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Cover Stories

Toby Gorny Cover Photo

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was published in the July 2021 issue of the Skyliner, which is the official newsletter of the International Retractable Club and pays a tribute to Crown Victoria Association Co-Founder Toby Gorny.

Toby Gorny from Bryan, Ohio, gives us something to strive for that we will never be able to accomplish in the same way.

The IFRC is celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary, and Toby has been a member since the Club's inception. You and I can continue to be members or even long-term members, but we cannot go back in time. We may even celebrate fifty years as a Club member, but it will not be on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Club. Toby is the only one who attends each annual convention since 1971.

John Bobo is credited with starting the IFRC, but Toby has been involved every step of the way. Therefore, this issue of the Skyliner highlights Toby. Kind words from friends, short notes from customers both new and old, and thoughts of fellow members expressing the impact Toby has had on them.

I hope that for the IFRC Seventy-Fifth Anniversary that 1he Skyliner is dedicated to Toby Gorny. I hope that recognition is because he continues to attend each IFRC Annual Conven­tion for the next twenty-five years!

Skyliner Cover Picture Cecil Walker

As one of the founding members of the IFRC, Toby needs to be commended for his faithfulness over the last fifty years. How many of you have been involved with something for that amount of time? The vast majority of us have had conversations with Toby and purchased a few parts from him over the years. Some IFRC members have purchased a lot more parts than others.

It has always been a joy to see him at the conventions and to witness his continued involvement. Because I don't have a showcase retractable, my purchasing of parts has been limited, but Toby has always been there to assist me. So. In closing, I would like to say "Toby, hang around for many more years because the IFRC needs you!"

Ann Edward
For a few years now, I have been trying to get at least one photo of each Showcase car winner. With almost 250 Skyliners receiving the Showcase status, this was not an easy task. I searched the web, old issues of The Skyliner Magazine, and went through old photos. Every place I could think of, I searched. The hardest task was to find photos of the first Showcase winners.

When I was done finding every car I could, I showed my list to Ron and asked him for help. He looked over the list and saw Toby Gorny's name listed as Showcase car number 15. He said he would ask him. He looked up his phone number in the IFRC roster and gave him a call.

 

He explained to Toby what I was trying to do and asked if he happened to have a photo of his Skyliner that received the Showcase award in 1979 from the convention that was in St. Louis, Missouri. Toby said he did, but he was not sure where it was. Ron asked that if he came across it would he please mail, email, or text us a copy so that we could put it in the Showcase book?

Toby said, "Sure, I can do that, but it might be easier if l just backed the car out of the garage and take a picture of it.” What, that was a shock, after all this time, he still had the Skyliner? Toby said yes, he still has it, and it brings back a lot of great memories for him.

After some research, we discovered that not only is Toby Gorny the oldest IFRC member who still comes to conventions, but he holds another IFRC record that people don't realize. His Skyliner is the oldest Showcase award winner that is still owned by the person who originally won the award.

To be fair, there are five other Skyliners that became Showcase before Toby's, which I cannot find. They could possibly beat or tie his record. But as of right now, way to go Toby, forty-two years and counting.

Jerry Huggins
Toby (actually David, though most who know him, don't know that) has always been a selfless individual. Linda and I spent a moment yesterday trying to remember exactly how the relationship began and decided it was probably around the Charlotte show in 1992 when we first attended as car owners and as customers of the Ford Reproduction Parts Store. But it grew somehow, and we would always look him up when we were at one of the Carlisle shows, at Hershey, and of course, at the IFRC conventions. Often Toby would hand me his cell phone and tell me to say hello, and it would be Sandy, and we could catch up for a moment.

Over the years, I witnessed the selflessness he lived by. One year Ron Brenton had an old original IFRC medallion that he was looking to sell. Toby suggests to Ron, "I think Linda Huggins would love having that. She seems to love that older memorabilia.” It currently resides on our 58s grill. Another year someone dropped off an Upholstery manual and a 1958 showroom book, "The Ford Story” describing the Showroom differences from the Ford vs Chevy battle. "Jerry, take a look at these; I saved them for you as I know you enjoy collecting this stuff.” They were priced about 25% off the eBay asking price. The two books still live here. Another eBay purchase of mine ended up with me having about 10 NOS '58 hood scoop gaskets. I took them to Toby to have them authenticated, and as I purchased them for almost nothing, asked if he wanted to have them to sell. "No, you hold onto them. I can't get them anymore, and if anyone should inquire about them, I will direct them to you.” In all of these situations, I am sure he could have made some additional money, but that just was not his style.

irfc gorny tribute pic5

Toby in a tug-of-war with Bill Abates over a hubcap!

