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Barbara Terry interview with Ricky Johnson

I met the most extreme sports guys I think I’ve ever come across when I met Ricky Johnson. You could say he has been a thrill-seeker since he was a young child. He’s been riding a bike since his dad bought him a mini-bike at the age of three. Ricky is, to put it simply, a legend in the motocross world. He’s a seven-time AMA champion and a four-time national champion. His name is synonymous with motocross, as he notched an astonishing 61 wins, dominating the sport in the 1980s. He retired as the all-time wins leader (until Jeremy McGrath, who is also in this book, later broke it).

What was your first car?

My first car was a 1978 Datsun pick-up truck I bought when I was 15 years old. I started professional motocross racing when I was 13, and my father said, ‘You save up your money, I’ll pay for the racing. But you have to save up the money to pay for your own vehicle.’ I paid cash for it; I think it was $420.1 bought it and he let me drive the truck home before I had my license.

That’s cool. Where do you think that truck is now?

It went from myself to my sister, to a really good friend of mine, so it’s probably floating around L.A. right now or in an LA. junkyard.

I was going to ask if you thought it might still be in one piece.

Doubtful (LAUGHTER). No, actually, I babied that thing. It was my first vehicle. I spit-shined it and took really good care of it.

You spit-shined it?

Not spit. I shined it.

What color was it?

It was actually tan. My dad was a painter and he was into what colors stayed clean. Since I was going to the motorcycle track all of the time, he thought a beige truck would be the easiest for me to take care of, so I took his advice.

What do you drive now?

Right now, I drive a 2008 Toyota Tundra. I don’t know if it’s a SuperCab or whatever, but it’s perfect. It fits me and my wife and my three kids, and it has plenty of room.

What’s your favorite color combination when it comes to cars?

When it comes to…silver and black. I like silver because there was an artist who did a lot of artwork for No Fear. His name was Emile Boray. He’s an American guy who sounds very French. He said silver is great because it’s a different color every time you stick it outside. It’s a different color at night, it’s a dif­ferent color during the day, it’s a different color in the evening. It can be blue, it can be white, it can be dark. So, my first car was a light metallic silver with a black interior.

That’s nice. How many cars have you owned since that first Datsun pick-up truck?

That was kind of, you might say, my drug of choice when I was young and successful. I loved cars, so I’ve probably had about 15 different trucks. Racing, I won some, I think, three different Nissan pick-up trucks. Then driving for Chevrolet, I got quite a few. The vehi­cles that I bought, I bought a grey market Mercedes 190, six Cs out, which was fun… a blast to drive, That’s why I bought it. I had a Ferrari 308 at one point, had a convertible ‘vette, which was also one of the most fun cars I ever got to drive because you could slide it at will. I had the automatic, not the manual, so it was an easy car to drive. It was black with a red interior. I had a Lexus Legend when they first came out, when I raced for Honda, and assorted Chevys. Not so many Fords and a few Toyotas over the years.

Okay. If you never pulled the trigger on your dream car – because you had a good selection – but when you were a little kid, did you have that particular dream car that you never got? If you did get it which one was it?

Well, particularly because I raced motorcycles, you could never have your dream car because you always had to put motorcycles on the back. For me, it was what I bought – a Toyota SR-5 – with nice wheels on it and a great stereo system. That was my pride and joy for a long, long time. It was great – black with a gray interior. As far as my dream car, I’d have to say it’s a ’60 Impala. I love the fact it has the wings, the size – the two-door Impala with a convertible. Brian Simo – Mark and Brian Simo – and Jeff Bitiasakis, the original guys that started Life’s A Beach, had ’60s and that’s what we’d go out in. Top goes down immediately, it’s a manual top, so BOOM, the top goes down immediately and you jump in the back. You could fit four people in the front seat and four people in the back, and you just go. I very much loved the style. Maybe it’s because I come from the Batman era and it’s very much like the Batmobile. (LAUGHTER) So…


Yeah, all that good stuff I But it wasn’t a ’59, it was ’60, right when the wings started to mellow out a little bit. As far as a sexy vehicle, that’s the one I like.

You going to get one?

Maybe someday.

Did you get a lot of speeding tickets?

I did. I used to get, I even got taken to the, what is it, the 2 percent club or whatever – 2 percent of the worst drivers on the street. I actually stood up in the class and argued with them that, since I was a professional racer, I should be able to drive faster than everybody else. They didn’t like that so they told me to sit down and shut up.

How old were you?

I was 18. I got speeding tickets all the time. I was just cruising along at 90 miles an hour to a race and, next thing I know, there’s a cop behind me that’s been chasing me for a while.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in a car?

Hmm. Let me think. I’d say a friend of mine named Norm who owns a junkyard in Wisconsin. This was when Jimmie Johnson and I both raced AMA cars. We went out and we had a good time one night. We called Norm and asked him to get us a bunch of junk cars. After we had a good time, we went over – my wife, too – and ran the junk cars. Whoever was co-driver ran the emergency brake. Whoever was driving ran the steering wheel and throttle. So Jimmie and I were a team. I’d drive or he’d drive and we’d swap. We had races in this muddy junkyard in Wisconsin, cars stacked three high and our crew chief, Ron Malick, whose now on his team, would have a cooter chasing us down. The exhaust was ripped off so he had a lot more horsepower, but we had maneuverability and we proceeded to destroy all six cars we had.

That sounds fun.

It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a vehicle.

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

I’m kind of a funk guy. I grew up with R&B and I had some friends who were really into dancing and stuff, so I tend to go towards stuff with a stronger beat. I’m not a metal guy. I like a little bit of country and classic rock.

What do you think about the Go Green cars, about the hybrids?

I think it’s time. I think it’s great if you look around – just in my lifetime – how people treated the world, thinking it was a never-ending thing. Bury as much garbage as you want, dump as much garbage as you want in the water. Test nuclear bombs. How many fish do they kill when they drop one of those things in the ocean? Now you see recycling bins for green waste, for plastic and all the things people are doing to save the Earth. It’s like back in the day before we were born, parents drank and smoked…

And ate tons of butter.

Right. They didn’t think anything of it They thought we were in a little cocoon and nothing could get to us, but as we learn and evolve. This isn’t forever.

Do you see yourself buying a hybrid?

Yeah. I would love it because I would love to not by gas every day, even though it’s back down to $1.85 a gallon. That would be my first motivation. My second would be that I’m being friendly to the ground.

Ever had any accidents on the freeway?

I was in one car accident. Someone ran a red light when I was 17 years old and turned in front of me. It was on a New Years. My dad told me, don’t go out. There’s too many idiots out there. I’d bought my new Dodge D-50, had it cleaned up and was going to go out with some friends and couldn’t find them. As I’m com­ing home, the light was green, the guy goes in front of me. I hit the brakes and we hit and I sliced my arm open. That was it. I don’t go nuts on the roads.

Not anymore.

I didn’t go nuts when I was speeding back in the day, either. I spent a little bit of time speeding when I got a 924 Turbo Carrera GT.


It was a very nice car. I got it from Jim Gennard at Oakley. It was one of my contract perks. It was a great car. They only built so many, so they could run those. It was the beginnings of the 924. There was this road I’d drive on at night that I knew like the back of my hand. I finally pushed the envelope a little too much because we ran at some pretty high speeds in those things, but I got lucky and got away with it

How fast did you go?

I remember seeing 130 a couple of times.

That’s not too bad.

The road had less than…I think the longest straight­away was under a mile.

Oh, then that’s pretty bad.

We were sliding a bit there. It was…as much as I’ve raced with stock cars and all that stuff, there’s no way I’d drive that fast. I was naive and I got away with some crazy stuff.

You started racing at what age?

When I was nine years old. Started racing amateur at nine. I raced mini-bikes, 80 CCs and 85s until I was 12, and then got tired of the politics of the mini-bikes – like soccer dads and all that – so Brock Glover, who was a friend of mine, and then the current 125 National Champion, helped me out quite a bit when I was young. Let me try one of his bikes. So I started 125s when I was 12 and turned pro at

  1. From there, it was just go as fast as I could go.

How old were you when you got your drivers license?

