Starting offIn 1959, when Bill was 11, his father, John Heidemann, bought his first antique car, a 1926 Studebaker. As a rookie member of the Fox Valley Chapter of AACA (Antique Auto Club of America) in Illinois, his father put in an opening bid of $20 for some crates of old speedometers at a club auction and ended up taking home over 400 speedometers, mostly new and old stock.
First BusinessIn 1962, John set up Bill, at the age of 14, as president of the speedometer shop, and started advertising in Hemmings. Speedometers were sold for around $8 and repaired for around $4. Remember, they were bought for only a nickel each! As time went on, John specialized in 1902-1931 speedometers, while Bill specialized in 1931 and up.
ExpertiseThe father and son team worked until 1999. During the final conversation before he died, John asked Bill to finish up a speedometer project that was spread out on his workbench. Bill retrieved all of his father’s tools, brought them back to Ohio, and finished the job and soon began taking on a broader spectrum of speedometer work.
FocusAfter several years of apprenticeship with Bill, Patrick Mescher became owner/operator of Bill’s Speedometer Shop in 2017 upon Bill’s retirement. With ongoing input from Bill, Pat continues the tradition of high-quality repair. Our focus remains to help owners maintain their speedometers for American cars from 1924-1984. Please be our speedometer friends!