Well after building web sites for others. I decided to make one on my hobby.
This is my personal story about how a model and 1:1 car nut was made.
The best starting point would be when we visited the Ford Rotunda , Christmas 1961. The displays were amazing. In the center was a massive turning, round, mountain like display of how the 1962 Fords were made. AMT kits were used to show the final assembly. I thought that was so cool. Once back in Ohio, I started collecting kits and promos. That was my Christmas list.
Throughout 1962 I was collecting kits and promos. Got some 1961s at 1/2 price. I was also reading all the car magazines. Car Life Motor Trend etc. The car I loved most of all was the new Ford Thunderbird. However in a small midwest town. Ruttan Ford had no Thunderbirds. Just mainline Fords.
Fall of 1962 was the first time I became aware of the news. Local news said a missile could hit Cleveland. It was the first time I saw my parents worried. One month after October it was typically dark and grey. But unknown to me , A surprise. A friend of ours was getting a new car. A new Thunderbird!. Plus we were the first to get a ride. Our house sat back from the road with a long horseshoe driveway. Ill never forget watching the car drive up. It was dusk. He had the parking lights on. The new for 63 amber. It was a rose beige hardtop. Whitewalls spinner hubcaps fender skirts. Every inch shined. By the time he got to the door I was outside. The first thing I noticed when the door was opened was all the light. Most cars then had a dome light. But Thunderbirds had lights in the door and under the radio and in the back seat area. The car was only days old at the time and had a very unique new car smell . The interior was so futuristic. Lots of chrome and the tinted ribs really added to the look. First car I ever saw with power windows and a swing a way steering wheel. When we went for a ride , it felt like we left the gloom of Ohio winter and went to the Sunset strip. All the street lights shined off of all the exterior and interior trim. Hollywood producer Michal Mann recreated a moment like this in the movie Thief and on the TV show Miami Vice.
Well I was sold. So were my parents. In 1966 They got a used 63 Hardtop. I of course had every Thunderbird Promo and kit I could get
Starting in the summer of 1965. I got the coolest “job” I could have. I started helping out in the local hobby shop. I got to hang out all day and unpack and place new products and misc. Got discount on models. I was in model car geek heaven. Plus I got to hang with the Girls who worked there.
My first car was a 1961 Thunderbird soon followed by a one owner 1962 Conv. Ive owned and restored many Thunderbirds as well as a 1968 Cougar XR7G and a 1970 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler and a 1969 Ranchero. Below are a representative sample of my past cars.