on the Spore Brandywine Road. Then, in 2009, ABC Auto Body came up for sale and Ron bought it and named it Hurst Auto Body, located at 3617 Ohio 4 just north of Bucyrus. It houses five businesses, and he usually employees nine to 10 people.

Ron also purchased Kelley’s Paint Store — one of the five businesses located in his body shop. He also owns Hurst Rental cars. In 2017-18, Ron added another business — a buy-and-sell gun shop. He was required to obtain a federal license since you can’t have a gun in a shop overnight without one.

Creativity leads to hydro dip for guns, designs on caskets

Ron is very creative person and the paint business led to hydro dip for guns. There is plenty of prep work for a large item since it needs to be taken apart before dipping. To get the desired design, they paint the item with a white base coat. Next, they chose from 500 patterns and cut the film to size.

The item is dipped into water in a big tank with a little wait prior to dipping, and then automotive clear coat to finish. Ron says the only thing that will stop you is your imagination; it can go a long way for many designs.

Along with regular projects, Ron has designed some unbelievable items, including three caskets. One was painted green with the John Deere Tractor logo. Another was a casket painted with the Cleveland Browns' orange and brown colors with the deceased’s football number. And then, for a gal who loved purple, she got her wish, too.

Ron has also painted many of the guns, a golf cart and a big animal on the hood of a car that hangs in Ron’s shop. The list grows, including mailboxes, burial urns and, to most people’s surprise, they have painted many toilet seats. One was painted with $100 bills, pink camo for girls, helmets like construction workers and car wheels to name a few.

Newest toy is a 1932 Ford coupe

Ron and his son, Doug, just purchased a 1932 Ford, five-window coupe with a big block motor. It’s a fun, little street rod; it’s like a toy. It’s special because Ron gets to work with his son, which they do a lot anyway. The "boys" took the car to the recent downtown car show. Doug has a 1969 GTO that he’s had for 37 years since he was a junior in high school.

Ron has a ‘55 Chevy pickup they are restoring, and a ‘67 Pontiac Tempest that’s got a big block Pontiac motor with three carburetors sitting on top. Ron’s brother Bob has also restored old cars all his life.

Ron loves to make a little happiness in this world, and he is good at finding something, or someone, to share it with. He is a big supporter of the Crawford County Antique Tractor Club and their projects. He’s purchased several of its flag quilts and he says “it just takes the high bid and some money, sometimes plenty of it.”

One quilt pictured an Allis Chalmer’s tractor. He made sure he was the high bidder, and then he gave it to one of the guys at Waycraft that loved Allis Chalmer’s tractors. That was plenty of happiness that night. He also likes to support nursing home projects and, during COVID, he donated food and fun so residents could enjoy a hallway party. It’s just a short list of things Ron does to cheer the folks along their way.

Ron and Cheryl, who passed away in 2007, shared two sons: Doug, a line superintendent for the city of Shelby and Randy Hurst, who passed away when he was 20. Ron also has three grandchildren.

In closing, Ron says "it’s been a fun ride!"

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This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: It Happened in Crawford County: Life has been a fun ride for Ron Hurst