Sixteen. On my 16th birthday. I was there at five ’til six, waiting for it to open up.

What are you doing right now?

A lot of stuff. Things that I’m very proud of. I work with the U.S. Military. I teach them how to ride bikes and quads, how to get in and out of situations with speed and stay safe, and I’ve helped a lot of military guys in the past. I feel my call to duty is to take the knowledge I have and teach these guys with it. I take, mostly…not the knowledge, but the riding technique, I take from motocross. But the driv­ing situations, I take from the Baja 50 and 1000 because you’re dealing with sometimes hostile territory there and you have to get in and out without getting hurt. The other thing I’m doing is, I’m a driver for Pro Tube for Barlow Motor Sports, for Red Bull. I’m a Red Bull athlete, so I focus on everything I can do to help Red Bull athletes, find new talent and help them with their marketing. But win­ning races is priority one. We only won one race last year. We should have won more, but everybody says that. I am the current owner of Paris Raceway. It’s a motocross track. It’s the No. 1 track in southern California. Most of the pros and all the top amateurs practice there every week and we do quite a bit of racing. My No. 1 job is to be a hus­band to my wife, Stephanie, and a father to Luke, Jake and Cassidy. All this other stuff I do just affords me time to be with them.

Wow, anything else?

Nothing else. Let’s see…l do some stunts, some stunt driv­ing, whether it be precision driving. I just did a Polaris shoot on quads. I’ve been in Goodyear spots and Chevrolet spots.

Okay, do you prefer to own, lease?


So you like equity.

No, I like to endure the pain once. It kills me to write a check each month. I’d rather write the big check and be done with it, feel the hurt.

So you don’t have to worry about it in the future.

And I know it drops in value immediately, but, if I can, I just paycash.               j

At any given time in the past have you ever looked at somebody else’s car and said, ‘Man, I just have to have that?’

Yes. I was in Europe and met with Eric Gabors who was the current 500 World Champion – actually, a 250 world cham­pion at the time, and he took me for a ride in a 190 Mercedes. He slid the thing around and drove the hell out of it, and I said, ‘I have to have that!’ And Rocky Coster, who was my team manager at the time, had one in America -the same color as my truck, the metallic gray, and it was like I had to have it. It was like when I test drove a ‘vette. I was just screwing around one day and, the guy, I thought he was making a mistake. Let me take it, and my friend and I drove the hell out of it. I came back and I had to have the thing. It was too much fun.

What do you think of the Z06?

Awesome cars. They’re…

Pretty sweet. They need better seat belts.

They respond. Having a better set of seat belts would help. You’re pretty bolted. They lift you up and spin you around, and the seat belt latch will tighten. Still, like you say, a set of six-point harnesses would be good. °

A man after my own heart is Ricky Johnson. He has the same need for speed as me! He’s a very strong, very grounded family man who has lived a remarkable and inter­esting life so far. He was not exactly what you might expect from an off-road champion – not burly or roughshod. He showed us pictures of himself and Ronald Reagan from the 1980s, when Ricky dominated motocross like Reagan dom­inated communism. I realized, as I watched Catherine, who was taken aback by all the memorabilia that Ricky had, that I was in the presense of a real champion and legend!

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Barbara Terry interview with Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner went to two Olympics in his track and field career – in 1972 in Munich Germany, and then in 1976 at the Montreal games. In 1976, he won the Gold medal for the decathlon, a grueling 10-activity track and field event. Post-Olympics, he became a celebrity in the United States, getting that Wheaties box I remember, receiving endorsements and appearing on television shows. In 1976, he was declared the Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

What was your first car?

Boy…Nobody ever bought me a car. I have a tragic story.

At what age did you learn how to drive?

My dad taught me how to drive in Tarrytown NY, in a grocery store parking lot. I was 15, turning 16. He had a little convertible Austin-Healy Sprite; you know, those little bug-eyed Sprites they have. It was red with white stripes. It was a four-speed. That was probably three months before I got my license. Of course, I snuck it out a few times when he wasn’t around. We lived in an apartment complex and I drove it around the apartment complex and never got caught. The day I got my license, my dad sold the car.

Ouch, that was bad timing.

Yes. When I got home from getting my license, all excited, my dad said, T sold the car today.’ I was dev­astated. Actually, about a month ago, I was driving past a used car lot and saw a little bug-eyed Austin- Healy Sprite. I wanted to go in and buy the thing, paint it red and fix it up, just so I would have it. That was a pretty tragic start to the car world for me. My dad would let me drive a Ford Falcon station wagon when I was good, only when I was good, so I never had a car when I was young.

When I was 18 and had about six months left in high school, this friend of ours had a 1954 Cadillac hearse in the backyard and he wanted to get rid of it. He says, ‘I’ll give it to you for $150.’ I snatched that baby right up. Now, I do have to admit, coming back from a party one time, I think we had 24 people back in the hearse. It was my record.


Yeah, 24 people back there. We still had the rollers in the floor!


We were coming back and we decided how many people can we get back in the hearse, and we got 24 in by the time I slammed the back door shut. Halfway home, somebody back there had to get out; they were going to get sick. I stopped and everybody came piling out right before this guy loses it. I rebuilt the motor – took the motor out and rebuilt it – all the gaskets. I rebuilt it myself.

How many miles do you think you put on it?

Not a lot. I didn’t have it that long because this friend of ours had a ’56 Ford Fairlane, which was the coolest. I would love to have that car today. It had new tires, and he was going to trade it in on some new car and they were only going to give him $275 on the trade-in. We were, like, that’s ridiculous, so he said he’d sell it to me for $275.1 bought it-two-tone salmon color with a blacktop, convertible. It was really a cool car. It’s a classic car; it would probably be worth $50,000 today if it was fully fixed up. I bought it for $275, had it for a cou- ple of years, until I went to college, and I sold it for $350.

There you go!

I was ready to go into the used car business.

Interesting story for you. This story made it on Paul Harvey. Here goes…l competitively water-skied that year- when I was 18 or 19-the year I had the Ford. I had driven it to Richmond, Virginia – from Connecticut to Richmond – to go to a water ski tournament I was competing in. My freshman year in college really didn’t go all that well. I had knee surgery from football (January 2,1969). I didn’t know if I was going to play sports anymore, didn’t know what I was going to do. I had missed a lot of school, so my grades sort of sucked. And I’m thinking, do I go back to school or not after the knee surgery.

So I’m in Richmond the summer of 1969.1 thought, since I had the knee surgery, well, you know, the draft, they had the draft back then. If you weren’t in college, they put a target on your chest and shipped you off to a lovely, tropi­cal country – where a lot of my friends had gone – and I thought, well, because of the knee surgery, I probably won’t pass the physical. I was thinking, ‘What am I going to do this summer?’ This friend of mine that I was staying with – in his house in Richmond during the winters – went to Cyprus Gardens, Florida, and skied in a show. He called the guy and says, ‘I got Bruce and we’re going to come down.’ They offered me a job. So I’m sitting there that morning and I remember I’m driving this ’56 Ford and I’m heading to the freeway, and I have my water skis sticking out the back and I had the top down. What do I do? Do I go south and head for Cyprus Gardens and get out of school, water ski all winter and be in the show, you know? Sounds like fun when you’re 19, right? Or do I go north and work with my dad, then go back to college?

I’m driving this little ’56 Ford and I’m almost down to the entrance to the freeway and I just don’t know what to do. Which way do I go? I’d never run a decathlon at this point – I’d run track and played football and played other sports, but I’d never run a decathlon before. So, as I’m getting closer to the freeway, this car pulls up on my lefthand side. To go south, I’d either have to slow down or pick up speed because he was sort of blocking my way south. But the freeway going north was wide open, and this car was right there…l sat there like this and I was thinking, ‘You know what, let’s go north on the freeway.’

All because that car was sitting right there to your left?

Yep, all because that little car was sitting right there. It was like the final thing, you know? I decided it was the right thing to do, go back to college. Then, the next year, I ran my first decathlon, so.Jt’s kind of a good car story.

