KINGMAN The 2005 Annual Fun Run was of to a successful start Saturday as drivers made their scheduled stop in Kingman. As the day went on, classic car, hot-rod owners and enthusiasts rubbed elbows and reminisced about the good old days.
Doug Walters of Golden Valley stood by his Intense Blue 1970 Dodge Charger. His dedication to his car makes one realize how some simple decisions can bring fun into one's life for many years. "I bought my Charger brand new in 1970 in Studio City, Calif., and paid about $4,200 for it. It's now set up for racing with a super-charged 440 and puts out 1,000 horsepower," Walters said.
Another resident of Golden Valley, Robert Hays, was standing proud with his fully restored 1938 Plymouth Business Coupe. "I bought this coupe for $50 in 1966 in Fresno. I replaced the flathead 6 with a 350 Chevy," said Hays. This silver classic also has restored leather seats that would make any driver comfortable for long road trips down Route 66.
Jim Abraham, a 37-year resident of Kingman, displayed his black 1940 Ford Standard with a Chevy 350. "People kid me about the Chevy engine in a Ford, but it was more affordable at the time and fit quite well. I worked for Ford for 35 years and was employed as a test driver. My father worked at Ford for 40 years."
Jan Spradling, Abraham's friend, helped him with the "frame-off restoration" and also has a television show called "Pop the Hood" on local Cable 77. Spradling's enthusiasm for the classic car and racing industry was contagious. He talked about the auto program at Kingman High School that races a car built with the help of students.
Lizzie Nichols of Kingman attended the Fun Run for her second time. "I like Shelby Cobra Mustangs." Lizzie also owns a 1992 convertible Mustang. Lizzie's husband is a local mechanic.
For those who like barbecue, Bubba Floyd of Southern Pit Bar-B-Q has the pulled-pork recipe that brings you back to the South. Floyd is from Western Tennessee.
"It's a family business, everyone helps out," Floyd said. Floyd plans to open a restaurant in Kingman and is currently in the research stages. Currently, Southern Pit caters to parties and events of 40 people or more and can be reached at 757-8227.
"I went to my high school prom in my Cutlass 442," offered Mike Trujillo of Kingman.
Trujillo's orange 1970 Cutlass 442, W-30, is a rare one. "They only made 262 of these sedans. It's not a coupe. You can tell the difference by the window frame which adds strength to the vehicle," said Trujillo. With only 46,000 miles on the odometer, he has many miles of road to cover in his classic muscle car.
Dave Vires recently relocated from Indiana to Kingman. He restored his 1953 Chevy two-door Sedan Deluxe.
"I have been here since I was 6 years old.," said Barbara Combs of Kingman.
"Both of my children live here." Combs is the proud owner of a mint condition Red 1965 Mustang GT Fastback.
Don Blue, who is a new Kingman resident, said he heard about the Fun Run for years and finally attended one on Saturday. "I love old cars. I was a snowbird from Washington, and I like the dry climate here in Kingman," Blue said.
Jan and Carol Kinsey and their little dog Dolly are happy new residents of Kingman who relocated here about a year ago from Mission Viejo, Calif.
"We came here today for the old cars and the people and sunshine. We love this area," said Jan Kinsey. Jan's favorite cars are the 1940s. "'57 Chevys have always been my favorite," said Carol.
From classic cars to great food and friendly people, the Fun Run is a reminder that classic cars, Route 66 and the West are all alive and well in Kingman.