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What Did Jesus Drive? by Jason Vines

Book Reviews & Giveaways

What Did Jesus Drive?What Did Jesus Drive? by Jason Vines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of my review partners read this book and reports that it is highly entertaining and even caused laughs out loud more than once. The information feels well researched and honest. What you learn here just might be important sometime down the road, and having read this book you will be more prepared. Some of the ideas presented seemed to grow from personal experience giving the book a more personal touch often lacking in other books with similar audience. We were provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced our opinion.

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Barbara Terry interview with Mike Piazza

When you think of Mike Piazza, you think of the all-time home run champion for Major League Baseball catch­ers, hitting 400! You think playboy, because of his good looks and success. You think of a 12-time all-star during a career that is likely to end up getting him into the Hall of Fame. You don’t necessarily think of a family man and a guy that’s hip on car dealerships.

All right Mike, let’s start with the very beginning. What was your first car?

I believe it was a, yes, it was a ’72 Nova. It was kind of neat. It had the air shocks in the back with the air hose. It was red. My father was in the car business so we always had a plethora of cars. I even had an IROC Z.

What motor did you have in the IROC Z?

I don’t even remember. I think it was the larger motor. The sport with t-tops and stuff. That was standard issue in high school for me. What else did we have? We had a bunch of stuff. Like I said, the good thing about being in the car business was that you get so many trade-ins. I mean, my first job was when I was 12 years old, washing cars down at my dad’s car lot. So I was driving around the parking lot when I was 14. I’ve always loved cars and it is such a big part of my fami­ly history.

Your dad’s dealership, was it a used car dealership or was it a franchise?

My dad started with used cars and then he was one of the first Datsun dealers in this country in 1968,1 believe, which is now Nissan. Then he eventually went into Honda. He got a Honda franchise, and the gas crunch hit in the ’70s. They did really well for him, especially in the last year or two, as there’s been a big push for hybrids because of the gas prices. Remember, back in the ’70s, there was a gas crunch and people were lin­ing up for gas? Do you know what I’m talking about?

Mike, I was not pumping gas in the ’70s, so I do not remember that!

There was this gas crunch in the ’70s and people were waiting for gas. I don’t know if it was OPEC or what.

Each station had a certain allotment of gas per week and when they sold out, they were done. So, the point is, there was a rush on Hondas. They were selling hun­dreds and hundreds of Hondas a month based on what was going on with gasoline.

Cars are cool.

No, they are very cool. It’s a part of Americana. Like the way horses were in the 1800s and horseless carriages were in the 1900s. There’s something about America and its vastness and the freedom it offers, you know.

People love to drive with the top down. It gives them a sense of freedom, it’s what the United States is, where­as, in Europe, the towns are laid out in a communal sense. You have the plaza orthe piazza and the church.

You could walk to church or walk to breakfast or walk to coffee. This country is a little more based on the automobile. I’m going off on a weird tangent here.

That’s okay (ALL LAUGH). You mentioned you were driving at 14. How old were you when you got your dri­ver’s license?

Seventeen.

Why were you 17 and not 16?

Because my dad wouldn’t let me drive. He thought if I drove at 16, that I wouldn’t be as focused on baseball.

Ohhhhh.

Yeah. I think it goes back to what I was saying. You’re rebellious at that time. I think if I got my license at 16,1 would have been too worried about cruising for girls instead of baseball.

That’s what we all did at 16.

Yeah, but I remember him telling me,’If you get to the Major Leagues, you’ll have all the cars you want and all the girls you want but you have to get to the Major Leagues first’ I remember him saying those words, so, again, I have to thank him for that.

Your dad was very insightful and correct regarding his beliefs in your future career.

He was right, so maybe, again, I have to thank him. In his defense, too, I was a very aloof, free-spirited kid. It all worked out, as you can see.

Okay, so you got your driver’s license when you were 17 and you had a Nova. Can you tell me more about the Nova. Was it a trade-in at your dad’s dealership?

Yeah, it was a trade-in. I actually think a friend of his had it and then I drove it for a few months. I really only had it for a couple of months, then I just started looking around at other cars. I would be at my dad’s dealership when a trade- in would come in and would drive the salesmen crazy because they wanted to resell all of the trade-ins, but I wanted dibs on some of them.

This is how I got my IROC. It was funny because I remem­ber that car, being as I have an affinity for those late-’60s muscle cars – the Camaros, the GTOs, the Chevelles. I love watching auto auctions on TV. I think it’s cool. But I’m more into the one-off classic car look with a new car vibe. I’m not big into the whole complete reproduction, which I think is cool, but I like the newer versions of the old car.

Of course! Like the new Camaro and/or the Challenger coming out. What do you think about the Saleen Mustangs?

I think they’re cool cars. I’m not a huge Ford aficionado. Obviously, some people are Ford and others are Chevy. There are a few Fords that I like, but I was always big on GM – a little bit of MOPAR and I like the Chargers. I watched The Dukes of Hazzard as a kid and those are cool cars. Some guy here locally has a beautiful Charger. He’s trying to sell it and keeps reducing the price.

How fast have you gone in a street car?

It’s pretty funny. I had a ’97 Mercedes S-600 in California when I played with the Dodgers. It’s so funny, but I don’t want to tell it. A friend of mine is a guy named Eddie Braun – a Hollywood stunt man. He has crashed cars his whole life. He’s Charlie Sheen’s stunt double and I met him in California. He’s huge. So I had this, not the SL, but the S, the 600, the two-door with aftermarket 19-inch Pirellis. I just remember we were going down the 405 with no traffic, about 11:30 in the morning. Eddie kept telling me to step on it so we could see what it could do. So I hammer it down. This car was a monster, the V12.1 look down and I’m doing 120, and I blow right by a C.H.I.P.

No way.

Yeah. He pulls me over. He comes up to the window. He says, ‘License and registration.’ Then he says, “Where you going so fast, Mike?’ Just like that. Apparently he recog­nized’ me. I was playing for the Dodgers, so I was some­what recognizable, I guess, and my buddy Eddie said, ‘Officer, I’m a stunt guy. It’s my fault. I encouraged him. I said let’s see what this can do.’ He was totally trying to help me out and this guy goes, ‘Do you know this girl?’ He just started to make small talk and didn’t give me a ticket. I told him, ‘Officer, I never drive like this – wide open road, not a truck in sight – so I opened it up.’ I don’t want to say that’s an excuse, but this was the most safe condition where you could actually do that. This was so straight, at a point after Laguna Beach, where you could see for five miles. I ham­mered it and never felt anything like it It was, like, 120. That’s it -11:30 in the morning and I got pulled over.

It’s too tempting not to feel the rush of the speed when you have perfect conditions.

I’m not advocating breaking the law, but you’re right. I find it hard to believe that someone in the middle of Montana in the summer with five lanes and no cars… again. I’m not saying it’s okay, but, if you’re going 100 miles an hour, nobody’s going to notice.

I love coming to Florida. It is so laid back here.

Yeah. There are so many cars out there now, it really is dangerous. You don’t know. In Florida, a cop told me 20 per­cent of the drivers are over 80.

Oooooh!

That’s one in five over 80. With that statistic, you have to be careful. You have to drive defensively.

It should always be about safety and safety first.

Yeah. Now I have Cheerios on the floor of my Mercedes.

Do you ever see yourself owning a hybrid; don’t you want to go zero to 60 in 30 minutes?

That’s a good question. The Escalade – isn’t that the biggest contradiction-the Escalade hybrid. It’s like having a huge golf cart.

Yeah. You don’t have the horsepower like you would with a big V8 gas engine, so do not expect to really be able to punch it.

Until they really perfect the technology of some kind of alternative fuel, whether that be the hydrogen cell or the hybrid, I think I will stick with my current cars.

Have you heard about the Tesla?

Yeah, the four-door they’re now making. I just had the Car and Driver that it was in, and that’s a pure plug-in car, right?

Yes, and it does have quite a bit of umph and get-up- and-go!

No, I don’t doubt that. I think the question is, again, if you plug it into the wall, you’re still using some form of fossil fuel – some coal plant or whatever – unless it’s nuclear. I don’t know. I have no problem with alterna­tive fuels. I think it’s cool and there is a market for that one day. I don’t think you’ll ever get the gas-fueled combustible engine out of the Americana, as it is in our blood. Of course, you can tone it back. If you have a Prius you take to work every day, that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m not saying you always have to have a Ferrari or a Mercedes, but I think there is an affinity for a combustible engine in this country. I don’t ever see it subsiding.

