Featured Member of the Week: Ken

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My wife and I have been married for 21 years and we have 3 sons. She loves old cars almost as much as I do. I work as the Safety Director for a heavy construction company.

How did you first get interested in this hobby/passion?

My older brother was collecting 1950’s era Hudsons when I was a kid, and I developed a love and respect for old cars from him. My father didn’t believe in paying someone to do something we could do ourselves, but due to severe health problems he couldn’t do physical work anymore; so even as a child I was doing oil changes and tuneups on the family cars with him watching over. That progressed into more involved repairs and now I can do pretty much anything. My wife’s father is a mechanic, so I’ve continued to learn as much as possible from him. I built my dream shop a few years ago and filled it with all the toys I’ve dreamed about.

What Rides do you currently own?

My garage currently contains two 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1s – one is a very nice driver/show car, the other is in bad shape and needs a full restoration. I also have a 1977 Olds Cutlass Supreme Brougham (29,000 original miles), a 1988 Ford Mustang GT convertible (nice driver with some performance mods), and a 1990 Ford Mustang GT hatchback (future Cobra R clone).

What do you like most about your current rides?

What I like most about my rides is that they have allowed me to meet so many great people. The old car hobby has some of the best people in the world, and it’s a privilege to be among them. My wife and I used to move from state to state a lot, and the first thing we would do when we moved to a new state was join a local car club. There were so many people willing to help, and we’ve made lifelong friends who we consider to be part of our family now.

What is/are the fondest memories you have while owning your Cool Rides?

My dad bought the ’77 Cutlass for me when I turned 16 years old, and I’ve kept it all these years (26 years!). He gave it to me just a few months before he died. I washed it so often he said I was going to rub the paint off of it. My wife and I dated in high school in the car and went to the prom in it, and my oldest son also went to his prom in it. I raced the fastest guy in high school with it and won, but scared myself so bad that I never did it again.

The yellow ’69 Mach 1 has been driven on Charlotte (Lowe’s) Motor Speedway at 130 mph, was at Ford’s official unveiling of the 1994 Mustang, was at the US Postal Service unveiling of the Mustang postage stamp, was at the MCA’s 30th, 35th, and 40th Mustang Anniversary celebrations, and many other events.

What was the first car you ever owned?

The ’77 Cutlass in the photo is the first car I ever owned, and I still have it 26 years later. It was bought from the original owner in 1985 with 16,000 miles on it. It currently has 29,000 miles. Ten thousand of those miles were put on it the first year I owned it just cruising around.

What is/was the BEST car ever made?

I really can’t say what is the best car ever made. I like so many different makes and models, it’s impossible to choose. Any of the muscle cars from the late 60’s are my favorites.

What is/was the WORST car ever made?

There are a bunch of those also, but the ’85 Chevy S-10 Blazer with the 2.8L engine I bought in college is the worst vehicle I’ve ever owned. It was an absolute piece of junk, and it only had 40,000 miles on it. I’ve never seen a vehicle wear out as fast as it did.

How did you first hear about the Cool Rides Online website?

I’ve organized an annual Memorial Day car show in our town for several years and Gold Eagle has been very kind to donate door prizes and goody bag items for the show each year, so I learned of Cool Rides Online through the Gold Eagle website. I can always count on Gold Eagle for their support.

Is there anything else you’d like the Cool Rides Online members to know about you?

I have 3 sons who have grown up with car shows and old cars as part of their lifestyle and they have a passion for cars as a result. I have other family members who have also raised their children around the old car hobby, and some of my son’s friends like to go to car shows and cruise-ins with us. I would encourage everyone in the old car hobby to involve your friends, family, and anyone you know in whatever you like to do with old cars, whether it is restorations, shows, racing or whatever. The more we get others involved, the better chance we have of seeing this hobby last a few more generations.