However, my favorite memory of Toby is regarding the acquisition of a 1968 Mustang that had been modified by Carroll Shelby, a GT500. In 1968 when I was only twenty, my 1963 Ford XL had (back then) an unthinkable 100,000 miles on it. I was working away from home at the time, and Genest Ford in Manchester, New Hampshire, had a Candy Apple Red GT500 on their showroom floor. Test drives to 20-year­olds were not permitted at the time, but I just knew this car was made for me. So, I got a price for the deal but ran into a roadblock with the Telephone Credit Union. Back then, prior to your twenty-first birthday, you needed a parental signature to obtain financing. My well-meaning father decided at my age I didn't require a sports car, so the deal could not be completed. So, I ended up with an XL, same color, and a fine car but not the Shelby. Fast forward to 30 or so years, and I was visiting Toby at the FRPS trailer in Carlisle. Posted near the service window was a picture of a 1968 Shelby with the infamous phrase: "For Sale.” I didn't know about Shelby numbers at the time, so I don't know if it was the same car, but if it wasn't, it was an exact copy. Color, stripes, wheels, etc.

We chatted about the car for about a moment.... he actually gave me his floor price, and away I went. I laid awake most of the night thinking about it. In the morning, I began to piece together the financing in my mind. Maybe if I reduced Linda's weekly allowance for a few weeks, moved a few dollars out of this account and over there ... and the car guys out there all know what I mean. At the breakfast buffet, I explained my plan to Linda, who surprisingly just shrugged her shoulders gently and with a "if that's what you want" approved the deal. It was also the end of the Carlisle show, and when we arrived, Toby was hooked up and leaving. I stopped him, and in thirty seconds, we had made a deal, including the financing.

A couple of weeks later, we were in Bryan, Ohio, at the Ford Parts Store. We were guests of the Gorny's for the night. We went out to eat in their 56 Parklane wagon and visited the print shop where we were gifted with a typeset box. It hangs on our dining room wall at this moment mostly full of little trinkets from our travels. But now for the best part of this story: When the car was loaded, I received a Bill of Sale and the title for the Shelby. But there was nowhere in writing that the sale had a balance due. "Toby, if Linda and I don't make it back to Massachusetts for some reason, when you visit our children to get the balance, they will have no idea who you are or why you expect thousands from our estate.” Yes, he trusted me to that level. After we discussed my apprehensions, we took a yellow legal pad and scribbled a few sentences regarding the agreement.

I have owned 34 Fords over the years, along with some GM's, Chryslers, and a couple of foreign cars; but I have never felt so trusted and just plain good about a car deal. And there will never be a day anyone will be safe from disputing that Toby was one of the good guys in the hobby, in life, and as a family man. I am thrilled to have these memories of Toby. There should be a little more Toby in all of us.

Linda and I look forward to seeing you all, including Toby (and hopefully Sandy), in Strongsville this July.

Roger Newcomer
I met Toby Gorny at the Rod and Custom Show in December 1973 at the Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne where he was showing his 1959. I had just purchased my first Retractable (a very rusty 1959) in June 1973 in Maumee, Ohio. I asked him if there was a club for these cars, and he gave me the contact information for John Bobo. I joined the club in early 1974. I still have John's handwritten letter on the goldenrod tablet giving me the details on how to join the club. Unfortunately, I put it where I wouldn't lose it and have been looking for it for quite a while.

Jim Conrad
Like most of you, I met Toby at his Ford Parts Store trailer. I was restoring a Skyliner at that time and was a new member of the IFRC. Our first meeting was at All Ford of Carlisle, or as Dave Dudt refers to it, "The High Holy Days!" It was very easy to become friends with Toby. Thousands of people purchased Ford parts from him, but he would still be able to call you by name. That ability is certainly a gift. He was normally able to recall what you were working on. I often wondered if he was going to know what parts I needed.