Well, it can’t totally. For instance, you take the South, you take construction workers. They’re never going to work out of a Prius. They need a truck. They’ll have to have their three-quarter and one-ton pick-up trucks to use for their careers, to make a living.

You’re right. It’s like when I travel; I take the babysitter and my wife, my daughter and the luggage and her coach and other stuff. So I have to call for an SUV to pick us up at the airport. Am I going to take two Priuses? We’re a traveling culture, we’re a driving culture and I think alter­native fuels are great. I think they should be pursued and perfected. I think it would be great to pull up and get hydro­gen. It would be cheaper. I just don’t want to end up like the Hindenburg. I don’t want to blow up.

(LAUGH) When you first got signed to a big contract what was the car that you went out and grabbed up?

That’s a good question. I would say, not when I first got signed, but that Mercedes was like my first toy car, that two-door.

Now you have a Mercedes and a Range Rover. What other cars have you owned?

Living in New York, I always had an affinity for Mercedes. I had one of the first BMW 7 Series in this country-the new 2002, black 745.

You know not to buy the first year of any new model. Why’d you do that?

Because I wanted it. Because I wanted to be the first to have one.

They had a series of mechanical problems with that new body 745 in 2002, so your car probably spent more time in the shop than in your garage, right?

Yeah. I don’t follow suit with most people. Usually you’re either a BMW guy or a Mercedes guy. I like them both. I think the BMW 7 Series is a great driving car. My Mercedes S-550 I have now is a great car. I think there’s something to be said about German engi­neering. The doors shut more crisply.

Nice luxury suspension. There’s a butt for every seat. That’s why so many manufacturers stay in business – because we all have different tastes.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s like with wine – there’s French wine, a little more European, a little smoother. There’s California wine, a little more robust; Cabernet, out-of-the-barrel drinkable, a little smoother. I think that’s the cool thing, and I’m into being all over the map. If I see a car and I like it, then I will buy it. I don’t stick to a genre.

Do you have your eyes on a particular vehicle now?

Yeah. I want the four-door Lamborghini, black exterior with parchment/tan interior or the silver. I just don’t know if I want to pay $400,000 for a car.

A four-door Lambo?

I think it’s cool. I have to have a baby seat in the back.

I can’t have a two-door anymore. When you have kids, your whole life changes.

What has been your favorite car from the get-go?

That’s a good question. That’s like picking a favorite fla­vor of ice cream, a favorite candy.

You probably have a certain passion for each car that you have owned.

I was never a huge Porsche fan. It’s sort of smaller and I’m a bigger guy, so it’s tough for me to get in. I’ve always liked larger formatted cars with four doors, and with that said, yeah, it’s fun driving a Ferrari. I was actually considering getting the, you remember the 456 GT automatic Ferrari. When it first came out it was the first automatic car that I can recall. It had a front engine, so it was kind of a cool car.

I see you cruising down South Beach in a Bentley Arnage.

The Bentley Arnage. Maybe the Silver Spur, but I don’t know about the Arnage. I would have to say that this is the largest collection of Bentleys in the world, in South Beach. There’s no question. It’s funny, you pull up to a hotel and you expect special treatment with a Bentley. I have a friend and we joke. We’re, like, There’s anoth­er Bentley and another Bentley. There’s another Bentley.’ Yeah, when those first came out, they were all over the place. But look how Bentley got in that market, that higher-end luxury market in the U.S.

SUVs, without a doubt give you a sense of security by being elevated.

Oh my God, you just want a fighting chance if, God for­bid, you get in an accident. There’s something to be said about that. With a lot of cars in America, there are also a lot of bad drivers…really bad drivers. I now think, as a parent, your priorities shift. You kind of become more evolved. I want my daughter in a nice safe Mercedes with something around her.

What Mike was most proud of was his wife, daughter and family. He seemed to be at a very happy place in his life, improving his dream homea renovation project he began as soon as he retiredand building a family.

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Barbara Terry interview with Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer Is known as ‘The King’ for many reasons. He was king of the golf world for years, being the first man to reach a million dollars in earnings; and having won seven majors throughout his career, includ­ing the Masters four times fbetween 1958 to 1964); the U.S. Open in I960; and the British Open in 1961 and 1962. He is the king of charity, too, having won numerous humanitarian and golf achievement awards over the years. He is also king of the business world, as he’s an excellent entrepreneur, helping found the Golf Channel and owning successful car dealerships

Arnold’s choice in his Cadillac dealerships is a perfect fit for him because, in reality, he’s the Cadillac of golf. He has set the pace that Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have followed and driven themselves to break. Arnold was very enjoyable and informative, and very passionate about aviation throughout the course of this interview.

What was your first car that you owned?

You don’t want to go back that far.

I do if you do.

Well, the first car I had was a two-door Ford sedan, and it was a 1949.

Okay. Did you buy it with your own money or was it given to you?

I bought it with my own money, as I have with every car or every mode of transportation that I have ever had.

Let’s start off with airplanes and your fascination with flying. Then we can get into your history with cars, other modes of transportation and your car dealer­ships.

When I was very young I went on a golf trip to play a tournament as an amateur. It was a DC3, which was a mode of transportation in those days. I flew through a thunderstorm on my way to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It scared the life out of me. I saw things I had never heard of and I didn’t know what was happening. So, having been scared, I decided that, in my life, I was probably going to do a lot of flying and traveling. That was going to be very important to my destiny.

As soon as I got home, I decided I was going to learn more about aviation and traveling. As the years went by, I studied and worked on learning more about avia­tion, and the first year that I became a professional and I had enough money, I started adding to that by taking flying lessons. Time went on, and within two years, I had a private license and started flying by myself to various exhibitions and tournaments. I found that, in doing that, it afforded me the opportunity to do my work-meaning play golf-and do exhibitions. And it allowed me to spend time with my family. I would go out in the morning, for example, play an exhibition, do the things I needed to do and then fly home at night so I was with my family.

As time went on and I started playing more tourna­ments, I found that I could get to the tournament sites far easier flying than I could driving. The first couple years, I drove across the United States. I drove to L.A., back to the East coast, back to the West coast. That was very trying. After about five years of that, I was to where I could afford to fly more and I flew commercially. That started in about 1955, and about 1961, I bought my first airplane – a twin-engine Aero Commander. By then, my family had grown a little and, during the summer, I put my wife and children in the airplane with me and I flew to the golf tournaments.

As my schedule got more hectic, I bought another air­plane in 1963, which was a 560 Aero Commander. I bought that new and, because of the heavy schedule, I hired a pilot part-time to go with me to help take care of the air­plane and to fly with me to tournaments. As the years went on, I had a great interest in some of the executive travel that was going on. I was watching the executive airplanes turn into jets. In 1966,1 leased a Jet Commander and I flew that for two years. The lease ran out and I made a new deal with Lear for a Lear 24. That deal was a nine-year deal. I flew it myself with the pilot who accompanied me, took care of the airplane and did a lot of the stuff that was necessary to be professional and fly yourself around the country.

Nine years I did that, and then, in 1976,1 had a good friend who was an attorney who represented me. He became an aviation expert and became a part of Cessna. So, when the lease ran out on the Lear 24, I went to a Cessna Citation 1. That was one of the first Cessna Citations built. I got the No. 1 Citation 2. That was in 1978. Then, in 1983,1 got a Citation 3.1 had a couple of those. And then, in 1992, I got a Citation 7. In 1996,1 got a Citation 10-the No. 1 pro­duction airplane. Then, in 2002,1 got my second Citation 10 and that’s what I’m flying today. I fly these airplanes myself. I go to Flight Safety once a year to do my recurrent training for the Commander, all the Citations and the Citation 10. I’m somewhere in the area of over hours of flying. I fly my airplane everywhere I go.

Is there a favorite place that you like to fly to?

Everywhere that I fly to, I go on business. I fly for golf, for business. One of my favorite places, of course, where I do a great deal of business, is Palm Springs, California. I do like to fly there.

How old were you when you first got your pilot’s license?

I was 26 years old.

