The following few pages share my unusual vehicle history. I flew many different airplanes, owned a collection of motorcycles, and owned many interesting cars. Believe it or not, these pages do not share the many more vehicles that I became intimately involved with through friends, college roommates, working in an aero club helping as a mechanic, and helping in the four different auto shops and upholstery shop that I helped start and owned.
My father was an instructor pilot for the Air Force, totally airplane crazy and an exceptionally hard smart worker who had quite a bit of discretionary money. Much of his extra income came from buying distressed homes that with my and my mother's help we refurbished and he then rented. With him being an Air Force troubleshooter, we moved constantly leaving my parents with homes all over the country. He bought his own airplane to visit their properties. He also became a member of one of the largest military aero clubs in the nation. That club bought and restored vintage airplanes that the members could rent. That was a dream come true as he was never happier than when he could "tear up the sky" with flips, stalls, spins, loops, and tricky stunt flying. His happiest flying was when he rented the aero club jet trainer or WW II fighter and took them through all their paces or when he screamed through the air with his turbocharged high-performance Beech Bonanza.
My father really wanted me to get into flying as much as I had enjoyed his fine woodworking, and I caught my father's flying bug bad. That is strange because I hate heights and have severe acrophobia. Flying does not bother me unless the maneuvers get too radical. That makes me a very conservative flyer compared to my father. To be able to fly I spent lots of time at the aero club helping to wash planes, do minor mechanical work, and trade my time for aircraft rides. Most of the club members who either had their own planes or flew the club planes enjoyed having an interested passenger copilot, so I got lots of rides and considerable time flying a wide variety of planes.
Eventually I also got to play at a level very few ever get to experience. One of my first successful ventures was building a pillow manufacturing firm in college. It went gold, was driving me crazy from too much work and slow payments, so I sold it to my first employee for quite a bit of cash and a couple of years of ongoing royalties. Suddenly I had lots of friends. When you are young and have not yet been issued your brain, you tend to do lots of stupid things or at least I did. I found myself starting a radio station, a rock and roll group, a bar restaurant, a property management business, a landscaping firm, and put up the money for four of my friends to each start automotive repair businesses and another to start an upholstery shop. In repayment each let me have first choice on vehicles that their customers abandoned rather than pay their bills. Most of my projects took a lot of my time or money to refurbish, but my bar restaurant went gold meaning it made lots of money. As you can see on the following pages, that financial success let me drive and fly an interesting collection of vehicles.