As our friendship continued to flourish, he understood I like the memorabilia that went with a Skyliner as well; particularly the things given out by Ford, awards the Ford Company gave to its dealers, and of course, NOS parts. It appeared any time I met up with Toby somewhere in the conversation, a sentence would start with “Jim, I am getting rid of, Jim I have for sale" or "Jim I know a guy that has for sale a ....”

Over the years, I took him up on several of his offers. This tribute to Toby's fifty-year membership in the IFRC caused me to look around at some of the things I have purchased from him. NOS parts, clocks, banners, and Ford factory giveaways. One of the things that Toby had at his Ford Parts Store trailer was a mirror merchandising rack from a Ford Dealership in the late 50s. I always coveted it and said, "if you ever get ready to sell it, let me know!" It is an item I am happy to display in my office.

Fifty years? I only regret I did not meet Toby earlier and hope our friendship can continue for many more years!

Be well.

 irfc gorny tribute pic7

Toby and Sandy at work getting Ford parts ready to ship,
while Rowyn works on his truck

Dave Dudt

It's an honor to have known Toby these past thirty-five years. He's the kind of a guy who, once you've met him, it’s like you have known him forever. Whenever I need a retractable part, I usually call him first, and sometimes it's just to rattle his cage. He almost always comes through for me, and if he doesn't have what I need, he usually knows who does, or else lets me down gently. I often refer other members to F. R. Parts in Bryan, Ohio first. In return, every now and then, my phone rings, and it will be somebody from another Ford Club that he has referred me to with a question about a Ford that has its owner stumped. Usually, we get it figured out.

Congratulations, Toby, it's an honor to call you, my friend.

Mike McGuire
Maggie and I have known Toby since joining the club in 1997. Our initial contact with him, as you might expect, was for parts needed to restore our 1958 Skyliner. While he had most of the parts needed, when he did not, he cheerfully directed us to others with those parts. He was extremely helpful and conveyed an enthusiastic attitude for the club and for our members. He is sincere in his love for the hobby and people; a true asset for the club. The club we enjoy today was built on a strong foundation and nurtured by the likes of John Bobo, Toby Gorny, and Ron and Janet Brenton. Thank you, Toby, for all you do for our club and the members. It is a privilege to call you, our friend.

Debera Adams
Unfortunately, two weeks after getting our '58 newly painted stripped-down car back, my husband passed from cancer. Leaving me with such a wonderful unfinished gift I made it my mission to get it back together. During the next few years, I had many calls and questions for Toby and Sandy helping me to purchase my parts. They were always so kind, which I am grateful. Can't wait to meet them in person!!

Wayne and Gail Chase
In 1984 we loaded our two young sons in our 1958 Retractable Hardtop and headed to our first IFRC National Convention in Dearborn, Michigan. We had recently joined the IFRC and did not know anyone in the club but decided to attend the convention because I needed to learn more about the car and how to maintain it. That week, Gail and the boys spent most of their time at the mall or at the hotel pool. I wandered the parking lot all day, and that's where I met the friendly Toby Gorny. He was very helpful and told me a little about the club and the cars. I was having trouble with the car running rough. I thought it was the coil, and Toby put me in touch with a guy that knew about the cars, and he explained to me that it sure acted like a coil problem. The young man was a local, and he went home and brought back another coil for me to try. I appreciated the help I got from Toby. He made a great impression on me, and we look forward to seeing Toby's friendly face at every convention. We have even been fortunate enough to see him at the All-Ford Show in Carlisle, PA a few times. Over the years, I have ordered parts from Toby, and he always ships them right away or brings them to the next show. He is an honest and trustworthy businessman, but more importantly, he is a friend who enjoys the IFRC cars and the people.

Seeking Stars Art Models Visit Placek Ford Models

Seeking Stars 1

By Paul Placek

Nine beautiful models from four states (MD, VA, WV, PA) graced our Kent Island, MD collection of a red 1955 Ford golf cart, a black ‘n yellow 1956 golf cart, and their larger color-coordinated and full-size cars—a red 1955 Sunliner and black ‘n yellow 1955 Ford glasstop. Never in history have so many drop-dead gorgeous models visited such beautiful Ford models.