Have you ever been caught up in the air in a bad thun­derstorm? Other than the first one you told me about?

I have been in thunderstorms flying on numerous occasions and, particularly, in my early days. The first airplanes that I flew did not have radar. So I flew in weather, and occasionally, I got in a thunderstorm, yes. In those days, it wasn’t quite like it is today, where you can get directions around thunderstorms. In my early days of flying, if you flew on instruments, you were inevitably going to fly in thunderstorms. That was just a part of the business of flying.

What’s been your all-time favorite plane that you’ve owned or had from the get- go?

Citation 10.

At what year did you open up your first car dealership?

The first dealership I had was in 1981. That was Arnold Palmer Motors.

How many dealerships do you have now?

Well, we built the dealerships up to nine and I have sold all but one. I still have Arnold Palmer Motors in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

While flying yourself around on the golf circuit, did you find that you were the only player doing so, or were there other players also flying themselves around?

No, actually, there were some before me. A guy by the name of Johnny, who goes way back. He was a pilot and did some flying. Then guys like Lloyd Mangrum had a Bonanza. Jimmy Demaret had an airplane that he flew. There are others, I just can’t come up with all of them. And, of course, in the early days, not long after Jack Nicklaus came on the tour, he got an airplane. He wasn’t a pilot, but he had an airplane and he had a crew that flew him wher­ever he wanted to go.

What do you currently have going on,? Do you do a lot of charity work? You mentioned that you still fly to events. What current events do you have going on?

I have the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women; the Arnold Palmer Medical Center here in Orlando. It’s quite large. We have, in the medical cen­ter, we have the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Children and Women. That’s brand new and it’s huge. We have the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in that medical cen­ter, we have a trauma center in that medical center and we have a cancer research center in that center. I have an Arnold Palmer Pavilion, which is a cancer treatment center in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I have a prostate cancer center in the Lucy Curci Cancer Center at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs, California. We have a hand center that is in Baltimore – Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. And a guy by the name of Tom Grant, who is in charge of that, is doing some work with people like John Kanzius, who is working to help cure cancer with M.D. Anderson. And I’m chairman of the hospital foundation at the Excela Latrobe Hospital.

Don’t you have an annual golf tournament that you host?

I have a tournament here at Bay Hill that is an annual tournament that is called the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It goes on every March. One of the recip­ients is the Arnold Palmer Hospital or Medical Center here in Orlando.

If you had a dream plane that you have yet to acquire, what would that plane be?

Just the Citation 10.1 just want to keep it. I love it.

What all do you love about it? Tell me a few key things.

It’s my second Citation 10; I had the first production model. I’m now at 176 production-the fastest private executive jet in the air. It seats 11 people and it’s a wonderful vehicle to get around the world in.

Is it a common thing, in this day and time, that players fly themselves on the circuit?

There’s a few of them that have airplanes that take themselves from one course to another, such as Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus. But they do notflythe air­planes, they have crews that fly them.

Do you happen to listen to music while you’re flying?

No, I’m busy working. I can’t afford the luxury of music while I’m flying an airplane. I have to pay attention to what I’m doing.

Arnold Palmer is all about class. From major championships to Cadillacs to airplanes, he exudes elegance and style. He is one of the greatest golfers of all time and, along with Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones, is one of the few professional golfers that can truly be included In the conversation as perhaps the greatest golfer of all time. It was a pleasure to interview him and it’s a true honor to have him included in this book.

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Barbara Terry interview with Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt is a celebrated Major League pitcher who has spent his entire nine-year career, thus far, with the Houston Astros. He’s won almost twice as many games as he’s lost (137-70) and has compiled an impres­sive 3.23 career ERA. He’s won 20 games twice – in the 2004 and 2005 seasons – and has played in three all-star games. Roy is in contention for the Cy Young Award seemingly every year, finishing in the top five for Cy Young voting year after year.

So, Roy, what was your first car?

It was a ’63 Step Side truck. I worked all summer to get it. It was a bad green. We got a guy to paint it for me for $500. He did a pretty good job, too. Painted it blue. I drove that until my senior year and got another Step Side Truck – a ’95. I’m looking for that truck – the ‘63.1 have the serial number and everything. I’m trying to go through the state where you can send in and they’ll see if you’re looking for it for real or looking for some­one. They make sure you want to find it. I just want to restore it.

I have other athletes in the book that have located a car from their past. David Ragan, for instance. There was an old Corvette his dad had sold to get funds to help David in his early racing days and he found it in Pennsylvania. The guy didn’t want to sell it back and David wanted to buy it to surprise his dad. I guess David sweetened the deal and he finally got it.

It’s actually funny, 10 years after I sold it, I was walk­ing through the woods and the truck drove by and I couldn’t get back to my truck in time to catch it, and that was it. I wrecked the ’63 one time and tried to Bondo it myself. I noticed the Bondo when it drove by. That was probably eight years ago when I saw it. I sold it 13 or 14 years ago.

What did you own after that? Cars, trucks tractors, bulldozers?

When I was drafted after college, I bought a boat – a splash and sea kind of boat I used to tow around the city. We had fun with it. I had that for three years. I towed it around from New York to Michigan to Florida and all across the country. Then I sold it and I bought a ’98 Explorer in 2000. Now I have a Cadillac Escalade I bought in ’01 when I got to the major leagues. I got another Cadillac Escalade last year for my wife. And I have a ’63 Chevy Camaro and a 2010 Tundra.

Tell me about the Bulldozer that you have.

The best thing I own. (GRINS FROM EAR TO EAR) The restaurant I own, I actually made that parking lot with it. I got it for winning a game in the World Series in ’05. The owner of the Astros has a lot of real estate in Texas and he bought a bulldozerto clean up his ranch. I asked him what he was going to do with it when he was done and he said, probably sell it. I was going to buy that one from him. We were in the playoffs and I was watching Tate on the St. Louis Cardinals before I pitched against him. The owner came in and we were talking while I was watching Tate on TV, and he said he’d buy me a new bulldozer if I beat Tate. I got up, shook his hand and went back. I remember pitching about the sixth inning and we were winning 4-1.1 was thinking I needed four more innings. I got through three more innings and the reliever came in, in the ninth, and finished it off. I never left the field. I sat in the clubhouse next to the owner and reminded him of it, and he came through. I got it in the off-season.

What kind of music do you listen to in the car?

All kinds of country – Kenny Chesney, Merle, Hank, Rascal Flatts.

Have you ever looked at another player’s car and told yourself you needed one of those?

I am not big on new cars. We have a lot of guys that have Lamborghinis and stuff, but I’m not big on them. I like older cars. We have a first base coach – Cheo Cruz – that played with the Astros for 20 years. He had a ’57 Chevy that was nice and he also had a ’64 Mustang that was a convertible. That was nice. I like old, classic cars.

They’re hard to beat. What about your Camaro? Tell me about how you found it and the restoration process.

I was actually in Texas. I love ’67 and ’69 Camaros. Probably ’69 the best. I was looking at one that was pretty close to the original, something I liked. It was nice on the inside. I like the old-school look with a new school ride, so I was going to keep the look on the outside, but have the drive and suspension of a new Corvette. I took the inside of a 2010 Camaro and put it in the ’67 Camaro.

Do you get a lot of tickets?

No. (LAUGHTER)

Something was definitely up here. I wasn’t going to leave it at that.

Do you get pulled over a lot?

I’ve had a few tickets.

How fast have you gone?

Well, actually, I wasn’t driving. I was 15 and I just had a permit, but my friend had his license and we bor­rowed a car from a friend. She was 19 and the car was a new Accord with about 500 miles on it. There was a town up the road about eight miles – we used to hang out there. We came driving through town in a new car

and everybody wanted a ride, so we picked up two girls and my wife-who I was dating at the time -and my brother and a friend of mine. So there were seven of us in a Honda Accord.

How did you manage that?

My friend, my wife and I were sitting in the middle. My brother and two girls and another guy were in the back. We decided to go to another town and shoot some pool, and we wanted to see how fast it would go so we floored it.

Was it a four- or a six-cylinder?