It was the right decision.

It was a great decision. As Paul Harvey said, ‘Now you know the rest of the story. He went north. He went back. He entered the decathlon!’

(LAUGHTER). So, what do you drive now?

A 2007 Escalade. I had a 2004 Escalade and I traded it in with 175,000 miles on it. I carpool and that car runs all day long. This car is a 2007 and it already has 60,000 miles on it, driving kids around! I did win a car last year; I won a Mercedes, playing golf. Of course, my wife got that. The only other thing I have is a Harley.

Harleys are nice.

Harleys are very nice.

What model?

It’s a 2007. It’s a very unique Harley. They only made five like the one that I have. It’s technically a V-Rod, but it’s an upgraded version that supposedly Porsche designed. A friend of mine is a real big car guy. I mean, he has ware­houses full of cars, and Harley called him up and said they ‘have this bike, you wanna buy it?’ So he bought it. He took pictures of it, put it in his garage and it never moved for eight months. Then, one day, I came in and it was covered up, and I said, “What’s that?’ He lifted it up and I said, ‘Ooooh.’ I had a Harley, but I sold it a couple years ago and I’m kind of itching to get another one. With the gas prices the way they are, it’s kind of the smart thing to do, right?

Yeah, but to buy a Harley, you really do not need an excuse!

I looked at it and it had 12 miles on it. He’d never driven it. He says, Well, I haven’t driven it, but I got the bike and…’ I said, This is ridiculous. You have this beautiful bike and you’ve never driven it? Sell it to me, I’ll ride it.’ So he sold it to me.

What is your favorite road trip on your bike?

To the golf course to play golf. Yeah, how’s that? If I don’t have to carpool, I’ll just fire up the bike and go down to the club, and hit golf balls and come back.

Tell me more about your racing career. It sounds interest­ing.

I raced for what was known as IMSA – International Motor Sports Association. I raced in the GTO Class. (GOT PICTURES AND SHOWED THEM TO ME) This was my car. I raced that for Ford. I was a factory driver for Ford for 10 years. I was a factory driver for Ford Motor Company for about five of those years. I found this young kid – his name was Scott Pruitt – on a go-kart track, and Scott was, like, 13 times National Champion. He even won world champi­onships in karting. We became good friends and I told him I wanted to help him get started. He was, like, 23 at the me, and I told Ford I wanted to get Pruitt in the car with. This was 1985. He drove 10 laps and put it on the pole. He’d never driven a car that big and that heavy. The two of us, in ’86, we teamed up for 7-11 in this car and we basically won everything. We won 24 hours in Daytona, Sebring, we won seven races that year. We just ate ’em up. Scott won Driver’s Champion and I was runner-up. We had a great year.

People do not understand just how much goes into racing and getting sponsorships.

You gotta go do the track all day long, then you have to do the media, then you have to do the Ford stuff. You have to entertain clients. The list just goes on and on and on.

You’re worn out before you even get behind the wheel.

That’s the only time you get any peace and quiet. You throw the helmet on and everything shuts down and you go, ‘Yeah, now I’ve paid for it. Let’s go and do it.’ That’s what I did for a living. I just kind of got wore out. Scott was moving on. He got an Indy car ride at that time. So I just slowly, gracefully, bowed out. Then, when I met Chris, I had a few races, raced a couple offshore boats and did some fun stuff. Just decided to get out of it. Picked up more kids.

If you have never pulled the trigger on that dream car of yours, what would it be?

I have that story. Nineteen seventy-six – the year I won the games – was the first year that Porsche came out with the Turbo Porsche. I was driving a $175 VW Bug. That’s what I did when I was training. I drove this ’63 Bug to the track and back. Six months before the games, I signed this deal with Adidas. I made no money for the games; I couldn’t make any money. I lived on, like, $10,000 a year. I had a $145-a- month apartment and I trained. That’s what I did. I trained and ate. But I always had a fascination for cars. I signed this deal with Adidas six months before the games to wear their shoes. They couldn’t sponsor me, but they could sponsor my track club, and kind of filter expenses through the track club. It just so happens, I’m the only member of my track club.

Wow, that sounds complicated.

Very complicated. I signed this deal and got $6,000. I thought I was rich. I’m thinking, I was making $70 a month in the insurance business – as a draw I took out of this insurance business my friend covered for me – just so I could live. Then, six months before the games, I have $6,000. I’m thinking, I get$170 a month and I only spend $400. So I bought this brand new 914 Porsche, green in color, the only new car I’d ever bought – for $5,600. My payments were $98 and I’m thinking, how am I going to pay that?

Yes, but the purr of the engine makes it worth it!

Yes, it’s the purr. So I got this little 914 Porsche. Well, low and behold, right after I buy this little 914 — my first new car ever – what does Porsche come out with? The first Turbo ever. I see this thing and I’m going, ‘Is that the coolest car ever.’ I go into the dealership and check it out and I’m thinking, man, look at this thing!

You were picturing yourself in it. Cruising down the freeway.

I’m thinking to myself, if I can pull the games off, I will get that car. If I can do it, I’ll find a job. Don’t know if I can find one, BUT, for 12 years of my life, I’m buying that car. Done deal. I cut the picture of the car out. I took the picture to Montreal. I was in a bunk bed on the top and I taped the picture of that car above my bed.

You used it like a focal point.

Yes, and three months later, it was sitting in my drive­way.

I’m sure you opened it up. How fast did you get it?

I had it over 100, but I never really drove it that hard. I’m not a big, hard driver on the street. Too dangerous. I just go to the track and do it.

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

Talk radio.

Sports radio?

No. News. Never sports. Don’t really follow sports that much. I’m on the good Republican conservative side, so I listen to all but the bad guys – Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Marc Levin. >

On the drive to Bruces home, all I could think about was his face on the cover of the Wheaties cereal box that sat on my kitchen table when I was a little girl. He might even be the reason I started watching sports in the first place. We relaxed in his home office, and it was awesome to see his memorabilia and view all of the accomplishments he’s amassed throughout his celebrated career. It was also obvi­ous that he is a big fan of remote-control helicopters. He has a unique collection and told us that he loves not only col­lecting, but flying them.

Who would’ve thought that, as a little girl looking at that Wheaties box so many years ago, I’d have such an amazing conversation with the guy on the cover. Enough said.

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Barbara Terry interview with Dan Jansen

Imagine what it would be like to work your whole life to accomplish one goal, to be the best in the world at one sport, to get so close for years and to just miss winning it all. Dan Jansen doesn’t have to imagine any of this because he lived it. Jansen broke numerous speed skating records and went to four Olympics. At three of those games, he was favored to win numerous races, but, in 1988, he contracted mononucleosis and his beloved sister, Jane, died of Leukemia. In 1992, he slipped. It cost him the gold.

But, Dan Jansen persevered. In his last Olympic race ever, in 1994, he accomplished his goal, setting a World record as he won his gold medal in the 1000-meter event by finishing the race II seconds faster than any other human being ever had – at 1:12:43.

What was your first car?

I shared a car with my brother because I’m the youngest of nine kids, so we didn’t have a lot of money. The first one my dad bought us, because we were training and we needed to get to our workouts, I think it was a Chevy Malibu. It was this green thing with a white top and he paid $300 for it. We’d get so frustrat­ed because we’d pull up to stop at a stoplight and as soon as you hit the gas, for whatever reason, it would stall. We would get stuck in intersection after inter­section as the light turned green and it would stall. That was pretty much our first car, you know, mine, where I had to pay for gas and do what I did to get where I had to go.

I understand what you are saying about having to share cars with your siblings or having hand-me- downs, because I grew up with six big brothers. My vehicles were always their trucks. What was the first car that you bought for yourself?

The first car that I purchased was a Chrysler LeBaron. No reason. I started saving money to buy a car, and it wasn’t the old boxy kind, like when Chrysler started making their comeback. It was a sportier car. It was nothing special, but it was nice.

What color was it?

It was silver. Same color as my car now, actually.

When you were a kid, did you have a “perfect” dream car? Like a Porsche or a Ferrari?