The two Club Car golf carts converted to half-sized 1955 and 1956 Fords were built by CVA superstar Bob Haas two decades ago. He used all-steel original bodies from Ford parts cars. Both small cars have 11 HP Kohler gas engines with electric start, and the lights and horns all work. I purchased both some years ago and repainted them to match the colors of my 1955 Sunliner and 1955 Glasstop. Fewer than a dozen all-metal Club Car golf cart Fords have ever been custom built. These are not kit cars or fiberglass. On the other hand, 49,966 1955 Ford Sunliners and 1,999 1955 Ford Glasstops were built. I spent blood, sweat, tears, years and money to restore the full-sized 1955’s which I own. However, each beautiful model that joined us that day is one-of-a-kind.

While the Ford models originated in Detroit, the nine participant models are from a group of creative volunteers called Seeking Stars Art (www.facebook.com/seekingstarsart). This is an art entertainment group founded by Melissa Craig, which specializes in photo shoots, fundraisers and runway shows, while advocating for The Arts. She has developed a collaborative process for events that allows participants to express their own creativity, while letting their “art give back” to communities and charitable organizations. The collaboration that took place at our Kent Island home paired futuristic costume designs by Brande Wilkerson of VVB Design Studio (www.facebook.com/Victoryvintageboutique), face and body paint by Creative Friends Facepainting, and Fords from my private collection. Cover models were (left to right): Morgan Elliott, Paige Lowe, Molly Heaney, Issabelle Heaney, Franchesca Aloi, Danielle Bergida, Rylee Chamberlain, Julia Holsinger, and Morgan Rigsby, with photography provided by Jason and Melissa Craig, Cindy Armstrong and Anne LeBlanc.

Morgan Elliott – Sophomore majoring in Animal Science and Nutrition at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.

Paige Lowe – Freshman majoring in Graphics Technology at Pierpont Community & Technical College in Fairmont, WV.

Molly Heaney – Sophomore in High School, in Gainesville, VA.

Issabelle Heaney – “Izzy” is a Senior in High School, in Gainesville, VA.

Jim Rock Cover June 2021

Jim Rock says, “Thanks again, Dad, for my 1956 Sunliner”

No, I didn't purchase the car from a used car lot, grab it from the wrecking ball at a car cemetery or answer somebody's "For Sale" advertisement. You are in for the full story.

On one sunny day in May of 1956 at 12 years of age, I looked through the window blinds and saw the right rear quarter panel of the new yellow and white 1956 Ford convertible as Dad drove into the driveway. I thought the color combination was very unusual and too bright when compared to Dad's past cars. Sister Dearest helped decide on the Colonial White/Golden Rod Yellow combo before the car came to our home from Mahwah, NJ. Even still, what weird colors I thought!

One of my first trips in the Sunliner was to Bar Harbor, Maine with Dad. The top was down all the way, but Mom didn't go along as she was always afraid of getting her hair blown around. Poor sport! We traveled the old Route One which at the time was the only way up to Bar Harbor. It was congested with summer beach traffic along the coast in the afternoons. Mom never liked the continental kit. It was a bother when it was fill up time. The station attendants never knew quite how to open it. Then there was the time Mom walked home because she could not start the car. The selector level had to be exactly on "N". Dad sure was irritated to go get it because he had to give up his favorite TV program - - Gunsmoke! The gals in the family always would borrow the car and not put gas in - - another irritation to Dad.

During my days at University of New Hampshire, the first two years I used to hitchhike back home to Massachusetts on weekends and pick up the Sunliner where Mom used it to go to work. The last two years I was allowed to have a car on campus, so I had it all to myself.

The year was 1962, graduation time from high school. Dad was pleased with my school report card and realized the '56 had 21,000 miles on it. The time was appropriate to do his regular six-year trade in, so he said "Here you are son! The car is yours. You will be needing one from this point on." I really couldn't believe my good fortune. The car was mine free and clear - - a gift! All I had to do was to supply the gas and take care of the maintenance. What a nice Dad!!