It was a six. We probably got it to about 120. It would­n’t go any faster. We were on a straightaway, and back then they wouldn’t let cars cut off. Now, they run too fast, they’ll blow up. We get to the top of the hill and there’s a State Trooper. All I see is blue lights. At the time, my buddy told me he had a license, but he didn’t. He had a permit. I had a permit. My brother had a license. So my buddy’s legal, but he only has a per­mit. He says, ‘What do I do?’ I said pull over and he said he wasn’t stopping. So we don’t stop and that policeman chased us for, it seemed like days, but it was hours. We had that thing floored.

This is like an episode of Dukes of Hazzard.

Yeah. We’re flying down the road. We can see blue lights two hills behind us as we go up a mountain on a dirt road. The car’s turning so we decide, whichever way the car goes, we’re going the other. There’s two dirt trails. Well, this car’s going 30 and we’re going 100, so there’s a little bit of dust. Then we get to a T, and luckily on the other side of the T is a field, and we’re, like, which way, which way and nobody answers. So we actually jump the T and head out into this field and I’m, like, ‘Right, right, right,1 and we turn right. We got so far ahead of him he called back-up and set a road block. But we’d taken so many turns, they didn’t know where to set the road block. We get back to the high­way and there’s three cars. When we passed the offi­cer, it was pitch dark so he couldn’t see the color of the car.

We got in between those three cars and as all this goes on, my buddy that has a license changes seats with my buddy driving because he doesn’t want to get in trouble with his permit. We ease up to the road block and they have Mustangs ready to go. We pull up with a car in front of us and a car behind us. An officer comes up and asks to see a driver’s license. He says, ‘What are you guys doing down here?’ My buddy says, ‘We had to take this girl back home after we went to the movies. What’s going on?’ Like we have no idea. The officer says, ‘Somebody’s trying to be funny and outrun the law.’ The police officer gave him back his license and we drive through the road block. We’re free and laughing all the way home. Three days later, the guy that turned at the top of the hill got video.

Oh no.

Yeah, and they got the tag number. They went to the girl’s house. We dropped the car off that night and I know that thing had dings and scratches on it. We washed it up, but it was dark and we couldn’t see. She’s, like, ‘You guys are so responsible. Anytime you want it, you come get it.’ I felt bad. Three days later, the cops come to her house to arrest her. She told them who did it and called Scott, my friend, and said, ‘Get ready, the cops are coming to your house.’

Wow.

They showed up. He got a lot of tickets and stuff, and we all got in big trouble.

Did you get grounded? Did you get a whoopin’?

I didn’t get a whoopin’, but I got grounded for a while.

Wow, that’s a great story. That has to be one of the best that I have heard. Rules are made to be broken!

Until my kids read it.

Okay. It’s a great story, though. I have to print it. But maybe we should move on. When you got your first big contract did you go out and buy a cool car?

I actually didn’t. I was scared I wouldn’t make the big leagues, so I put most of it back to build a house. I did, however, buy that boat.

With the Step Side Chevy, it seems that you are quite a Chevy guy. Is there a dream car or truck you have ever wanted or dreamt about?

Classic cars. I like ’57 Chevys. They were big cars growing up. My dad loved them and he would brag on them. Going down the street, if we saw one, he would always ask us what make, model and year.

Have you ever had any bad accidents other than outrun­ning the law?

I’ve had a few. I had one in high school. (A DEVILISH GRIN SPREADS ACROSS HIS FACE) I wasn’t supposed to be doing what I was doing. I was taking home a friend after high school who didn’t have a ride, after baseball practice. That ’63 truck I had, it had a six-cylinder when I got it and I put a 327 in it – an old Holley.

What’s up with you and this horsepower thing? You always need it bigger and faster.

It’s funny, when I stop at a light if they take off, I have to pass them. There’s something about competition. I have to beat them and race through town.

So, I take him home and he says something like, ‘This thing won’t run very fast.’ I take off and I try to go around this long curve and I let my right tire get on the gravel. We actually went down in one ditch, and went across and started spinning in the highway. As we’re spinning, it’s funny, it’s almost like slow motion. My buddy says, ‘We’re going to flip.’ I’m trying to drive and we start to straighten out. I shift into second and try and go the other way to drive out of it. I’m going so fast, backwards, smoke is com­ing off the tires. We go through and hit a fence post and end up in a pond. I get out and I think my truck is dead. The fender’s gone and I try and back it out. The tire actually had come off the rim when I came off the road and I could­n’t get it out. I had to call a tow truck and got grounded for that, too, because I wasn’t supposed to be down that way.

What year was this and how old were you?

Nineteen ninety-three, and 16.

So, Roy, why are you so rough on vehicles?

I like to try them out.

How well can you drive a stick shift?

That’s all I drive.

How many more years will you play? I ask because some athletes in this book are on the cusp and some are retired.

I’m going to play two more, for sure, and then decide. We’ll see where I’m at. If I’m close to something, I might go after it numbers-wise or championship-wise, but probably not much longer than that. I want to try and do something else, maybe NASCAR. I love competition.

Cool. Okay, road trips. Do you have any favorites.? I’m sure you drive from Texas to Mississippi.

Yeah, I own land in Mississippi. Actually, Jake Peavy, we own land together there and in Michigan, and we kind of hunt there and go to Illinois and hunt, and then Alabama, maybe, all season. It’s a tour.

So, your hunting ranch, is it like Jay Novacek’s hunting ranch. The Upper 84?

That’s what I have here.

Tell me all about it

I started it in ‘06.1 high-fenced it and I’ve been trying to get the deer to a high quality so somebody who would pay to come on will shoot quality deer. I just started selling hunts this year and had a few guys come on. It’s fun. A lot of these people are corporate people and I like meeting them. It gives you options after baseball. Plus, watching some­one else kill one is as fun as hunting. The place in Illinois and Missouri is just personal, with friends and family.

Is it solid deer or are there other options for a good hunt?

I have some exotics too, from Africa and India.

How long does it take you to dress a deer?

Just take the hide off of it? Twenty minutes.

Tell me about your charity. Fund 44.

We have a bond set up, so if someone loses their house in a fire or they lose their job, we buy stuff at Christmas for them.

Tell me about your restaurant.

We just built it. I wanted a steakhouse close. I’m tired of driving 45 minutes to eat.

I figured that was your restaurant when I drove by it. Do you have frog legs on the menu?

Yes, we have frog legs, quail, a catfish buffet, but we specialize in steaks. All Angus. I try to buy the best. I looked all over Texas and I actually get meat from Buckhead in Atlanta. The biggest thing for me, here, I try and invest in quality, but here you have to have something you can afford. I could have the best in the world, but no one around here is going to pay $50 a steak. I’m trying to get the best quality that you can afford. It’s been working so far. It’s called Home Plate and we opened in November of 2009. □

Roy, without a doubt, had the most rural location out of the 40 athletes in my book. Something about the smell of game, cow shit and hot rides just takes me back to growing up in small town Texas. Floy’s Southern hospitality was addictive and inviting. Heck, he even left me drive his bulldozer!

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athletes, boxing, Dallas Cowboys, fast, football, nascar, olympics, sexy, WWE

Barbara Terry interview with Dan O’Brien

Dan 0′ Brien is a three-time world champion and gold medal Olympic dec athlete. How many people could com­pete in so many events -10-10 track and field events…to be able to finish them, let alone beat everybody in the world at the 100-meter run, the long jump, shot put, javelin toss events and so forth ? How much energy must a guy like Dan O’Brien possess, how much drive?

So, what was your first car?

My first car was a beat-up B210, when I was in 11th grade. I got it for $500.

What color was it?

It was primer gray.

So, it was obviously used when you got it. How many miles did it have on it?

You know what, I don’t even remember. But it was really old and beat-up. I do remember I sold it when I went off to college. I had that car in high school, but I didn’t drive it a whole bunch. I had a buddy that knew this girl that had a convertible. We drove around all the time. My car was just kind of a rig that I would use when I didn’t get a ride from somebody else. And it was amazing, I sold it for more money than I got it for when I went off to college a couple years later.

Wow. It sounds like you were a kind of car wholesaler.

Well, you know what? I lived in an apartment complex before I went to college and there were a couple of girls that borrowed my car all the time. Finally, I said, ‘You know what? I’m leaving in a couple of months and it’s yours if you wanna buy it.’ I had a couple people that wanted it and I sold it to the highest bidder.

Where do you think that truck is now?

Oh, you know it’s gotta be in the scrap someplace.