For whatever reason, I was more of a sedan kind of guy than a sporty guy. I never really was into small, two-door sports cars, for whatever reason. Not that I don’t like them, I was just more into a nice Cadillac, Mercedes or Lexus, or something like that. That was always something I aspired to buy.

Which do you like the best: cars, pickup trucks or SUVs?

I’m not a pickup guy, never have been, but I have had several SUVs because I travel a lot. When I travel with my wife – she’s a golf pro – we take the golf clubs, so we need at least one SUV for the family. We currently have a sedan and an SUV. But if I were just to choose, I would have to be practical about things. It would probably be a sedan. Like a 7 series BMW or some­thing like that.

Those are nice. What’s your favorite color combina­tion when it comes to cars?

I’ve been through them all. My last car was jet black and now I have silver. I was kind of happy to get rid of the black just because it was so hard to keep clean. Now that I think of it, I kind of like dark colors. It’s like, whatever you have, you want the other one.

Right but there is nothing like a black car when it’s fresh­ly cleaned up.

Exactly. The only thing is, this time of year, it’s hard to keep any car clean because the roads are wet so much and get so muddy. So, when they’re black, they really show the dirt. A cleaned up black car…you’re right, it is nice.

So would you ever own a hybrid?

You know, I would. I never thought about it until lately, just with the economy and all that’s going on with energy. I’m certainly all for saving energy and so I would think about it, yeah. Now they’ve got nicer hybrids out. I’ve seen nicer hybrids, nicer SUVs and nice sedan hybrids. I don’t think I’d go for a tiny little thing, but I would go for a hybrid.

The zero to 60 in 30 minutes type thing.

Yeah, I’ll pass.

Have you ever been big on motorcycles, ATVs or dirt bikes?

Never. I’ve ridden on motorcycles and I’ve driven them, but I’ve never wanted to own one, simply because I don’t trust other drivers on the road. I would always be defensive driving if I owned a motorcycle. It’s just too dangerous for me.

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

I am still, at heart, a country music guy. I grew up that way for whatever reason, even living in the Midwest.

What was up with that?

I don’t know, I really don’t know. One of my older broth­ers was into country music and it stuck with me. But I still like all kinds of music. I listen mostly to country, but then some older music groups that aren’t so popular, that are from my era, that are more rock kind of groups. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the BoDeans or Lowen and Navarro.

Who are they?

They’re called Lowen and Navarro.

Lowen and Navarro?

Yeah. They’re actually very good. One guy, unfortu­nately, has ALS now and he probably doesn’t have too much time left. Lou Gehrig’s disease, it’s awful. They’re very good song writers. Do you know Pat Benatar? Do you know the song We Belong? They wrote that and they sing a version of that. Anyway, I have everything in my car, from Bon Jovi to Kenny Chesney and those kinds. I like variety; the only kinds I don’t like are rap and heavy metal. Other than that, I’m pretty open.

Right. Classic country like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.

Love that. Those are the ones I grew up with.

Charlie Daniels, Charlie Pride, Ronnie Milsap.

Tom T. Hall, and I am a huge fan of Jimmy Buffett. I even named my dog after him.

Oh yeah! My brothers and I used to have some of his 8-tracks.

See? Exactly.

The good stuff.

That’s right. I have those. I just don’t carry them in my car anymore.

How many cars do you think that you’ve owned throughout your life?

I would say in the neighborhood of 10 to 12, in that range. I owned them, or some I got from promotional stuff, like representing either the company or doing some commercials for them or that kind of thing. Not necessarily owned them, but I had them for a few years and that kind of thing.

You can’t argue with that

No, those are the best kind. So, yeah, I would say 10 or

  1. Something like that.

Tell me what you own and drive now.

I have always liked the BMW brand. When those first came out – the X5s – I just loved the look of them. I owned a black one first, and then I went to silver just about a year ago. It is a 2006.

Does it have the 4.4 engine?

No, it’s actually the 3.0

The 3.0, so you chose the smaller engine with less horsepower?

The 3.0, yeah. Hey, be nice.

What do see as, let’s say, your next vehicle?

I’ve actually thought about that. I feel, sometimes, like I should be driving an American car because I’m this Olympic guy driving a foreign car in the United States. I’ve thought about going back to an American-made vehicle. If I do, it would probably be in the Cadillac line, maybe an Escalade. The new models are great. They’re kind of sporty and a little bit smaller. Anyway, that’s possibly my next one.

You would look good in an Escalade! What was your all-time favorite car that you had from the get-go?

I would say a two-passenger Chrysler that I had. It was really fun to drive on spring days. It was a little Chrysler, tiny little one. I’m sure you’ve seen them around, they’re just two-seaters and they’re real small. It was a fun, fast car and fun to drive. Other than that, I would say I like the one I’m in now. I’ve had a Lexus before, and that was my first new nice car that I bought for myself. Not to say that my Chrysler wasn’t nice.

What model Lexus was it?

It was just a 300, the smaller version.

Like the ES 300?

The ES 300, right. That must have been in the early ’90s. It was a while ago, but it was nice and it was the first time I could afford a little more expensive car.

Have you had any speeding tickets?

I’ve never had a speeding ticket.

No way! Not one?

Not one. Ever.

Are you serious?

I’m serious. I’ve been stopped a few times.

Was it for speeding or an unsafe movement?

No, twice for speeding. But once was in my hometown, and they knew who I was and they let me go. The other one was actually down here, going to Augusta, Georgia. This very, very Southern police officer recognized me. I couldn’t believe it. He said something about skating and about going fast, like you’re used to this, but you take your time on the roads. And this was a long time after I had won my medal, so I was really surprised he recognized me. He let me go, so I got lucky.

Wow. You can’t complain about that.

No, and I probably drive five to nine miles over the limit and then I set the cruise. If they’re going to stop me for nine over, then they stop me. But I’m not a speed racer.

Have you ever been in an accident?

I’ve never caused one. I’ve been rear-ended once. I’ve been pretty lucky on that side, too. I’ve been good that way, too.

You obviously drive a bunch. How many miles a year do you think you drive?

I probably drive 15,000 to 20,000 miles a year. It is not too crazy, but in that range. Most of it’s in the Southeast at least. If I’m going anywhere else, I’ll fly. I don’t drive cross­country.

You should try. you might like it sometime!

I drove my parents down here; they live across the lake in Davidson. Well, they live here in the winter. They still live in Wisconsin in the summer. This year, in October, I flew up and drove them back here. They’re both 80 now, so it’s getting to be a longer drive for them to do it by themselves. That was the longest trip I’ve made lately. It’s about 15 hours, with my dad in the passenger seat and my mom in the back, and me lis­tening to country music. It was a fun trip.

Did you do it all in one day or did you stop?

No, we stopped overnight. Eight hours the first day and six or seven the next day.

Can you drive a stick shift?


Pretty good or do you grind the clutch?

Pretty good because I’ve owned three sticks, and then I’ve driven in Europe a bunch. A lot of those cars over there are stick shifts.

All stick shifts are different as they have different adjustments.

That’s what was fun about that little Chrysler car, being as it was a five-speed. That’s the most recent stick shift that I’ve owned. It’s probably been four or five years ago, now.

All right so how fast have you gone in a car, like top speed?

With myself driving? Probably about 120.

That’s pretty good.

Yeah, it was on the Autobahn in Germany, so it was legal. That’s moving.

How long did you stay at that speed?

Probably three minutes and then I brought it down a little bit. But it is fun. Those roads are so nice. Have you ever been to Germany?

I actually just spent this past New Year’s Eve in Germany. I will take Dubai over Germany any day!

I’ve been to that airport.


Yeah. We stopped there on this weird route on the way to Japan. We stopped there just to refuel.

It’s a big airport.

Yeah. We were getting ready to skate the World Championships. It was cold in Europe, and it was fair­ly cold in Japan. Then you get out in Dubai and it’s, like, 80 degrees. I didn’t want to keep going, I didn’t want to move.

What year was this?

This was probably ’86, maybe. Nineteen eighty-six.