Submitted by: Matt Klein Gannott

On behalf of the family of Rick Gannott (Sept 23, 1955 - Aug 7, 2020)

Rick Gannott

The love and passion my dad, Rick Gannott, had for cars flowed through his veins from a very early age. Growing up, his family owned and operated a Sinclair gas station, and it was here that his love of everything mechanics and cars began. In fact, before he was even old enough to drive, he became a proud car owner. It was 1970, and the engine in the car his brother used for work had given out. Not one to throw anything out, dad saw this as an opportunity! This wasn’t just any car. It was a 1956 Ford Sunliner. Instead of hauling it to the junkyard as was planned, his brother gave it to him as a project. Dad was determined to get this car running and on the road in time for his 16th birthday. Dedicating all his time to this new project as a young teen, he replaced the engine with a 312 and had it back on the road in no time. Unfortunately, the new engine gave out within a month and was replaced with a 292 and a manual transmission. Throughout high school, this 1956 Ford was his daily driver. After graduation, he needed something more reliable to get to vocational school. His beloved Sunliner was put in storage and replaced with a red 1966 Chevy Impala (which he too, of course, kept and ultimately restored).

Although his first car had been in storage for many years, his passion for the project never wavered. Nearly 15 years later, he was finally ready to resurrect his 1956 Ford Sunliner. He was determined to bring it back to its original two-tone green glory. His passion quickly spread through my family. My mom, brother, and I dedicated many nights and weekends to “helping” dad bring his car back to life with a frame up restoration. Apart from the body work and paint, he did all the work himself. He admitted to me a few years later that much of the work he had to do was correcting the work and modifications he had made as a teenager. After it was restored, we spent nearly every weekend creating memories as a family traveling around southern Minnesota attending various cruises, car shows, and parades. The dream he once had as a 15-year-old had turned into to a family affair.

Over the years, this two-toned green Sunliner became synonymous with my dad. People knew him because of his car. Driving and tinkering with this car was his happy place. Shortly after finishing his restoration in 1990, he was proud to make the cover of the Fomoco Times. He was a dedicated, 30-year member of the CVA and attended many National Conventions and Regional events.

Only a few short months after retiring from a 45-year career at Higley Ford in Windom, MN, my dad passed away. His time was abruptly cut short, and he wasn’t able to create the many memories he longed to have with his car and his grandkids. Although his loss has had a profound impact on my family, having this tangible, important piece of my dad’s history is priceless. As the next generation with this car, it has become a priority to care for it just as he did for nearly 50 years. I hope to build upon his passion and the memories he created for my brother and I and form new lasting memories for with my own 2 boys.

Submitted by: Ken Colbert, Ruffsdale, PA

Jim Reagan April 2021

My name is Ken Colbert, northeast region, CVA #2675. I'm a barber in Ruffsdale, PA. If that sounds familiar it may be because I've had several articles in FoMoCo Times through the years and I know a lot of the CVA members as well.

You may remember that I had an article in the August 2017 edition about me accidentally finding out the total history of my 56 Crown Victoria and an unknown owner who lives less than a mile away from me. A similar story ensues . . .

Many years ago a customer of mine, Jerry, after seeing all my 55 / 56 Ford stuff in the barber shop, told me he bought a 55 Crown Victoria from a junkyard two miles up the road – from a guy named Arnie and DROVE it home ( about 35 miles ) for $200! Now this was probably in the early sixties. Jerry was just 'crazy' about the 55 and 56 Crown Victoria's! It's all he talked about . . .

Eventually Jerry's income and health fell away. And although he was a mechanic by trade he never got the chance to make his car road worthy. It just sat beside his mobile home with a pick up load of misc. parts for the old Ford deteriorating away year after year. He almost had tears in his eyes telling me about it.

Then he came in one day and told me a man named John had been pestering him for the last few years to sell him the car. Jerry knew he would never be able to put her back on the road again so the last time John showed up at his door Jerry asked him how he wanted to restore the car. 'Back to original' was John's reply. Jerry pointed to the old parts rusting away and told John he could take the whole load for free. John turned and asked 'How much for the Crown'? Jerry said 'just take it too'. The natural reply was 'What's the catch?' Jerry replied 'Just take me for a ride when she's restored'. The car had a new owner.