All right so what’s your favorite car, or dream car, if you don’t already have it? What would that car be and do you think that you’ll ever buy that car?

Absolutely, and I do believe I will actually own that car at some point. But the car that always catches my eye, that always stands out, is the E55, the Mercedes E55. They’re sports sedans, top-of-the-line sports sedans.

Do you think you’ll ever pull the trigger on the Mercedes?

You know, I’m actually looking around right now and I like the older Mercedes. They offer a little bit more room inside. I owned a C Class – I owned two C Classes – in the ’90s that were actually World Championship awards. A Mercedes with an IAAF Track and Field sponsor in the ’90s, and I won a C Class Mercedes in 1993 and then another one in 1995. So I owned a C Class Mercedes, you know, for many years. I got rid of those, and I got my wife a car. I’m sure that I’ll get my E-Koff at some point. It’s interesting, I always look for a carthat’s a couple years old. I’m kind of stuck in the old models. I like the old European, where it’s really, really roomy inside.

What color combination Mercedes are you going to buy?

You know, I like the traditional black exterior with the tan interior. I also like the silver and white in the desert. It hides the dirt better, if you’re always clean­ing your cars. Leather’s a little bit more tough to han­dle in this heat, but I don’t know. I think it’s probably gonna be the black or silver.

Okay, I guess living in the desert area, you have to change the batteries a little more often.

Yeah, you do. It’s really interesting. I lived in the Northwest my entire life until about 2002 and it didn’t seem like you had to really pay that much attention to the service on your vehicle. Every 3,000 miles, 2,000 miles, you get your oil changed. But your tires seem to last a lot longer, your bat­teries seem to last a lot longer. Here, I’ve moved down to the desert where, in five years, I’ve changed my battery, I’ve had to get a new windshield. You really gotta keep up on the maintenance of your vehicle just because of the toll the hot weather takes on the car.

Yep, and with the air filter, you’ve gotta change it every 3000 miles, 10,000 miles because of the dust.

Absolutely. And when I moved down here, my car had to go through an emissions test. I’ve never really had to do that.

Can you drive a stick shift?

Absolutely. Yeah, I learned how to drive a stick shift when I was just in high school, when I was just learning to drive. We had about a 20-acre farm and it was important that I, even at age 14 or 15, knew how to drive a car. My uncle had a Volkswagen Bug that he made into kind of a beach dune buggy, and he used to let me drive when we got out into the country. That’s how I learned.

Sounds fun. How old were you when you got your driver’s license?

I was 16, and I think I failed the first time.

The classroom part or the driving part?

The classroom part. But I remember I took my driver’s test in a stick shift.

Oh really?

And I remember I stopped on a pretty decent incline of a hill one time and had to gun it pretty good. But I can remember, it was like a little Toyota pick-up that I took my driver’s test in.

So, funny stories? Like any bad mishaps?

Actually, there is an interesting story. I told you about my friend…he always had a convertible, whether it was a V-8 or an MG. His name was Don and he and I were best friends. We were such good friends that people could’ve mistaken us for each other; we looked alike and hung out together all the time. But he had an MG – a ’78 MG – where, instead of the lug nuts, he had one big bolt in the middle and you could screw off the bolt and you could pull the whole tire off. I remember driving down the road one night and, all of a sudden, the back right half of the car clunks down,

sparks are coming out the back and we’re going 45,50 miles per hour, and we see this tire pass us on the right side. The tire had come undone on that side. The big locking nut in the middle had come undone and the tire had come right off. We’ve got a big rooster of sparks coming off the backside and we see this tire just go past us on the right side. It’s at night, and it looks fantastic with the sparks and everything. So, the tire goes down into the ditch and I’ll bet that tire went a mile into a field. We had to go find this tire in the mid­dle of the night, jack it up and put it back on. That little MG, we just put it through so much. But it was a real­ly strange little car. It was always in the shop. We were always working on it or something. But I haven’t been in any major accidents. Not any mishaps too major, anyway.

What has been the most interesting thing you’ve done in a car?

The most interesting thing.J’ve done a lot of driving, I will say that. Actually, my dad, when we were growing up, bought a, instead of a motor home, he bought a converted school bus. Somebody had converted a pretty good-sized school bus into a camper and it had a woodburning stove in it. It held, like, six or eight peo­ple and we had a pretty large family growing up, and we took this bus. It was white and green. We took this bus everywhere. We went camping in it, we took it to southern Oregon, clear down to L.A., up to Disney World, into Disney Land in Magic Mountain. We real­ly lived in this thing. My dad worked for warehousing in Oregon and there were even times when he would take it out on his work station for the weekend and work for four or five days in one area, and he would live in this. As kids, my brother and I used to go with him and live in this converted school bus. It was real­ly big, and we had a lot we took in there. Now that I think about it, man, I don’t remember growing up being a hippie, but I guess we had this hippie bus.

All right, what are your thoughts on owning versus leasing a car?

I always own my vehicles. Always. I’ve always tried to figure out why people lease and what the benefits to that are, and I’ve always been brought up with the mindset that, if you can’t afford to buy it, then don’t.

Buy the thing so you don’t have to make payments on it. That’s the financial advice that I’ve gotten from the people around me. I thought about leasing a vehicle and I asked a lot of questions. I know people that own car dealerships and I know people that have done both. There never seems to be a standard answer. It seems like it’s different for everybody, and I’m still try­ing to figure that one out.

Well, I think a lot of people are told that they can write off their payments when they lease more, but if you drive your car to or from work and you own your car, then you can do the same.

That’s interesting. I’ve always owned my vehicles, but I’ve been on a leasing program as an athlete – a professional athlete – where I would do a deal with a local Chevy deal­er or some Pontiac dealer and I would get a car to drive for the season or the year. Pretty handy to trade that car in every 4,000 miles or 9,000 miles and get to drive a new one. I enjoy that, but there was always that kind of underlying idea that, This isn’t my car’ so you treated them in the sense that, ‘No, that’s not my car.’ When you’re leasing a car, you watch how you treat it and watch where you park and the kind of stress that you put your car through. I remember, when I first got my first Mercedes, I wanted to cover it up and keep it hidden away because I didn’t want anything bad to happen to it So you really have to treat the car differently when you lease them.

other cars in the past you’ve had leases on cars – but how do you think that affected your decision in cars?

I’ve always just been kind of practical when it comes to cars. I want the thing to be comfortable, clean, I wanna go out and just know that it’s going to start up every day. Even when I didn’t have much money. I’ve tried to take care of my cars. People have gotten into my cars and said, ‘Gosh your car’s clean.’ I don’t go really overboard with cleaning my car. It’s kind of part of ownership with me because I like a clean car so that I can have anyone in it at any time and not think, ‘Oh, my car’s dirty and I don’t want to drive it.’ It’s about practicality. I don’t put big, fat tires on my trucks or big, crazy rims or extravagant paint jobs. I like a good sound system in my car, and I usually just go with however I buy the vehicle. I usually just keep it that way. I have never spent an abhorent amount on changing the look of my exterior of my car. I’ve put a step-aside on my Land Cruiser because it had an option.

What kind of music do you listen to when you’re driving?

I’m very odd. I’ve been told by many people – people not even my own age, kids that I coach – that I have a very wide range of musical tastes. The kind of music that I lis­ten to? I actually listen to a lot of talk radio when I’m driv­ing in the car. I listen to the Adam Carolla show, I listen to Howard Stern, ESPN radio, and just this last year. I’ve been listening to a lot of political discussions on the radio, and I listen to some local guys here in Phoenix. It seems that that’s where I get the majority of my flavor when I’m driving in the car. The kind of music that I listen to is, I like classic rock and roll and R&B. The only bad thing about the radio is that you get the same pop music or same R&B over and over and over again, so I change the channel constantly. But on Saturdays and Sundays, especially dur­ing football, I’m always trying to find a football game.

What do you currently drive?

I drive a ’97 Toyota Land Cruiser, with 70,000 miles.

And that’s actually the one we’re going to do the photo shoot with?

Yup. And that’s a pretty cool car. I bought that car in ’97 and, at the time, it was my largest single purchase. I wrote that check and thought ‘wow’ because I’d never written a check so large for anything, ever. I put it in the garage and I drove a leased car with a local car company that I did a trade-out for a commercial, and my Land Cruiser sat in the garage for a couple of years. So, when I brought it here to Arizona in 2002, it had 30,000 miles on it and it was six years old.