Then it was not the Dubai that it is now.

No. Now it’s the place to be.

Do you have a favorite road trip?

Favorite road trip. Oh man, I would say, I think I’d go way back for that one. My parents, my brother and sis­ter and I went out to Yellowstone Park and did the whole Western thing. We had this old camper.

Did it fit on your truck?

Yeah. It was the kind you put on a trailer hitch and pull, so it’s not the kind you’re driving. We went out and did Yellowstone Park and Mt. Rushmore and the whole thing. It’s good memories because my sister passed away later in life. It’s a good one for me to look back and remember her as a child. You know, that’s proba­bly the best one that I remember. And we did some fun ones with some skating friends after the season; we did this a couple times. We’d drive from Milwaukee down to Florida just to kick back and play golf and drink beer and go to the beach. The way down is great, but the way back isn’t.

Yeah, especially if you’re hung over.

Yeah, if you’re cooked. It took, like, 18 hours to get back home, so, those were fun too. Great memories. It really is great to look back on road trips, even though, at the time, you just want to get there. Great fun.

I’m surprised that you didn’t get any speeding tickets on those trips.

Yeah, true. True.

Dan’s story is inspirational, and you don’t get to meet too many Olympic heroes. Meeting one that persevered so long and who worked so hard to accomplish his goal was truly a pleasure for me that I will never forget.

Some cool info…next time you’re watching the Olympics or a speed skating competition, they streamline those com­petitors so much that they make the skates to fit without socks. Apparently, Dan never lost his need for speed because his pant leg came up during the photograph ses­sion and he was wearing loafers with no socksl You can take the man out of the game, but never take his soul out of the sport.

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Barbara Terry interview with J.T. Holmes

  1. J. T. Holmes is a bit of a thrill seeker, you might say; that is, if you think base jumping off mountains with a parachute and a pair of skis sounds thrilling. Or how about base jumping with a parachute off the Silver Legacy Casino in Reno, Nevada, the first-ever ski base jump off a skyscraper. The reality is that J.T. is a world-class-level skier who has a love of heights, speed and thrills. He has transformed the sport of skiing, and has caught the attention of youth devoted to BMX and the craziness of the X Games. He has made a number of ski films and has performed countless stunts and dangerous feats to the delight of many.

What was your first car?

My first car was a ’92 Nissan Pathfinder.

Was it the two-door or the four-door model?

The four-door. That was the first car that I had, after my dad and my sister and stuff. The first car I ever had that I got myself and fell in love with was a ’79 Ranchero.

That is very cool and unique. Tell me about this ride.

Yeah. It was silver. It was a utility car. I was into dirt biking backthen and it was great for that type of thing. I had it for a little while, and it was a good car.

Did you abuse it at all?

Not really. I purchased it for $2,100 and I sold it for $1,800.

Another athlete who knows how to buy and sell their cars!

You should be a used car salesman!

Yeah. I’m also a good driver, I guess.

If driving off mountains and buildings is good, I thought.

I hear you do some off-road racing.

My dad and I have raced Baja Bugs in the 516 class. Seems like forever, now.

Something I know a thing or two about! Cool!!! I didn’t know you did that when I contacted you. What class do you and your dad race in?

Now we have a 7200 truck. That one’s fast and fun, definitely a big step up from the 516 class. It’s a ton of fun. It’s something I hope to do someday after becom­ing financially sussessful enough to do it on my own. It’s out of my league right now.

It costs a lot of money. Even when you sit down and do your budgets and you get your sponsors to pay, then you get down to race and discover all of the additional expenses.

Exactly. I can only imagine.

When you were a kid growing up, were there any posters on your wall that sported a Porsche or a Ferrari?

Actually, no. I was really fascinated by skiing, and rad pro skiers and their lifestyle and whatnot. There was a shot of a pro skier name Brad Holmes with a motorcy­cle. He was riding it through a fence with his skis on a makeshift ski rack. That was one poster semi-vehicle- -oriented. My dad is a big vehicle guy. He loves Ferraris, but I didn’t really inherit that as far as posters on the wall and dreaming of someday owning some­thing.

The hand-me-down Pathfinder, whose vehicle was that before it was yours?

My sister’s. I have an older sister.

Okay, and you were how old before you got your license?


Do you have any funny stories before you got your license?

No, but I got a hell of a speeding ticket nine days after I got my license. It was a bad one…like 90 in a 45 or something.

Uh-oh. Did your parents know about it and was there a punishment handed down?

They were quite upset. And I actually didn’t have…my dad hadn’t given me the Pathfinder yet. He never really gave it to me. I used it in high school, but I had to wait on the Pathfinder. That speeding ticket delayed having the Pathfinder handed to me.

What kind of cars do you currently have now?

Now I have a ’70 Beetle and a ’97 F350.

Did you restore your Beetle?

The Beetle is an ongoing restoration project. It’s been get­ting improved for six or so years.

Just what is the history of this infamous Beetle? Where did it come from?

From my mom’s side. The thing about that side, the Portellos, if you graduated college, he would get you a Beetle.

(LAUGHTER) What, was he German?

He thought they were practical. The four girls all graduat­ed, and my mom and her sister all had Beetles and her brothers had none. My mom’s was light blue and it was our family car. My dad used it. My mom drove it to Boston when he was in college. My first memories are in that car. When my dad graduated from medical school, he sold my mom’s Beetle. She was so crushed. She cried buckets. And my dad, being brash as he can be, said, ‘Oh, get over it. It was a POS car for this POS town.’

So he didn’t like Boston?

Uhm, no. I don’t think he liked the weather. He was a skier. It’s cold and the skiing isn’t that great out there.

No, there’s not much skiing in Bahstahn, but there’s pahk- ing the cah!

(LAUGHTER). Yes, well, finally she got over it. She had set her sights on her sister’s Beetle, which was being neglect­ed. She took the Beetle off of her hands, but never really had the time or the money to put into it. By then, my par­ents were divorced.

Did they get divorced over the Beetle? Was that the root of the problem?

Actually, that didn’t help. One thing led to another and my dad said, ‘Cool, a Beetle. Can I have it?’ My mom wouldn’t do that, but she didn’t know how or have time to fix it up. I was able to get it running and drive it around, but I didn’t have the money to restore it. So, my mom gave it to my dad and said he could never have the title and he’d have to give it to me. He got the ball rolling and I fell in love with the car. I got it for my birthday several years ago and I’ve slowly restoring it. Put an engine in it last May, which helped because the stock engine…up here, it’s dangerous to have insufficient horsepower.

How fast can you get it up to now?

I can go 65 on the freeway.

Is that the fastest you’ve gone with it?

I might push it to 75.

(LAUGHTER). Oooooh. That’s fast.

For that car, it is. I might push it when no one’s looking.

How do you control such a beast? (LAUGHS)

She just runs on love.

And her name?


Rosebud derives from?

My grandfather who bought the car in 1970 was Norman Portello, but everyone called him Bud.

Is there some Italian going on there?


Okay, so speeding tickets. Obviously you don’t get them in the Beetle, but did you learn your lesson with that first big one or are you still a bad boy?

Oh yes, I get speeding tickets. All too often. I’m sure you hear this from most of the athletes.

Are you really good at driving a stick? Are you stick talented?

I’m a good driver, but I occasionally grind gears. It’s an interesting clutch in Rosebud. To sum it up…I am a real pro at driving stick!

How many cars have you owned from the get-go?

Not many. The two that I own now and the ’79 Ranchero. That’s it.

Do you have your sights set on something now, like a wide-body Turbo Porsche?

No. I’m not really sports car-oriented because I can­not afford the speeding tickets. I like four-wheel- drive cars for up here. The Bug handles well in the snow with some weight in the front. The tires hold because the engine’s over them. I might get some­thing one day. My truck is like a beast of burden. If I’m loading a snowmobile into it or something and I dent it, whatever.

Oops. So it’s a work truck, not a show or city truck?

Yeah. I drive it, actually, fairly seldom. Around here, this is my little valley and I drive the Bug. When it’s time to go on a road trip with a bunch of guys and a bunch of gear, I take the truck.