Several years later I went to a car show and saw a drop dead gorgeous 55 Regency Purple and white Crown Victoria. The name on the owners card was 'John'. Sure enough it was him! We talked for a long time about our mutual friend Jerry. Shortly after that both Jerry and John disappeared from my life. But that's not the end of the story. Back to the barber shop . . .

Like Jerry, a new customer Jim admired all the Crown Victoria stuff he saw at the shop and quickly informed me he bought a 55 Crown in another state when he was in the service – he even gave me a black and white photo of it. When I asked what color it was he told me purple and white. Then he told me he eventually drove it back to Pennsylvania but sold soon after it to a guy named ARNIE . . .
BOOM! Jim bought it in another state, Jim sold it to Arnie, Arnie sold it to Jerry, Jerry ( gave ) it to John – same car! When I realized this I was asking everyone if they ever saw a purple and white 55 Crown Victoria at the local car shows. Lots of people saw it, and obviously remembered it, but hadn't seen it lately.

Enter Don and Amy Zinn, 55 pink and white Sunliner, CVA #7844. When I asked about John, Amy said he passed away. She also said the reason nobody had seen it is because his grandson, the new owner, isn't interested showing it, and wants to sell it. She didn't remember his name but knew the name of the business that he ran and also had the number! BINGO!

Footnote: Jim told his wife I knew the where-abouts of his old car and she secretly asked me to call her if I ever saw it again. She wanted to arrange for her husband to see the car. When I got the information she wanted I called and told Jim my wife wanted to talk to his wife about something – they didn't know each other. When his wife got on I gave her the scoop and Jim never suspected anything.

Jim showed up at my shop last week showing me some pictures. He said his son took him to this guy's shop ( John's grandson ) and he asked his unsuspecting Dad to wait in the car for him. After it was all set up he motioned for his Dad to come in. I don't know if his eyes or his pants were wet but after sixty-some years the reunion took place and attached are the photos to prove it. What a twist . . .

March2021 Dillenschneider

“a rough story with a happy ending”

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines FORGE: #3, transitive verb: to form or bring into being especially by an expenditure of effort.

September 7, 2019 began as a beautiful day that held the promise of enjoying an event in Parkville, MO, called the “Dust Bowl Jamboree” hosted by Jim and Melissa Spawn, members of “Classic Thunderbirds of Kansas City”. Jim and Martha Dillenschneider planned to meet other CTKC club members attending the event. However, in an effort to provide possible transportation for other car enthusiasts, the decision to drive their 55 Ford Sunliner convertible, which has a rear seat, instead of their 56 Ford Thunderbird that does not was made. Shortly after arriving, Jim and Martha met Scott Langdon driving his beautiful 57 Ford Thunderbird. An initial activity of a “poker run” offering an attractive cash prize captured Jim, Martha and Scott’s attention. What could be better than to cruise a little with some other classic cars and afterwards with a little luck, possibly walk away with a nice cash prize? So in an entourage of classic cars, they made the first few checkpoints to hopefully draw a winning poker hand. A beautiful Ford Model A sedan led Scott’s Thunderbird which was followed by Jim and Martha’s Sunliner.

The street, on which Scott, Jim and Martha pulled to the curbside to diagnose the sound coming from under the hood of Scott’s Thunderbird had little traffic. They had parked next to the curb. They felt no danger. Martha waited in the Sunliner parked behind the Thunderbird while Jim and Scott looked under the hood of Scott’s Thunderbird for the problem. The Ford Model A, not knowing the cars following him had stopped, traveled on. A witness confirms that the vehicle that struck the Sunliner from the rear, causing impact with the rear of the Thunderbird, causing the Thunderbird to be knocked out of park and proceed with no driver a significant distance through a fence and be stopped by a tree was unquestioningly at fault.

This story has a happy ending. And it has to do with being a member of a club that provides resources and support. As of this writing both cars are repaired and back on the road. As for Scott’s Thunderbird, membership in CTKC proved to be vital to his car’s repair journey. The initial credit for Scott’s success undoubtedly belongs to Scott. If it were not for him, another Classic Thunderbird would have been lost. Additionally, it must be stated the successful repair of the car without the involvement of CTKC members and their associates probably wouldn’t have happened. I would like to name them; John Smith (our CTKC President and CTCI Committee Chairperson), Jim and Martha Dillenschneider (moral support), Alan Stouffer (body repair specialist), Mitch Reed (parts supplier), and parts supply associates provided by networking in other states, including Ohio and Tennessee.