How fast have you driven in a car?

I think I’ve gone 110,115 with a friend of mine that owns a Bentley.

Let’s say, if you would’ve not become an athlete – obvi­ously you’ve chosen a ’97 Land Cruiser and you’ve had been very practical. Saying that, if I still lived in Oregon, where I grew up, I probably would’ve gotten into a Ford F-150. If I lived in California, I would’ve had a car because you do so much more driving there. I like driving on the freeway a lot, I like seeing where I’m going. With the gas mileage, it’s kind of hurting me right now. But, for me, it’s a technicality. My all-time favorite car that I had in the mid ’90s was a Toyota Camry. It was a six-cylinder, it went fast, it went tight, the driving went tight, it was clean. I put my Mercedes in the garage and drove my Camry on a daily basis.

Dan was enthusiastic, to say the least. We thought, on the way to meet him, that he had to be high-energy, but the man we met, the guy that beat the world at track and field in 1996 when he won the gold in Atlanta, was far more energetic than even we conceived. I suppose, as a decath- lete, you learn wasting time is wasting possible success. Dan was gracious and infectious, excited to be part of the book, and he wanted to get the whole process going.

Dan gave Catherine and I more material than we could have asked for. He gave us action shots – jumping hurdles, throwing his javelin, running the bleachers, sweating his tail off – and he graciously gave us pictures of his Land Cruiser.

So, how many Gold medalists are this cool. It takes some energy to enter the 10 events in the decathlon – running, jumping, throwing, let alone to be the very best on the whole planet at it I He was a joy to be around, and we had a great time at the University of Arizona with him. If the stu­dents that he teaches get half the energy we got, they’re lucky kids.


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athletes, boxing, Dallas Cowboys, fast, football, mumps, nascar, ny, olympics

Barbara Terry interview with Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion has played in the NBA since 1999 – for the Phoenix Suns from his rookie season until he was traded for Shaquille O’Neal (along with Marcus Banks) to the Miami Heat in 2008. He is currently playing for the Dallas Mavericks. Shawn is a four-time all-star and won medals in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He is called The Matrix because he is known as one of the most versatile players in the NBA today; in fact, twice in his career – in ‘04-’05 and ‘06-’07 – he was top five in rebounding and steals in the NBA. He was the first person to accomplish that feat since The Admiral – David Robinson – did it in 1992. While he’s known as a gamer on the court, off the court Shawn is an avid car collector.

What was your first car?

Buick Park Avenue, 1996, gold, four-door.

Did you buy it with your own money or did your par­ents buy it for you?

I bought it for $1,000 back in college at Indiana, at one of those little, you know, those car places – little shop, like a little lot.

Like a little tote-the-note type place.

Yeah, yeah. Saw the lot, had a little car out there and I test-drove it. I guess my coach took me because I didn’t have a car. I had a little bit of money. We found one.

How many miles did it have on it? Was it a little on the rough side?

It had enough. That’s why I paid $1,000 for it.

How long did you keep it ?

I had it for a year and a half, possibly two years.

Where do you think that car is now ?

Actually, I shipped it to Vegas when I went to college. That was my car. I had, maybe, two months out there in Vegas. Come to find out, I was trying to do right by having it serviced, but they didn’t really service it when they said it did. I heard this ticking and it blew up.

Did it overheat?

Actually it didn’t overheat. What happened was, after they said they serviced it and they didn’t fix it, I kept on driving it. I had it checked again and the guy was, like, ‘Dude, it’s gone. It’s just a matter of time until it stops going.’ So I was, like, just keep it then. He impounded it and took it to the impound.

What all do you drive now?

I drive a variety of cars. I drive a ’71 Cutlass Supreme; I just had that redone. I drive a 2008 Maserati, a 2006 or 2007 Mark LT, a 2004 760 BMW, 2006 Mustang GT…

What color do you like when it comes to your cars?

I like white. Most of my cars are white except my Maserati. That was my 30th birthday gift to myself, so it’s yellow. I was going to get white, but went yellow instead.

What other cool cars do you sport around in?

What else do I have…a 1966 Lincoln Continental GT,’70 Chevelle. I’m missing something. How many is that?

Wow…l lost count.

Oh, an H2 Hummer. That’s in Chicago with the Mustang. The Dodge Magnum’s in Phoenix. That’s it, those are my rides.

What cars are you going to show us today?

’71 Cutlass and my Maserati. I would do my Lincoln, but the Lincoln’s not here. It’s at the arena.

How old were you when you first learned how to drive?

Twelve or 13.1 spent a little time in Arkansas with my fam­ily on farms and stuff. My uncle used to let me drive pick­up trucks and tractors and stuff. That’s where I learned.

And how old were you when you got your driver’s license?

Fourteen.

Fourteen? Was it a hardship license?

Yeah, it was a hardship license.

Can you drive a stick shift?

Yes I can. I used to drive a Porsche Carrera.

A 911?

Yeah, a 911.1 had a brand new one, right when it came out. A 2006-2007, right around there.

Those are nice. Nothing drives like a Porsche 911.

I love a Porsche. I’m thinking about getting another one. I’m going to get a turbo this time – a white on red one.

What type of music do you listen to while you are cruising?

I listen to a little bit of everything. It doesn’t matter who it is – alternative, variety, pop, whatever.

What about H?

That’s rap.

A little bit of Luther Vandross?

Luther’s all right, you know. I guess it depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I listen to a little bit of everything, though. Luther is kind of chill. Maybe I will listen to him when I have a girl around or something.

Yeah, Luther is a little bit of baby-making type music.

Yeah.

Do you get a lot of speeding tickets?

I’ve had my share.

Is there a points system here in Miami, or do you just hire lawyers to take care of them?

I don’t hire lawyers for anything. There was a points sys­tem in Phoenix. Here, it’s a point system as well, but I had an out-of-state license, so I just paid the fine. Once you’re here so long, you have to get a Miami license. Now I have one, but I haven’t gotten a ticket as of yet.

Knock on wood. Do you find that when you get pulled over, you’re able to talk your way out of the ticket?

(CHUCKLESI Interesting. I got pulled over because my Maserati didn’t have the right exhaust system on it. So I got pulled over for my car being loud.

What kind of exhaust? Flow Master?

No. I have one of those on my Chevelle. This one was cus­tom-made for my Maserati, but it was loud. Real loud.

Okay, so you modify your vehicles. Do you modify all of them? Do you get larger rims, low-profiles, new exhaust systems on all of them or leave some of them alone?

For the most part, I love my music, so I might put a sub­woofer in all of them. And I definitely have iPods hooked up in all of my cars. The only one I don’t have it in is my Maserati, but that’s because it’s new and they haven’t come out with a system to hook it up to yet. Hopefully, they will soon. Pretty much, I put larger rims on my cars, not low-profiles because the streets are really bad and the more you hit bumps and stuff, you have a tendency to get flat tires with the bigger rims. If I do put low-profiles on, I don’t put big rims on to make sure I have enough white­wall showing to have cushion in the car. I don’t like to change the rods out. If you go too deep, you’ll mess up the rod.

What’s the top speed that you have driven in a vehicle?

Maybe 115 or 120 in a BMW.

You will have to ramp up the speed when you get the turbo Porsche.

Not on the highway. That’s why I got rid of the Porsche. Even in my Maserati, it makes you want to go fast. It’s, like, you do 80 miles an hour, you don’t even feel it.

When you sit down in the driver’s seat, you go, ‘Yeah’…You get that umph.

Everybody thinks when you get in a fast car, you’re on the Autobahn. You just go for it. Plus, I’ve seen a lot of bad accidents.

Speaking of accidents, do you wear your seatbelt?

Sometimes. You know what. I’ve been in a couple acci­dents, nothing crazy, but you definitely need to wear a seatbelt. I think I’m restricted by them when I’m in my seatbelt. If I crash and I can’t get out. I’m going to be mad.

All right you obviously like speed and flash. Would you ever own a hybrid?

Yes I would.

A basic Prius or something like a Tahoe Hybrid ?

I’d go with an SUV hybrid. I don’t have any room for one now, but if I had another house and enough space for all my cars, I’d have one – a Lexus, maybe. There’s so many coming out on the market, you would have your pick. It just depends on what you like and what you want.