What are your thoughts on this whole Green movement? Would you ever own a Hybrid?

Yeah, sure, but the thing about a Hybrid is, it wouldn’t serve me well. Up here in the mountains, it’s mostly for stop and go driving. I’ve driven a Hybrid up here, but it won’t function on the electrical part of the engine at all.

How many miles do you typically drive every year?

It depends on the year. Some years I’ve road-tripped a lot. Some years I went down to Reno for college. I’ve had to go 25,000 some years, but now my ski career is taking me more on airplanes, so I’d say I average about 15,000 miles per year.

Speaking of your ski career, what direction is that going in?

I’m in with something called the Free Ride World Tour, which is a fairly elite competition circuit for what I do-big mountain skiing. People might call it extreme skiing but it’s steep mountains and cliffs and steep cliff jumps. That will take me to Russia, where the Olympics will be in 2014, to France, then there’s a stop here in Squaw Valley and after­wards is a final in Switzerland.

So, are you competing in the Olympics?

No, it’s not an Olympic sport.

What is the steepest jump you’ve done?

Without a parachute, 140 feet, which was double the pre­vious jumps I’d done. The conditions were just perfect. It was one of those days, I could see from here to there, no problem. I landed soft and safe. I am not going to say that I will never do it again, but I would be surprised if I ever jump another 140-foot cliff again without a parachute.

So is that (sticking tongue firmly in cheek) what they call freebasing? (LAUGHTER)

Uhm, no.

You just have to freebase to get the nerves up to do a base jump?

Yeah. That’s where I get my courage. (LAUGHS)

What kind of music do you listen to when you’re cruising in Rosebud?

There is no music in there.

What about your truck? Do you have an eight-track in it?

My Ranchero did. Yes, it came with a pile of them. The Doobie Brothers was my favorite.

Speaking of off-road racing, going back a bit believe me, I know it’s expensive, do you plan on going full-time? Like doing a full season of points racing?

It’s more of a hobby. My uncle races a lot more than my dad and I. He races in the class 7SX. It’s more affordable so he can race more often. He’s won points in the past few years in SCORE.

Have you ever had any bad accidents?

Yes. Skiing is bad on the knees. I’ve had three knee surger­ies, which is fairly typical for a skier.

What about in cars, any accidents?

Most of my accidents happen in reverse. I back into things.

You just put it in reverse and don’t look?

I’ve never done much damage, but I did bang my mom’s Volvo up onetime pulling out of a 7-11. Never totaled a car. I rolled a couple off-road vehicles. I have a fairly good safety driving record.

On the road you are safe, on the skis you are a different story.

I pay attention to distance in a car. I leave a lot of space between myself and other drivers.

If a car could be the perfect woman, which car would be that perfect woman?

(LAUGHS). I should have studied these questions.

Like a Ferrari is fast and sleek. Rosebud is slow and clas­sic.

Maybe a Volvo, because they’re reliable, safe, fast, fun to drive and pretty good-looking.

So you like to play it safe in relationships?

I’m a rookie. I haven’t had lots of relationships.

When you started dating, any funny stories involving a car and a girl?

I’m sure there is. I’m trying to remember, but nothing is jumping out.

Any kind of road trip that you like to take?

Yes. We have what we call Base Safari, or Basefari, where me and a bunch of guys all have our base gear and we just go for 10 days. We’ll fly to Munich and rent a car, like an Audi A 6, which is bigger and fun to drive. We just kind of cruise around and see Europe. We have outlandish destinations…take a cable car and go on a hike and all of a sudden you’re in some new little town and you have to find your way back.

Sounds fun. Why not rent the Volvo? (LAUGHTER) Tell me about this wing suit. How long have you been the wing suit man? How did you learn about it?

I started wing suit flying in 2004, off of mountains. In 2003,1 started playing with them out of airplanes. Two- thousand two was when I started parachuting at all. It changed my life. I dove right into this sport, tried lots of different aspects of it. The wing suit really appealed to me because it was a way of flying and I think everyone has dreams of flying.

My first suit did not fit, my second was taken by the police before I learned how to fly, then my third one was right. When I got it, I just flew and knew this was it. Like when you get in a car you’ve never driven before and it’s familiar in some way. This red wing suit is what I use today. It handles predictably. It doesn’t have too much power, but what you need. It’s a fasci­nating sport. Right now it’s escalating because, in this sport, the equipment has been improving a lot the past few years. Athletes have been doing things people thought were never possible. It’s a lot like where ski­ing was in the late ’90s, when they came out with wing-tip skis and parabolic skis. Every year you’d see ski movies with people doing stuff you’d never seen before.

Do you wing suit here or abroad?

Mostly abroad. There are some places to fly wing suits in California and the western states, but not much. Needless to say, I spend most of my money on plane tickets abroad.

Do you want to say anything about your friend, Shane McConkey?

I miss him. As far as cars are concerned, Shane real­ly affected me because he was a very successful man who drove a very humble vehicle for many years. He always bought with practicality and never had any bling or shine. He has influenced me to be practical with my money. As you know, being a professional athlete, it’s often a short career and it’s important to save and watch your money. Rosebud is a little bit of a soft spot because I have a soft spot in my heart for her. If she needs something, I buy it for her, but if you look at the big picture, it’s practical.

So Rosebud is not just a piece of metal to you. She is an investment and a part of the family.

Yeah. It’s an investment. And it’s not a piece of jewel­ry. That car drives me all around, □

Can anyone sayExtreme” I found J. T. to be about as down-to-earth as they make ’em. I had a blast interviewing him and I know Catherine loved the snow-capped photo backdrop that Reno, Nevada had to offer that morning. I mean, who has the oomph to jump off cliffs with a zipped- on wing suit without showing any fear!? I enjoyed getting a chance to pick J.T.’s brain about his love of things on either two or four wheels instead of two skis.

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Barbara Terry interview with Marvin Harrison

In 12 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Marvin has amassed 1,090 receptions, catching most of them from quarterback Peyton Manning, with whom he shares a number of tandem records. He’s only the fourth play­er ever to catch 1,000 balls in the NFL, and when it’s all said and done, he’ll likely be second only to Jerry Rice. He’s been to eight Pro Bowls in his 12 full seasons and is only the seventh wide receiver with 10 touch­downs. He holds the single season record for receptions with 143, almost nine receptions a game.

What was your first car?

My first car was a Dodge Daytona…not sure of the year. It was a two-tone five-speed, blue with grey stripes down the middle, from the trunk to the front of the hood.

Where do you think that car is now?

I totaled it about a year after I got it, so it is crunched up into metal.

So you can drive a stick-shift?


Now to prod him a little. Marvin is a man of few words. I figured if I could find the right button, something about his collection, I’d get him going.

As I look around your garage, I see that you are a collector of Pace cars.


Okay, maybe that wasn’t the right button, but something about the gleam in his eye and the way his eyes swept over the room when I mentioned pace car told me I was on the right track.

When did that collection start?

For years, I have always liked pace cars, especially Corvettes. I had a problem distinguishing between whether I just wanted to collect Corvettes or to collect pace cars, so I combined the two to make it Corvette pace cars. I am missing three of the years-2004,2005, 2006 – but I will continue to grow as I get more space.

Bingo! Have you tried to find those three missing years?

Yes. The 2005 was at a Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Las Vegas last month. It went for $70,000.1 stopped at $55,000, so it got away. They only made three of those identical cars each year, so it will be rare to get those three that I am missing.

Marvin obviously loves his pace cars. I wanted to learn more of what he knew about them.

What year is the oldest pace car that you own?

A 1978 Corvette pace car.

Then the most recent year is the…

Two-thousand eight. You had to have both.

Okay, that about covered the pace cars. I wanted to find out more about his experience with automobiles in general. There’s more to cars than restoring them.

What type of music do you listen to while cruising down the road?

I just like to relax to R&B. Anita Baker is one of my favorites. Good choice, yes. I listen to the more relaxed music than the upbeat and up-tempo music.

