This week week we are featuring one our members Ron Dunn. Ron has acquired an interesting collection of cars over the years and he shared with us a little about himself and about his collection. I must say this is quite a collection.
I am a 62 year old car nut that lives in the desert oil fields of West Texas. I got my driver’s license at age 13 because I had already fallen in love with the automobile and could not wait to drive. At 9 years old on my paper route I saw a 1949 MG and went WOW what a car! I went past that car every day until it left our small town because I was so taken with the running boards and the way the head lamps were done…so different from the other cars in 1960. I go to car shows often and actually run two shows in our community here in Midland, TX. For the past 9 years I have hosted a cars show on July 4th here at the Country Club where I work, it is on grass and is just for fun. The other show I do is for a fund raiser in April and is done in conjunction with big name entertainers, last year we had Little Big Town. I love cars and I love to drive cars!
I was on Facebook one day and noticed that a friend of mine that I had met in Kentucky and who I had worked with to start a Cougar Club was visiting a site called Cool Rides Online. So I went online to see what it was all about. The guy was Jeff and it was the first time that I was able to renew our connection since I had moved from Kentucky in 2000. So not only did I find a great car guy site but also a friend from days gone by. Jeff helped me rebuild my first carburetor and also helped putting in a new transmission and drive shaft in my 1970 XR7 Convertible that my grandson now owns.
I currently own several cars and each is a favorite in its own way. I have a 1995 Yellow Corvette Convertible LT1. It is a 4th generation Corvette and is my favorite after the 1960s. When I was a young teen ager I always wanted a Vette and when I saw this yellow convertible with a black top, I fell in love. It has less than 24,000 miles on it but, I still drive her. I also have a 1994 Pontiac Trans AM 24th anniversary White on White which is also all original. I love the white leather and the blue stripes and tee tops that make it so fun to cruise in. When the Mercury Monarch first came out in 1975 I thought it was a cool car but was still in college and could not afford a new car. I now have a 1978 Mercury Monarch with less than 5000 original miles on it. She is black with Maroon leather, my wife named her Belle. She is a straight 6 with an automatic on the column with a bench seat and the speedometer only goes to 80. A couple of years ago I was at a Barrett-Jackson walking thru looking at the cars on display that would cross the auction block the next day and this black and white car swings by in front of me with such a cool sound and I went uh…if only I could ever afford a car like that. It was a 1939 Jaguar SS 100 black and white convertible…it reminded me so much of the 1949 MG from years ago…and my wife said…I see that look but you can forget that. The great news is that the car came across the block early in the morning in Vegas before the big boys got up…and I bid on her…and won. It was one of the most exciting buys of my life. I could not wait to see her and drive her. It is one of my favorites and I know that I will never part with her. She is also a favorite of the local schools for parades and for senior pictures. I also make her available for new Brides who want to arrive at the church in style. I am so proud to share her. But I have to say that she is my second favorite.
My favorite is my “Competition Gold” orange 1970 Cougar Eliminator. My very first new car that I bought myself was a 1970 Blue Eliminator, the Gentlemen’s Muscle Car, with white leather interior and a 351 Cleveland under the hood and a 3 speed manual on the floor. It was a very rare car. I was in the Navy and my girlfriend sent me a picture of her on the hood of my car. The message on the front said, “from the one you love” and on the back it said, “don’t worry I did not dent her”. Well that girlfriend is now my wife of 43 years. When we got married we eloped, I had to catch my ship the next day in San Diego and my mother sold my car. I searched for years …then I found my current Eliminator. I love the lines, the bright colors that showed off the eliminators and I loved the raw muscle. I love to cruise in it, I love to show it and that car makes me feel forever young. I helped start a cougar club in Kentucky and have belonged to two other Cougar Clubs and the National Cougar Club of America. I have owned other cougars and both of my grandsons inherited a cougar from me both of them 1970s one Yellow hard top for my oldest grandson and a blue Convertible for my youngest grandson. Both of those cars also had a 351 Cleveland in them. Besides being a car nut I am a true Cougar Nut.
My plans for the Eliminator are just to keep her maintained, drive her as often as I can, and leave her to a good home after I am gone. When I did my Fund Raiser, Big Boys Toys, this year one of the band members tried to get me to sell him my Eliminator and like my wife of 43 years, she is not available for sale or trade. They just don’t make them like her anymore. By the way, my daily driver is a Dodge Challenger, hemi.
I have done my very best to make sure that my Eliminator is authentic as possible. I was having major problems with my carburetor and could not get it adjusted right. Guys would tell me it was because of altitude variances, one guy said it needed to be driven more, one guy said it needed spacers…I tried almost everything and could not get it running right…sometimes it would not run at all…so I resorted to the 19 year old in me…what would I have done back then…so I bought a new old stock Holly Carb and she runs like a dream!
My favorite memory of my Eliminator is the feel and the smell of burning rubber and smoke coming off my tires. That feeling is something special, even more fun that winning a street race against a “plum crazy” Plymouth Cuda… :)The proudest I have been is when my Eliminator was name Cool Ride of the month for my Insurance Company and when she was nominated as one of the cars for the monthly Cool Rides Online contest.
I have been very fortunate to be able to own my dream cars over the years…they were always used and often damaged when I got them. I had always wanted a Viper, bought one, drove it very little and then sold it. I wanted a Prowler for years and got one…but sold it after only a couple of years. If I had the money and the resources, I would find my original Blue Cougar Eliminator. In my old time opinion, there was not a foreign or exotic car worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that could turn my head more than a true late 60s to 1970s muscle car.
I have two small garages and the way that I take care of my cars when they are in storage. Well, they are always clean and covered. They are all fueled and I always put a bottle of STA-BIL® (no BS, I really do…that product is the best). I try and start the cars weekly and if the weather is nice and it is dry out I take them for a ride. I have never had any problems with my cars having set over the winter because of the STA-BIL®. When car show season starts I do not dread it because I know that my cars will start and drive just like they did when I put them away.
I plan to retire in the next three years or so and I am not worried at all that I will get bored. I plan to take better care of my cars, I plan to share them with anyone interested and I am fortunate to have a family that also loves cars and will pass that down to their children as well.
What do you guys think of Ron’s collection? Leave your comments below or join the conversation in our forums.
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