By Thomas Riley Sr.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself:
I have been a car enthusiast since I was about 10 years-old watching my father work on cars. I learned how to work on them, tuning up, oil changes, etc. and then got into having to have those special modified cars (and making the modifications) which I would do. I have worked in financial industry for over 40 years. I enjoy going to car shows and cruise nights with friends and seeing other classic cars.
How did you first learn about Cool Rides Online?
I learned about Cool Rides Online from seeing awesome classic car pictures and things owners did to them. I saw a lot of Cool Rides Online posts on Facebook and wanted to be part of the community.
What Cool Rides do you currently own?
I currently own 2015 Nissan Murano “platinum” version –burnt orange color and, of course, modifications like cold air intake, and custom stripe/graphic. I also have a 2017 Lexus IS 300 striped to add that personal touch. Of course my favorite car is the 1978 25th Anniversary Corvette which was purchased new.
Now tell us a little about your favorite Cool Ride; what makes it special?
My car is my favorite as I never knew I would wind up keeping it this long after buying new. After 10-plus years adding modifications to it adding and adding my personal touch it’s my favorite (I can’t leave cars alone).
What’s next for your Cool Ride? Planning additional work for it or maybe a special trip/cruise?
I would like to keep it alone semi-modified and perhaps change the rear. I have all parts including exhaust manifolds, valve covers, air cleaner…everything to return it to completely stock if I ever decide to go that way.
What’s your favorite memory involving your Cool Ride?
My favorite memory of my cool ride was when I purchased it. I was getting married and the original sales invoice states “pending wife’s approval”! We enjoy this to this day and get a lot of laughs. Another favorite memory is winning various “best in class” & “best in show” trophies. Trophies are great but the compliments mean much more.
What was the most difficult modification you’ve completed on any of your Cool Rides?
Most difficult modification to the Corvette was the custom exhaust system. To get it perfect I had to find the perfect stainless pipes (leaving off the cat converters) and bend & cut them to fit into the original frame inserts. I also had to make perfect welds for custom/stock finish and give it a lot more performance.
What is your dream car to own if money was not an issue?
My dream car to own would be a 1969 original Camaro (YENKO) with hounds tooth interior and 427 motor! Back in the day at the age of 16 I owned a 1968 Camaro (my first car) with a 396. I have always been a GM guy.
Taking care of collector vehicles is not easy. Do you have any special tips on how to take care of your Cool Ride ?
My advice is to make sure you properly wash with a good car-wash, wipe/dry with a quality chamois (not a towel!), let it dry, and wax each time with a quality wax. At shows and cruises use a quality duster then spray wax and wipe off with micro fiber cloth.
Is there anything else you’d like the Cool Rides Online members to know about you?
I really enjoy all classic cars, car shows, cruise nights and getting to know people from all over. Classic owners seem to have a lifetime friendship bond and getting and giving compliments on their cars (rides) is amazing as well as sharing various secrets and stories about their cars. Always respect all cars no matter what make.
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