I’d try to push his buttons, get him going a little, see what makes a guy that catches nine footballs a game and still goes over the middle against linebackers twice his size tick.

So you listen to baby-making music?

I would not say that. Just relaxing music.

Marvin giggled at my joke and was definitely loosening up. Now I could find out what he liked besides Corvettes. Certainly, there was more to the man than a passion for ‘vettes.

Other than the Corvettes, what cars are you passionate about?

The Buick GNX. That is the ultimate, being as they only made 547 and there are only about 200 left in existence. They are numbered and I happen to have car number 88. It is on the dashboard.

Eighty-eight is Marvin’s number for the Colts, a number that most certainly will be retired by the Colts when his playing days are done. He even wore number eight in college at Syracuse, when he was catching passes from Donovan McNabb.

Really? Was that coincidental?

I wanted the car number 88. The odds of that happening were slim to none. A guy in North Carolina had the car and I bought it from him in North Carolina.

How did you find it?

A friend of mine who is also in the car world told me that this guy had it.

Looking around the room, I noticed other cars, too…cars he hadn’t yet mentioned, but had gone to the trouble of purchasing and restoring.

I see that you also like Impalas.

Yes. The thing with my Impalas is that they obviously only made three colors-the cherry, the green and the black. I have two cherry and one green. I am missing the black one. I want the black one to be very nice. If I could get the Dale Earnhardt edition in black, that would be my choice, but I have been holding off on getting it.

Ahhh…sports figures, championship-caliber ones, are always competitive. It’s what drives them to succeed in the toughest of all arenas. They love most any game and sport, once bitten by it.

Are you a NASCAR fan?

Not really a big fan, just feel the need for speed.

Speaking of speed, how fast have you driven in one of your cars on the freeway? Marvin giggled as I asked the question. I must’ve hit a nerve.

Pretty fast. I cannot remember the exact top speed, but it was over 100 miles an hour. Nowadays, the way they make cars, it is not hard to get going over 100 miles an hour. I would rather not talk about how fast I was going, but just pretty fast!

I take it you do not like cars that have a governor on them.


Marvin, while certainly wealthy, appeared to be very wise with his money. He didn’t overpay for cars he wanted, but could obviously afford, preferring to wait for a good price. He’d bought this building to convert instead of overpaying for a suburban spread. This made me wonder how he paid for the cars.

Do you prefer to own or lease?

I like to own, definitely own. It depends on what you are buying. If I am buying an everyday car, I like to own. Being as I have my own dealership, I can own and sell my cars. I am not in the lease or own busi­ness, so I will own, then sell and switch out to a differ­ent car.

Would you own and drive a hybrid?

I do not know the power that the hybrids have. I know that they are supposed to be good on gas, but I do not know how much torque and how much power that they have.

I do not think you can put hybrid and torque in the same sentence.

I would probably own one, but I would not use it as my everyday driver.

When you first signed as a professional athlete, what was the first car that you bought yourself?

It was a Lexus LX470 SUV. That was the first car that I bought.

Where is that car now?

It was a lease, so I do not have it anymore. It is long gone.

Ah, so when finance dictates, he’d lease. But his frugal, Intelligent nature tells him to buy outright when possible.

What do you drive as a daily driver now?

I drive an SRT-8 Grand Cherokee – black exterior on a charcoal interior. It is super fast.

Is that your favorite color combo?

No. My favorite color combination is white exterior with a tan interior.

He has a very cheerful attitude, a hint of mischief in his eyes, and, again, is a very intelligent guy. He does have a love for power, though. Most people with a love for power like to work on cars, too.

What type of modifications do you like to do to your vehi­cles?

I like all stock stuff. I like the original window sticker, all of the original details. I do not like anything but stock. One of my cherry-colored Impalas has a little bit of everything done to it because it is my speed car. It has a lot of things added to get more horsepower. Typically, though, I like to keep base rims and everything stock.

How often do you take some of your Corvettes out and around the block?

I take all of them out once a year. Every year, I take at least one out for a weekend or a week.

Tell me about your custom golf cart

You just have to have the ultimate golf cart. When I go to big auctions – whether it is in Carlisle, PA, or Barrett- Jackson in Florida – you have to have a golf cart to get around to look at all those cars. Normally, I rent a golf cart every year, but, from now on, I can just bring my own, just drive it around. It is good to have it. If you have family pic­nics in the park, you can bring the golf cart or even drive it around the house.

I see that it is personalized and very cute.

Yes, it is something good to always have.

Marvin also has a collection of motorcycles, quite a serious collection, just like with the cars.

What kind of bikes do you have?

I have one Hayabusa and five Ducatis. Ducatis are my passion. I also have three Spiders – a yellow one and two silver ones. One of the silver ones is a limited-edition. I started out with a passion for motorcycles – like my Ducatis – but when I heard that the Spiders were coming out, I just had to have three of them for my buddies, and for me, when we ride. The Spiders are a cross between a four-wheeler and a motorcycle.

If you do not currently own your dream car, what would that dream car be?

It is a toss-up between two different ones. For collecting, it would be a Mercedes Benz Gold Wing, but to own and drive every day, it would be a Mercedes SLR McLaren.

What color would you choose?

I would go with a black exterior on a charcoal interior.

How many cars do you think that you have owned throughout our life?

I am in a different realm when you are your own car deal­er. I have owned a ton of cars and I have sold a ton of cars, but the cars that I have personally owned…l would say probably about 50.1 still have about 25 to 30 of them and more to come.

Do you think that you were ever influenced by another teammate’s choice in cars? Did you ever pull up to prac­tice and say to yourself, “I have to get me one of those?’

No, I never have wanted something that someone else has. I have always tried to be the first one to have the hottest car that came out, so, no, I have never been influ­enced by another teammate’s choice in their cars.

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

On my 16th birthday. On my birthday, I tookthe driver’s test. I did not waste anytime!

Do you get a lot of speeding tickets?

I do get pulled over an awful lot, and to someone’s good credit, it always seems to work out. I have not had a lot of speeding tickets, but I do get pulled over a lot.

Do you have any favorite road trips that you like to take?

I do like road trips, in general, being as I do not like to fly. I do not like the hassle and congestion of going through air­ports. I do not like driving more than eight hours, so any­thing between three and seven hours, I do not mind driv­ing. I like nice scenery, so I like driving through North Carolina and the Virginia Beach area, being as they are very pretty areas. I do not mind driving at all.

What is your favorite charity?

My favorite charity is to help out inner-city youths that do not get the opportunity to go to Virginia Beach. Or here, locally, we have Six Flags Great Adventures and we have Dorney Park. During the summer, when I get to take all the kids from the neighborhood on a bus trip to amusements parks…that is my biggest thrill that I get to do.

What do you have going on right now?

Nothing too exciting other than it is my 13th season. I’m enjoying it. I am looking forward to finishing off this year, and I obviously have a Super Bowl ring.

I was curious. He’d mentioned several times that he’s an entre­preneur, which is common after the playing days. But to be the best receiver of your era AND run car dealerships can’t be easy.

Tell me about your car dealership.

It is a used car dealership; we call it the little rinky-dink used car dealership. We have $3,000 to $5,000 cars that we sell. Being as I have been into cars all my life,

I want to continue. Over time, this is something I will do – sell cars and collect cars. I will always be involved with cars.

You seem to be very passionate about cars.

Yes. I love to sell them and collect them.

What does your family think of your choice in cars?

My six-year-old son, Marvin Harrison Jr., loves cars as much as I do. He has his little Corvette, a four-wheel­er and a little motorcycle. He has all the same things that his dad has.

Does he want to be a race car driver?

He is not into race cars, but he loves his four-wheelers and motorcycles. At the age of six, he knows every Corvette, and knows the name of each and every car and motorcycle. My family and friends love my choice, but my son is the one that enjoys all my cars the most and gets to ride in the passenger’s seat with me all of the time.

Have you ever had any car accidents?

A ton of them, but let’s not talk about them. I have had a couple in my time.

Do you have any funny car stories?

