By Doug King
I had been jonesing for a classic for years and had read numerous old cars “for sale” sites and visited museums and car shows regularly.
My first car had been a ’66 Cutlass Convertible and I had looked far and wide for one at a reasonable price, but everyone I saw was either a rusted hulk for too much money (and a future money pit project), or a show car already at the top of value.
While walking the beach in Siesta Key with my wife I said something about some car I had seen , or the recent visit to the Sarasota museum, and she said;
“if you want to buy an old car, just do it”…
Looking shocked I replied ”really? If you’re serious there is one locally at home that I’ve been looking at on Craigs List.” She replied- “Go ahead and do it!”
A few weeks later in late April 2018 we drove out to Owensville, Ohio and took home the “Miller High Life” Gold ’67 Newport Convertible. The seller had advertised it as green, and it had sat on Craigs list for least 6 months…
Here is the first pict of it at home:
It’s a far cry from a from a show car. It’s been scratched and banged. Between the time I first looked at it and the second time, the seller’s daughter had rubbed both rear fenders against the garage taking it in and out.
But it seems to be all original.
My primary retirement activity is acting as the Event Coordinator for the Dave Parker 39 Foundation, running the annual Cobra Classic Celebrity Golf Outing and various Parkinson’s Educational Events and other fund raisers.
An all-volunteer group, with minimal administrative costs, we donate almost all the money we raise each year to the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute. Dave is a 19-year MLB veteran, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014. He and wife Kellye created the Foundation, later that year with the express purpose of providing education and help for Caregivers of PD patients and raising money for research for a cure.
Always looking for a way to raise money and reasons to drive the car, I thought a road trip would work for both.
Utilizing Go Fund Me, I started a fund to raise money for the Foundation by undertaking a “Newport to Newport” Road trip in the Newport!
My buddy Bill Roebel and I, left Newport KY. (a Cincinnati Suburb across the Ohio) in early Oct. 2018 and took the Newport on a 2900 mile road trip to Newport RI, stopping at other Newport towns and villages along the way.
Ultimately, we raised $4,000 for the foundation, (we funded the trip ourselves) and had a hell of a good time. We included stops at the National Road – Zane Grey Museum in Norwich OH. (https://www.visitzanesville.com/Explore/Destinations/167/National-Road-%E2%80%93-Zane-Grey-Museum/ ) A must stop for any road tripper interested in US RTE 40- The National Road, or the legendary Zane Grey!
We spent a wonderful half day in Gettysburg PA. ( a delightful college town where I spent 2 wonderful years enjoying the battlefield but not going to class) and a great half day at the US Military Academy at West Point- which every American should do!
In Newport RI we ran into Evan Smith the Pres. & CEO. Of “Discover Newport: who saw the signs on the car and came and ask if he could take a picture of it. He ended up treating us to a tour of The Breakers and comping us a hotel room. Wonderful Guy, such a providential meeting!
If you are a car guy, and even if you don’t appreciate Jay Leno’s 200+ cars in California, did you know he bought a mansion on the scenic Ocean Drive in Newport RI? And of course, it has a 6-car garage! He obviously has some connection to the Audrain Museum in Newport and I wish time had allowed us a visit- But-we did get a picture of the Newport in front of Jay’s House!
Leaving Newport on Saturday morning, we were only a few miles from Portland CT. Home of Wayne Carini’s F40 Motors and Chasing Classic Cars. I had to stop- just to get a picture of the Newport in front of the building.
Surprise! They were open, holding an open house for Wayne’s favorite charity- Autism Speaks, and he was there! Not only did we get to meet Wayne and get a picture with him in front of the sign but also got to see the infamous Rain Man car, from the movie- much of which was shot here in Cincinnati.
The road home included a visit with friends in NJ. A stop at Newport DE. A visit to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philly and a night with friends in Richmond where we also cruised Monument Drive (the monuments were still there then) and a visit to the University of Richmond Football Coach Russ Huesman another Cincinnatian.
Since 2018, the Newport stayed pretty much at home until 2021. This summer it traveled West to the Field of Dreams in Dyersville IA for a Parkinson’s event carrying buddy Bill again along with his brother Mike. We also visited an eclectic variety of stops including: The Hoosiers (movie) Museum in Milan IN, Bobby Plump’s Last Shot (bar & restaurant in Indianapolis); The University of IL.; RTE 66 from Bloomington to Pontiac IL; Ronald Reagan’s hometown and boyhood home; Herbert Hoover’s boyhood home; The University of Iowa; John Wayne’s birthplace & Museum; friends in Yankton SD; and the TD Ameritrade Field (Home of the College World Series) in Omaha.
In addition, the Newport is now starring in its second movie of 2021- Shirley- a film about Shirley Chisholm, the black Congresswoman from NY and the first black woman to run for the presidency in the Democratic primaries.
Here is a shot of the Newport on a Cincinnati Street reenacting 1968 in NYC.
The Newport isn’t done- we would love to take it out to Newport Beach CA! we again would do it as a fund raiser for the Dave Parker 39 Foundation. Just need a sponsor to cover the gas! Any offers?
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