When you were a kid, did you ever have that certain dream car?…

A Saab.

A Saab was your dream car? How old were you at the time?

A Saab. I thought it was the hottest car. You remember a Richard Pryor movie called Moving?

Yes I do.

He had a Saab in that movie. It was fast and the dude took the car, with the split personality, and floored it and tore it apart. I wanted a Saab. I don’t know what it was about that car, I just loved it.

Do you have a dream car that you haven’t pulled the trigger on as of yet?

A couple cars I’ve wanted have come out, but they cost too much. I can’t see myself spending that much on a car. Cars are the worst investment you can make. I love them, though. I try to be reasonable. I definitely want a Ferrari. I’m going to get one in my range, though. I’ll be responsible. I have to get one that fits me. I have long legs and a smaller torso. My legs are really long.

How long are your legs?

They’re long. I’m six-foot seven.

You say you like to make your own statement with your choice in cars. Have you ever looked at a team­mate’s car and wanted what they had?

Maybe I have. It was a BMW. One time, one of my team­mates had one. I got one when the 760 came out. It drives better than the 745.1 put the 22s on it and kept the thick walls on it, and it rides unbelievably. I love that car. I’m never in that car. I put 14,000 miles on it in five years.

And I bet it is a white exterior with a tan interior and chromed up.

Yes it is. They changed the body style on it this year for the first time since I bought that one. I remember when I ordered it, though. I ordered it during the summer. I ordered it in downtown Chicago and it came in right before the season started.

When you first were signed, you mentioned the BMW. Was there another car that you spoiled yourself with?

That I bought with my NBA salary?

Yes.

I bought myself an Escalade.

But the real question is, what size rims?

The first set was 18s then. That was hot, but that was what everybody had.

Factories were 17, or 16?

Sixteen, yeah. It wasn’t long before I had 20s and then I got the 22s. Then 24s. I didn’t go past 24. That’s as far as I went. I’d never go past 24 in a car. They cost too much and they mess with the ride. It’s a pain to get them fixed. Like, some of these rims I have on my Benz. I had a 600.1 loved that car, but I sold it. I went through rims left and right on that car. I had Lorenzos on there and, man, they cost. Every time I bent the rim or broke it, I had to replace them. It cost $2,500, so I was, like, ugh…

Do you prefer cars, trucks or SUVs?

I like trucks.

Why are trucks your choice?

All of my family has had trucks. I wanted a truck, too. You can do a lot of stuff with pick-up trucks. You can haul stuff. You can pull stuff.

How many cars do you think that you’ve owned from the get-go?

I have nine. Now, let me see if I’m forgetting one. No, 15. Right around 15. Two Escalades, Park, Jeep, Benz, Porsche. No, two Porsches. So, 16.

Have you ever been involved in a car accident ?

Yeah, but never in my own cars.

So you only wreck other people’s cars? CHUCKLES!

I had demo deals. Now, if you want to count those…

Okay…

I had a Chrysler and I had a GTX. When it first came out, it had TVs. It had the 20s on it. It was nice.

Sounds like they really hooked you up.

I had those two cars. I had a Durango, a Chrysler 30. Now, if you’re asking how many I bought since I’ve been in the league. I’ve bought more than that because I bought my family some, too.

What are your plans after basketball? Have you thought about it at all? I don’t want to push you into retirement but I am curious.

Yeah. I want to travel the world when I finish playing.

What places have you traveled to so far?

Where do you want me to start? Australia, South America…Brazil, Greece, Istanbul, Turkey, Suri, Montenegro, Italy. I’ve also been to Germany, we went to Paris and London this pre-season. I’ve been to

Barcelona, Spain. I’ve been to Saint Tropez. We went to Nice. We drove up to Monte Carlo. I’ve been to Kuwait. Oh, I’ve been to the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico.

Out of all the cars that you’ve owned, what has been your all-time favorite car?

All-time favorite? I love my BMW.

The 760.

Yeah. I love that car. All my cars are different and I love all of them.

You love them all in different ways.

Yes. I love my old-school, though. There’s nothing like an old-school muscle car.

I do agree, there is nothing like a good classic ride.

Those are the only cars that maintain value. All my old cars, I can get top dollar for. All three of my old cars have matching numbers. They have the same engine in them. I just did some modifications to them. I did some body work, of course. I upgraded the brake sys­tem to a custom disc break system in my Lincoln. That thing is big. They all have a custom disc brake system in them. Those interiors are originals restored, but to my liking. I get attention in my new cars, especially the Maserati because it’s yellow. But those old cars turn heads, too, everywhere I go.

Everyone loves classics. You’re into a whole other demographic, at that point.

Yeah, classics hold their value. You can go buy an old- school muscle car and put 30 or 40,000 in it and you have a collector’s piece. You can hold it for 30 years and pass it through generations. Even if you only hold it for five or six years, you can get all your money out of it – especially if you do it the right way. That’s the thing I learned. Cars are cool toys. They’re fun, they’re expensive habits. I drive my cars, too. I run them hard. I don’t take them to shows and put them away. I have them insured to drive them every day. –

Shawn had a really great personality, and he knew how to work the camera. He was loose and ready at our photo shoot, used music, danced, was cute and funny, and we got some great photos. When we arrived at his house, Shawn, his college buddy from Indiana and his cousin Craig Carter Ialso Shawns publicist) were watching the Miami Dolphins play on one of his big-screens. We also found Shawn to be one of the biggest Cubs fans around.

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bob
athletes, boxing, Dallas Cowboys, fast, football, Jakell Mitchell, nascar, olympics, WWE

Barbara Terry interview with Bob Lilly

Bob Lilly is about as decorated and respected as any NFL veteran to ever play the game. For starters, he was the first player ever selected by the Dallas Cowboys in 1961, and it doesn’t get much better than that. What an excellent way to start a Hall of Fame career! Bob was one of the best defensive tackles to ever play the game. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler who only missed one game due to injury during a long 14-year career. He also wears a Super Bowl ring on his finger and is a member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Now, as for many years, he is a world-class photographer, busy with an active life.

What was your first car?

The first car that I ever owned was when I was in col­lege. I bought a 1953 Plymouth in the summer of 1958. I drove it for a few years and gave it to my brother. He went to TCU, drove it for three years and then he bought a new car.

It was a four-door sedan and it ran well, and I worked in the oil fields in the summer to pay for it. I learned to drive in a Studebaker Terraplane. You probably never heard of that, but it was a little coupe from the ’40s. My dad had it around and he let me drive it. Finally, it rust­ed out and it was hauled off. I started driving when I was eight in an International pick-up following my dad who was driving a tractor pulling a combine. Without a doubt, International made a durable product.

The International pick-up truck…which transmission did it have in it?

A four-speed – a granny gear, first, second, third and fourth, plus reverse. It was on the floor, had a long stick with a knob on top. Everything I learned on, all my first cars, had a stick. The pick-up had the stick come right up through the floorboard, was metal, probably two feet tall. Started left and up, and right and back, to get to granny gear.

I guess that’s where four on the floor comes from.

Yeah, four on the floor.

I’d seen where Bob came from. Now I wanted to see where he was presently.

What cars do you own now?

Right now we have a Toyota Mini Van and a Nissan Milan. I have a, just actually gave it to my son, but I had a four-wheel-drive Toyota Sequoia I’ve been using for hunting and photography and all that. I’ve been driving it for the past five years.

That’s what Lee Roy Jordan drives now.

Well yeah, that’s because of me. I know how tough it is because my youngest son and his family have had it for a little while and they haven’t been able to destroy it yet.

(LAUGHTER)…Okay. When you entered the NFL and got that first substantial contract, what vehicle did you buy to spoil yourself?

You didn’t get too spoiled back then, on a $2,500 bonus, but I bought a Chevrolet Corvair. That car was pro­duced for a short period of time. I bought it after my senior year, in 1961, when I got my bonus. I drove it for a short period of time. Right on University Drive by TCU, by the Chevy dealer, half of the motor mount came loose and dropped down on the ground. I came to a screeching halt on my way to my first meeting with the Cowboys. They came over and hauled it over to the Chevy dealership. The owner at the time, of Jack Williams Chevrolet, Mr. Williams, gave me a Bel Air Chevy and he didn’t charge me the extra $500 that it cost. I never forgot him. He was a wonderful man. I’m glad that happened earlier than later because I would have been fined for missing a meeting.

