During a hot June day, West Monroe head football coach, Jerry Arledge exits his vehicle and says, “It’s not cool, it’s hot.”

We all know Coach Arledge as the legendary leader for a Rebels defense that has sent many players to college and beyond.

But, what about Jerry Arledge, the ‘car coach’?

“It’s a hobby for me, ” says Arledge. “I used to like to hunt and fish. I do very little of that anymore. But, I do like getting out there in the shop, in my garage, and workign on that old pick up [truck].”

The truck Coach Arledge speaks of? His 1940 Ford, proudly driven around West Monroe High School.

“Probably bought it five or six years ago, ” says Arledge. “Found it online. It was after a Madison Central football game in Mississippi. I was already halfway there. [I] drove it the rest of the way, and hauled it back.”

To date, the Oil City, Louisiana native continues to fine tune the over 80-year old vehicle.

“I unbolted everything, ” Arledge continues. “It completely bolts together. I started over from scratch. [I] had the frame sand blasted, and power coated. And, then I started spending money on it. Used parts. But, you can find almost anything for those old vehicles that you need to find.

In the over five decades Arledge has put new life into cars, this is his longest project.

“You’re always doing something, ” says Arledge. “I went back original. Even the drum breaks, and eventually I realized I needed disk breaks on the front. My transmission, three on the floor, it catered on me. So, I put a five-speed [engine], out of a S10 [Chevrolet] pick up in it. Which meant, I had to change the rear springs, the driveshaft, and all of that. But, I was able to pretty much keep the same Ford linkage in it.”

Jerry Arledge has restored cars since he was six years old. Now, at nearly 80, he’s revved up and ready for many miles ahead.

“All my life, I have liked to work, ” says Arledge. “I know it sounds crazy. But, I can’t lie on that couch much. As long as that sun is shining, I’m usually working.”