Chuck Arnolds Old Cars

I’d like to tell the story about my husband Chuck Arnold. He loved old cars since he was a kid, of course I didn’t know him then so I’ll fast forward to 1962. That’s when I met him, I was 16, he was 19. My brother-in-law Mike knew Chuck first and asked me to go out with him because he had a car and he wanted to take my sister Jean out. At first I said no but he kept begging me to go out with him and he told my brother Jimmy to try and get me to go out with him. They said he was a nice guy but he was too shy to ask me out.

Well I finally broke down and said yes. He picked me up in a 1956 Primed black Mercury! (this was a nice car!) Anyway he took me to the RKO Keiths movie theater in D.C. We sat in the balcony (of course) and about half hour into the show he planted a kiss on me! You know the old saying “love at first sight” well that was “love at first kiss”. He came around everyday after that.

Move ahead to Christmas 1962, Chuck asked me to marry him and after a lot of begging my parents they finally gave the ok.

I was 17, Chuck was 20, and on February 15, 1963 we were wed. Moving forward to 1987 Chuck and I had four children and our youngest daughter had just graduated high school. He said let’s take a trip out West so we got in our 1984 Crown Victoria and headed West. We were gone several weeks and were going to stop in Nashville to see The Grand Ole Opry, as we pulled up to the hotel Chuck said look at all those Fords. Well I don’t have to tell you he got out of the car and he was like a kid in a candy store. We walked around that parking lot for hours. He went inside and joined the CVA, we stayed for the 50’s dance and had a great weekend. That was over 30 years ago. Chuck rebuilt a 1956 Crown Victoria after many years and lots of money, a few years later he built a 1955 Ford Club Sedan. He loved his old cars.

We went to many local car shows and a few CVA Conventions. We had picnics in the yard and all his friends would drive their old cars. We would go to the local 50’s restaurant called Bert’s.

Fast forward to 2018 on September 14, 2018 Chuck suffered a severe stroke, after 30 days in rehab he came home and I took care of him. After a year or so it was getting difficult to care for Chuck by myself, so my children suggested we sell the house and move to Tennessee so they could help care for him. We put the house up for sale and as much as I didn’t want to we had to sell the Fords. I know he was upset but i told him someone in the CVA bought them and maybe we would see them in the Fomoco Times at a convention one day. June of 2020 we moved to Tennessee, Chuck liked the new house and he did well for a few months. We had family gatherings with all the children, grandchildren, and great grand children.

I’m sorry to say the love of my life passed away at home on October 7, 2020 just 10 days before his 78th birthday. He’ll always be in our hearts.

Submitted by: The Family

Charles H. Arnold
October 17, 1942 - October 7, 2020

Bob McCarron Cover

Not Stock and Absolutely Stunning

We purchased our '66 Club Sedan in 1990, and published a short progress report in the January 1993, Vol. 16, #1 FOMOCO TIMES. Now it's fin­ished as of January 1998 and we call it "Marta's car".

Although not an "original" restoration, all the ornaments and emblems are there thanks to Dennis Carpenter products. Many items were purchased from Carpenter and Mr. Brown Small, who both advertise in the CVA magazine. A special thanks to Brown Small for many hard-to-find pieces and last-minute parts that were sent quickly when needed. The body work, paint, interior and detail work were performed by a new local old car business, that I refer to as the Three Bills. The owner, body man and interior man are all named Bill! Bill and Bill, who now work with Bill have previously done work on our '51 Mere and '51 Victoria.

Specifications are as follows: 312 Y Block T-Bird VS with 4 barrel and Ford-o-matic, dual exhaust with Smitty glass packs, new Ford paint colors are Laser Red (3 coat system] and Crystal White, white roll and pleat, Vintage Air A/C and heater, alterna­tor, coker, continental kit, original skirts, wheelcovers are '57 Lancers on front and stock on rear, headlight shields, blue dots, Jamco suspension lowered 4" front and rear with gas shocks, Jamco 4 core radiator, 225x75d5 wide white radials by B. F. Goodrich, shoulder safety belts. Our Louisiana antique tag reads: "TBIRDVS".