There would have gone your bonus.

Yep. They felt so bad about my bonus later that they gave me a $2,000 extra bonus. Had I known that, I would have bought an Oldsmobile hard-top with a 454 in it.

That’s a big motor.

I owned one of those later.

Well then, what was the sportiest car you owned?

Let’s see. Probably two cars I had. The one I had that was really sporty was a ’65 Oldsmobile hard top, two-door, red and white on the inside, white on the outside with red down that little thing on the side. I think it had a 454 cubic inch motor. The gearshift was in the middle where you just pull it back. From reverse to neutral to drive. You could burn rubber for about 200 yards. I went through about four sets of tires before I wised up. That was really a sporty car. I remember a little Mercedes 220SL, I believe it was, which was pretty sporty, but it was too small for me. It cor­nered great and looked great, but wasn’t practical. Then, another car I had, was a Lincoln Continental Coupe in 1971. That was sporty, was light blue on the bottom with a white top or vice-versa. I don’t remember, but that was a very pretty car. I really enjoyed that car, very comfortable.

Did you ever look at a teammate’s car and say, T have to have me one of those?’

I did. Teammates were all different; the single guys had nicer cars than the married ones. I’m trying to think. Probably in the mid- or early-’70 s, some of the guys start­ed driving four-wheel-drive Suburbans. They had a lot of room and you could even take out the back seat to sleep, because we fished and hunted a lot back then. The Suburban really made a lot of sense, but it was a big car and I couldn’t get it in the garage. I couldn’t shut the door or I couldn’t get in the house, but I owned a Suburban for 20 years after that. I always enjoyed them. Then I got that Sequoia. Ironically, we moved down to Sunset City and I had the Suburban, which would fit in the garage, but you had to go out of the garage to come back in the garage so you could go in the house. I got the Sequoia, which fit fine.

I could have gotten a Tahoe or something, but the Sequoia took the Suburban’s place.

What’s your favorite color combination on cars?

I’ve been through all of them. I had a red Suburban and a blue and off-white Suburban, which I liked. After the Cowboys, I had a gray Mercedes. A black one. A blue Plymouth, way back. The Sequoia was silver. Just trying to think of all of them. I think, in Texas, my favorite is white or kind of off-white. What do they call that, pearl?

Yes, pearl. I actually think GM calls it white diamond.

Yeah, maybe that’s it. It makes sense down here because there’s lots of sunshine down here – and mud and dirt – and white doesn’t show dirt as much as black. And you can knock it off real easily. I don’t know, it’s just a nice color. Easy to touch it up if you need to.

What has been your top speed in a vehicle?

Top speed? I never have on the freeway, but down in east Texas there are a lot of open roads. Say, near Fort Stockton where there’s nobody or nothing for 50 or 60 miles, you might see one or two cars. I have a friend. We photograph down there. I think, probably, the Suburban I had up to 120 one time, and once, in his sedan Mercedes, we got it up to 140. That’s about it.

He not only ran fast on the field, but he obviously liked speed in a vehicle.

Very impressive, that is pretty fast.

Yes, not bad.

Okay, he played for the Dallas Cowboys, so I wanted to find out if he was into country music or another selection while driving.

What kind of music do you listen to when you’re driv­ing?

I like – when I’m in the city -1 like classical. I listen to the classical station more than anything. I like the oldies. I have a CD collection. I like some country western too, old and new. Number one in town would be classical, where you’re focused. On the open high­way, where there’s no stress, I like oldies and country and western…where you can hear the lyrics.

Have you ever been involved in a bad accident?

I’ve never had one, but I’ve been in a car when some­one else was driving and had one. My roommate – the quarterback at TCU – and I were going to his home­town in north Texas, in Amarillo. We were going up and it was rainy. We were going up to be clowns in the rodeo. We borrowed a car from an alumni, I think. I don’t remember. Anyway, this truck had stopped in the middle of the road. A big truck. We came over the hill and it was raining and we couldn’t stop. He hit the brakes but we slid into the back of the truck, went under the truck and it took the top of the car off. Thank goodness we were as low as we could get. That was the scaredest I’ve ever been. We were stout, so we kicked the doors out even though they were jammed, and the cops came and the truck driver came down. His truck had stopped, quit running right in the middle of the road. He went down to the diner and called, but he came back. That was the worst wreck I ever had.

When you were a kid, did you have a dream car that you might have had a poster of?

Yes. Not when I was a kid, but when I was a sophmore, maybe I was a junior. Chevrolet came out with the ’55 Chevrolet. We were in a small town – Throckmorton – 1,100 or 1,200 people, I guess, and the Chevrolet dealer there was right next to the movie theater. There was no crime back then, so the back door was a big wooden door, like a barn door, and you could pry it open. We went back there and had a look at it. We just couldn’t believe how pretty that car was. It had a big V*, and was pretty. I real­ly lusted after that car until the ’57 came out. That was my senior year. And when the ’57 came out I’ve never stopped lusting for one of those.

Well, maybe you can find a good restored version of that ole ’57.

You know, the guys at General Motors might bring a good Chevy back out with a new motor. I think it would sell very well to the baby-boomers and people like myself.

I hear that you are into photography. What can you tell me about your history and fascination with photographs, and do you develop your own photos?

Yes, I’m pretty much into it. My senior year in college, I made several All-American teams, including the coaches. All-American team, and that team was sponsored by Kodak. In fact, that team was intact until about four years ago. Kodak finally pulled the plug on it. Anyway, they gave us nice 35-millimeter cameras made in Germany and 200 rolls of film with pre-paid envelopes that we just mailed in and they mailed them back. And that’s when I started. I started taking pictures of my teammates, candid shots of my teammates on the all- star teams. Then I had a darkroom my second year of pro ball. I had a new Locker camera and continued to take the candid shots. I actually had a book called Bob Lilly: Reflections, a reflection of my years with the Cowboys, my teammates as I saw them through the camera. I had a darkroom until I moved here. I had a wet darkroom all my life, but when I moved here, I have a digital darkroom with a scanner. I shoot a lot of film. I do shoot some digital high-end cameras, and I have a high-end Emerson printer. I really don’t market it anymore. I give a lot of it to charity. I re-copy and re­touch old pictures, things like that. I still like to go out and take pictures of nature. I take pictures of the grandkids and various holiday functions. My passion now is traveling the highways with my buddies. We go for a week or 10-day photo trips. Shoot New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, quite a bit in Texas. It’s much easier and more comfortable now. I shoot the film and scan it, and take the ones I like and work on the computer, take out the scratches and all of the things that you couldn’t used to do. Then when I get them the way I want them, I save them to the hard drive, and to gold CDs or DVD so they’ll last. Supposedly they’ll last 100 years, which is longer than me, but I don’t believe all that. If they last 25, I’m happy.

Being a devout Cowboy fan, I had to ask the question.

Okay, one more question. Who is your favorite Dallas Cowboy of all time?

Well, I have a lot of them, obviously, but my favorite is Roger Staubach. I don’t know why I say that. In some ways, Roger is my favorite. Lee Roy Jordan was another, Mel Renfro, there’s so many. The reason I say Roger is that he was the catalyst to winning the Super Bowl. We were in the playoffs so many times. Meredith would have got us there, but Don was so beat up before we got a good team that he gave it up. Craig Martin did a great job, but he had two bad knees. Roger came about the time we had a good team, but we weren’t making the big play at the right time. We went to Super Bowl VI and won the game, and I think a lot of that was due to Roger’s leadership skills. He and Lee Roy Jordan, both, were really good leaders on the practice field and in the games. We had a lot of really good leaders. I could make a list, but I won’t. That’s what it takes to win. You have to have leadership from your players. The coach can motivate you so much, but players have to motivate each other, especially during practice, which prepares you for the game.

On the drive from Dallas to Bob’s house, I was explaining to Catherine just how much of a legend Bob Lilly is – not just in the Dallas, Texas area, but to all football fans worldwide. He and his wife, Ann, were very gracious, inviting us to their home and showing us an extensive collection of Bob’s amazing photographs. Bob even gave Catherine some of his prints and a copy of his book! I was honored to get to explore his automotive history in this interview.

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