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NEW CRO Champion – Chris Gibbany

1. What is your earliest memory of cars/motorcycles?

When I was a kid I collected Hot Wheels and miniature motorcycles.  I was also in love with the Dukes of Hazzard on television.  As I got older I started putting together model cars.  A memory that I have repressed for some time is the fact that I have been infatuated with a black 1974 Dodge Charger that used to drive by my house when I was young. I learned to ride a motorcycle before I learned to drive a car.

chris1wblrg

2. What are your current Cool Rides?

Currently I own a 1974 Dodge Charger and a 1973 Dodge Rallye Challenger.  I am fiercely in love with old Harleys and have a 1981 Ironhead and a 1956 Panhead, both bikes that I have designed and my husband Gabe and I have built together.  I also have a 1939 Knucklehead that I am presently in the midst of building.

3. What is your favorite memory with your cool rides?

My favorite memories are probably centered on driving my 1978 Z-28.  I owned that car for 23 years and with help from my husband, built it into the mean street machine that it was.  I owned that car through all the trials of my life and I also used to drag race it.

4. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being able to stay true to myself by not having children and revolving my life around cars and motorcycles.  By never letting the dreams I had as a child fade, many opportunities have been granted to me.

chris8wblrg

5. If you had to pick just one, which would be your favorite of your Cool Rides?

That’s a tough one as I LOVE all of my past and present rides but if I HAD to pick, I would probably have to go with my 1956 Panhead.  It’s a bike that I have been building on for over 6 years and it spent most of its time in the living room.  That might change when I get the Knucklehead completed though!

chris9wblrg

6. What is your dream car?

My dream car used to be the cars that I owned- the 1978 Z-28 and the 1981 Corvette.  When it was time to start a new chapter in my life, I admitted to my husband that I had always wanted a MOPAR, specifically a Challenger.  Upon further research, it was the 73-74 Challengers that I liked the most and had been wanting for almost 20 years (secretly of course, since I was a Chevy person).  When the first Challenger I went to buy didn’t work out; I ended up buying the Charger and have now built it into a car that is beyond anything I ever imagined!  I did end up purchasing my dream car last year and it is currently at the body shop.

7. What is your dream motorcycle?

When I built my 1981 Ironhead, it was built the way I envisioned my “dream bike” to be.  Before I got finished with it, I then bought my Panhead motor and started building my “dream motorcycle” in my head.  I bought the Panhead when I wanted a Knucklehead but “settled” for the Pan.  Three years later I had the opportunity to buy a Knucklehead engine so I’d have to say that the Knuckle is my dream machine.  But so is/was the Panhead and Ironhead when I built them.

8. What is one thing you wish people knew about you?

That I am NOT rich!  I have made sacrifices from the time I was young to get where I am today.  When I was a kid my brother and I were given the option to have a candy bar a day or the money equivalent from our parents.  I always took the money and he always chose the candy.  I started a savings account when I was six years old.  I also took care of all of my toys and clothes and sold them when I got tired of them.  I picked up aluminum cans and added that money to my savings account.  I went to college on scholarships and still worked two jobs while attending full time.  When I was ready, I was able to purchase my first car, a black 1978 LT Camaro, a car I kept for 15 years.  The next year I bought my 1978 Z-28 Camaro (the one I owned 23 years).  Instead of going out to eat with friends, I stockpiled all of my money into my savings account for my love of cars.  When I decided to buy a third Camaro while in college, I instead bought a motorcycle.  Even though that has been over 20 years ago, I still live by those principles.  My husband and I live without television, microwave, dishwasher, clothes dryer, etc.  I shop once a month while only spending $100 a month for food and essentials.  The only meat we eat is what we harvest from the woods (mainly deer).  I only shop in thrift stores and probably don’t even spend $30 a year on clothes!

9. What is something that you wish people knew about classic cars/bikes/collecting?

I want to stress that no matter your income, if you have enough motivation and drive, ANYONE can be involved.  I think that lack of money is part of the reason people get discouraged or they set their sights too high.  I have always made minimum wage (or less).  I had a goal to buy a Corvette before I turned 30 and I ended up with three of them before I turned 29!   It really just boils down to……. “How bad do you want it?”

10. Who is one person you look up to?

Besides trying to live my life the best I can and believing in GOD, I don’t really “look up” to anyone.  It has always been my belief that you should be your own hero.

chris19wblrg

11. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’d like to still be able to ride rigid hardtail bikes.  Hopefully with my love of marketing and trying to showcase a positive image for women and men alike, that someone will hire me to do what I love, all the while making the world a better place.

chris20wblrg

12. How did you first learn about Cool Rides Online?

I was a member of another online car forum, when I saw a message about CRO and the “Ride of the Month” contest.

13. What are your thoughts on being a CRO Champ and why?

I have discovered over the last few years that I have fallen in love with promoting people and products that I truly believe in.  I am not easily impressed, but I have to say that the Gold Eagle products that I have tried are simply AMAZING!  When the products work, the rest is easy.

14. What is one thing you would like to accomplish in your life?

To have as many cool hot rods and vintage Harleys as possible!  One of my big goals is to buy a Dyer’s blower for my Challenger.

chris21wblrg

15. What are your tips for success?

Stay focused on the goals you have.  Don’t be afraid of rejection.  Have faith and believe that you can.  Be real about everything you do.  Know that slow and steady prevails, ALWAYS!

16. Describe yourself in three words.

Motivated, authentic, passionate

chris22wblrg

17. What are some tips for beginner collectors?

Buy what YOU like because in the end that is all that matters!

18. What are some of your other hobbies?

Outside of cars and motorcycles, I have owned hedgehogs for almost 20 years ago, presently having nine of them.  My husband and I also have an AmStaff and I just recently got a pet chicken named Oatmeal.  I LOVE entering and WINNING contests; everything from writing and couponing contests to tattoo and bike shows.

I have been able to accomplish more in my 43 years than I ever thought possible, such as: Starting the local Camaro Club in 2005 and becoming the Arkansas State Rep for the Worldwide Camaro Club and then for the Classic Chevy Club; Starting a Bike Night in 2010; Organizing several bike shows and rallies; and most recently being able to combine my love of photography with the motorcycle and automotive world by becoming a freelance photojournalist.  I was a professional wedding photographer for 10 years and an extreme couponer for seven years.  I have donated thousands of items to people including the American troops, I have turned down two television appearances, been featured in countless national and international magazines and for the third year in a row I am in the Throttle Gals calendar as Miss August. Last year I became the Arkansas Representative for the Global Women Who Ride project. Below is a photo of me with my fellow Camaro officers.

chris27wblrg

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