John Riordon Cover Jan2024

Submitted by Kevin Riordon, London, Ontario

Three years prior to the first convention and one after I entered this world, my dad purchased this 1956 Ford Crown Victoria Glasstop. My dad bought, sold, and restored many ‘55/’56 Fords and Mercs throughout the years, but this car came home and never left. Despite the attempts of many, the answer was always “it’s not for sale”. Many times, throughout the years my dad would say “I’m going to be buried in that car” (sorry dad but that didn’t happen).

After joining the CVA my mom and dad drove this car to the very first convention held Aug 10-12th 1979 in Rockton, Illinois, after which they drove it to numerous conventions. One of the most memorable being Charlotte, North Carolina and going around Charlotte Motor Speedway with my dad. We were told to stay with the pace car, but on the last lap dad said, “should we pass” and I of course said “yes!!”. And with that dad pulled higher up the banked track and past the pace car we went, well needless to say the track officials were not impressed, but dad laughed, and I was grinning from ear to ear, both of us knowing that was a memory implanted forever.

In 1987 mom and dad along with help of CVA member Steve Kidd they hosted the first Canadian CVA Regional Meet in Waterloo, Ontario. Dad also served on the Board of Directors for many years, along with being on the judging team. He also served as a 1956 Technical Advisor right up his passing, as well as being a big part of getting Mercury cars and trucks included in the club.

With dad’s passing, the memories have been a big part of coping. As part of that process - for the first time in 26yrs - I returned to the National Convention this past summer in Ohio along with mom and of course dad’s Crown. We got to see many of his friends and listened to the stories and the respect everyone had for him. Dad made many connections through the club and one of which was with Dick and Jenny Snyder.  Well as fate would have it, I was sitting at the convention when in pulls a truck and trailer with a white ‘56 Crown Glasstop on the trailer. Of course, I went over and admired the car, but no one was around it so back to my chair I went. A short time later I see the car pull in and park two cars down from dads. I walked over and started talking to the owner and he mentioned that it was Dick’s old car. I said Dick was friends with my dad John. It turns out that Danny Calton had heard about my dad through Jenny. At that point we needed to get these cars side by side so dad and Dick could sit together and see how these cars brought two people together that have more in common than either of could realize at the time.

As a final tribute to an emotional week dad’s car won 1st Place in the 1956 Display Class. Danny and I have stayed in contact and look forward to future conversations. Having picked up the legacy and becoming a CVA member, I was asked to join the judging team, trying to fill the shoes of the greatest man I know and my best friend, my dad John Riordon.

P.S. The answer still stays the same, it’s not for sale.