We previously attended the National Show held in St. Louis (without a car], and plan to attend in the future with this ''back to the future Club Cruiser".

Skip Mucci Cover

For most of my life my interest was in restoring 1955-1956 Fords. In fact at this point I’ve reached a total of 24 cars and climbing. My motivation was an intense love for these two years of Ford production.

The name Parklane resonates “luxury” to me. I picture this car as belonging to an owner of a country estate surrounded by copious trees and gardens with fountains. This was the most luxurious Ford Wagon of 1956 with only 15,156 made and only produced for one year. The Parklane was in competition with the 1956 Chevrolet Nomad. Restoring a Parklane immediately presents a serious challenge in locating all the parts needed for the job. That is of course if you can find a Parklane to restore in the first place. One day a friend of mine called to let me know he knew of a Parklane for sale in Indiana. The owner had the car in climate control storage for 30 years. Arrangements were made to purchase the car and two friends drove the trailer out to Indiana and then back to Malden, Massachusetts to my shop. This is where I began the process of taking everything completely apart.

From the moment the car was disassembled I wanted this to be one of my best restorations regardless of expense and including every option I could find available for use in the Parklane, which came to 22 options!! As you can judge by the figure, the car is loaded.

Bob Martin Cover

I’ve had my 1956 Ford Sunliner for more than 40 years. Growing up, my dad, my brother and I would go every year to see the new models. When I was dating my wife in 1963, I owned a ’63 and a half Ford Galaxy. At that time, I also had a 1955 Ford Sunliner convertible that I bought when I was 19 years old. One day a few years later, I stopped at a service station to get gas in my ’55 and a man there told me that he knew where there was another car similar to mine. Turns out, it was only about 10 miles from where I lived at that time. I went home and got my wife, Kay, our check book, and purchased this car that same day.

Kay and I have had a lot of fun over the years participating in car shows, high school and college homecoming parades, the annual Dollywood parade, and joy riding with the top down around our beautiful East Tennessee Great Smokey Mountain area. When I first purchased the car, it needed some work done to it. I had it repainted, put new seat covers on it, and put a new convertible top on it. The car looked great after that! Recently, my neighbor Randy, who used to work in Detroit at Ford Motor Co, has helped me maintain and fine tune the car. In addition to my ’56 Ford Convertible, I have a 1930 A-Model with 11,000 miles, a fully restored 1966 Ford pickup truck, and a 1977 Mercury Cougar XR7 that I bought new. My wife also has the Volkswagen Beetle that her father purchased new in 1974. All of my family and friends have always know me as a “Ford Man.” I even use a 1956 Ford tractor on my farm. I have always loved the Ford brand and, even now at 82 years young, I drive a 2017 Ford F-150.

Submitted by Bob Martin

Jon Anderson

My first encounter with 1956 Fords was when my dad bought one. I was ten years old. It was a Country Sedan station wagon. My dad gave this car to me eight years later. It was my first car to drive, it needed body and motor repairs. I got it on the road after four months of work in time for my high school graduation. Later that fall returning from stock car races I blew a right front tire and found the ditch. The car didn’t come out of this encounter well.

Needing a replacement car, I cruised the used car lots. I spotted a peacock blue 1956 crown Vic at Walt’s car exchange. After begging for the money to buy this I finally got it home. I had two minor body incidents I sold this car. My next vehicle was a 1959 police interceptor, which I drove until I went into the army from 1966-1968.

Fast forwarding to1993 some buddies of mine talked me into getting into restoring a 56 Ford Fairlane Victoria. I bought two cars, one 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria, and a 56-sedan car for parts. The 56 two door Vik hard top had been used for drag racing in Ohio. Several months later, and lots of late nights in the garage my 56 black Victoria was road ready. I had restored it to its original color and body style. It did not have the original 312 Y-block motor and transmission. Irene and I drove it to the Detroit convention, and later to the convention in Sandusky, Ohio. We also did several local shows and just enjoyed going for drives in it.