Yes. The limited-edition Buick GNX is a great story. I was shopping around for a GNX for years. I knew they only made 500-plus and they were each numbered. I was just waiting for one. When the time came for me to get the right one, I was lucky enough to get the number 88 car.

How long have you had it?

It has been over a year, now.

How many miles does it have on it?

Thirty-six thousand. A little high for a Buick GNX, but you can hardly find them, so I had to bear with it. It was either get low miles or get the right number. I could not refuse getting the number 88 car. □

Man/in indulged us and opened a huge exterior bay door of the garage where he keeps the majority of his rides in Philadelphia. We pulled inside and there was a giant garage in the old building with a mammoth collection of beautiful, vintage, restored cars. It became evident that this man is very, very serious about his collection. I can’t describe the depth of it. As I found, Marvin’s passion for, and knowledge of, cars was matched only by his passion for his communi­ty – for Philadelphia. His biggest joy is using his cash for inner-city children and biking around with his friends. He could live anywhere in the world and he’s stayed loyal.

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Barbara Terry interview with Natalie Gulbis

Natalie Gulbis has been a golfing phenom since an early age, introduced to the sport before she was five years old. She played her first LPGA event as an amateur at the tender age of 14 and joined the tour as a pro at 18 while attending college. She’s also a part-time model and builds motorcycles with her dad. She has a love of trucks, big cars and classic muscle cars.

What was your first car?

My first car was an ’83 Ford Bronco. It was in college, my second semester. My parents bought me the Bronco.

What color was it?

Navy blue exterior with a tan interior. It was an Eddie Bauer and I loved it. I’ve always liked big trucks and cars.

Was it a full-size Bronco?

Yes. Then, when I turned professional, I bought a Tahoe. A 1999 two-door Chevy Tahoe.

Do you play for the most part now?

Yes, now I just fly. It’s so International. We play more outside the United States than we do inside the United States.

Your two-door Tahoe, did it have a cloth or leather interior?

Cloth. Bright red, big rims, it was really tall. I felt safe in it. I’ve always felt safe in big cars and trucks.

I wondered what happened to it, she seemed to like it so much.

I love those. Great choice.

The next car I bought was on eBay. It was a Harley Davidson truck, a 100th year anniversary truck. I was obsessed with it. It was silver and black. I looked everywhere for it for about four to five months, then found it on eBay. I flew my dad out to Texas and he drove it back to Vegas. I still have it.

That’s awesome!

Yes. This is actually the first car I’ve had, the Lexus you are shooting today. I’ve had trucks for eight years of being professional; I’ve had an Escalade and an Expedition. I would just keep on changing out big cars and big trucks. I would take my car out on the road to tournaments, but now I won’t. Now we have an International schedule. I used to drive to all of the tour­naments, so I always had a big vehicle.

And you sold it?



I kind of turn them over. Sell them or give them to fam­ily, but turn them over.

Do you like leasing or owning your vehicles?


Because of the equity factor or the fact that the vehi­cle is yours and you can do whatever you want to with it?

So I don’t have to make another payment!


(LAUGHTER) Yes, that’s a good thing. How old were you when you got your driver’s license?

I was 16. My parents couldn’t afford to get me a car, so I went to college without one. In my second semester, my parents surprised me with a car for my birthday. That was my 18th birthday. I was a freshman.

What do you drive now?

Now I have a Lexus 350is, which is the car you’re shooting today.

Awesome. How long have you had the Lexus?

A few months. I just sold an Escalade and got it.

How well do you like being in a smaller vehicle?

I love it. It’s so fun having a car. I can’t believe how easy it is to buzz around in it.

It’s easier, but different, if you’re used to sitting up high in trucks. It’s a different feeling. When you used to travel going to tournaments, what was your favorite road trip?

My favorite city in the United States is Los Angeles. I’m from Sacramento, California, but I love L.A. I pretty much like driving all over the U.S. I’ve been cross-country, prob­ably, five times. I spent a lot of time on the road. I’ve been on the road since I was 14 playing in tournaments.

Can you drive a stick shift?

Yes. And now the Lexus that I have has the paddle, so I learned how to drive with the paddle shifter. It’s so much easier than a stick. I learned howto drive a stick a couple years ago. I had a TV show on The Golf Channel and my dream car at that time was a Dodge Viper. I said I wouldn’t buy a sports car until I learned how to drive a stick, so my producers on the show surprised me and brought me a Viper for a weekend, and it was a stick. They actually set it up because they wanted to shoot me learning to drive a stick. I drove it around Vegas all week­end, stalling it out. It was fun. That’s how you learn, though. Usually, you don’t learn on a Viper.

So you were grinding the clutch…screeeeeeeech.

Well, I was doing okay. They started to shoot and said, ‘You’re ready’ and started me out going up a hill.

Oh no.

Yeah, a big old hill.

And to learn on a hill is impossible, especially at a stoplight with a car coming up behind you. You feel like, ‘How am I going to do this?’

And I have another car, a ’68 Mustang Fastback that is in showroom condition. I keep at my parents’ house.

I wish we could have shot that! Sweet!

They don’t drive it much, maybe take it to a show if there’s one nearby. I’ve always liked the old classic Mustangs.

Is it all original or has it been restored?

No, it’s been restored and we put some extra bells and whistles on it.

How long have you had the Mustang?

Five years, but I only drive it when I go home to Sacramento. My parents make sure that it’s kept up because I’m not home very much. I’m on the road 90 percent of the time.

How many miles does it have on it?

About 18,000, not many.

What color is it?

Bright red, Ferrari red. I’m going to put white stripes, racing stripes, over the top next time I go home. I used to go to car shows all the time. You go to different cities, you get to see different cars.

Oh, yeah, get different ideas on how to restore clas­sics. What’s your favorite color combination with cars?

I tend to buy black cars over and over again. I like the blue Viper with the white racing stripes. Definitely, the Mustang I’m putting those stripes on, but I’ve tended to buy black cars for the last seven or eight years.

When you were a teenager, before you got your dri­ver’s license, you probably thought about cars and thought, “Wow I’d like this.’ What was that dream car? Was it a Lamborghini, was it a truck with big rims? What really caught your attention?

A white Lamborghini with tan interior where the doors went up. And I thought the Camaros looked like that — had the same slant, and looked like it. I thought one day I could realistically get that when I became a pro golfer, but I didn’t. Then I set a standard and decided that when I won my first tournament, I would buy a Viper. In 2007, when I did (win), I threw a big party, but I’m not home enough to feel I can have a car like that. Maybe one day, when my life slows down a little bit. I go to car shows, and they have great Lamborghinis and Ferraris at the museum here in Las Vegas.

Isn’t there a Ferrari dealership in one of the hotels here?

Ferrari is inside the Wynn and Lamborghini is inside the Palazzo, but I love classic cars. One of the maga­zines I get when I travel is the Du Pont Registry. Many athletes love classic cars. My favorite part of Cribs is when they show the cars.

(LAUGHTER) Yeah, it’s funny. When I started this book, I didn’t want all spectacular cars. I wanted some different cars, like Sugar Ray Leonard has a Smart Car out in LA. He’s driving this little bitty white Smart Car all over Los Angeles, it’s hilarious. It’s cool, though. What about car accidents? Ever had a car accident?

No. No car accidents, no speeding tickets, knock on wood.

No speeding tickets?

Nope, no tickets. I do not think I have ever even gotten a parking ticket.

Have you ever been pulled over and talked your way out of a speeding ticket?

One time. I was on my way to the airport about 4:30 one morning to get on a plane to go play a tournament in Singapore, and the officer said, ‘Natalie, where are you going so fast?’ I told him I had to catch a plane to Singapore and he let me go with a warning.

That was nice of him.

Yes. My management team, I think, currently has an over/under on when I’m going to get a ticket in my Lexus.

Would you ever own a hybrid?

Yes, absolutely. I think the next car I get will be a hybrid. They used to be so small, but now that you have choices. I’ll probably get a Lexus hybrid. They’re beautiful and so quiet.

They’re sweet yes. What kind of music do you listen to when you are driving?

A combination. I like classic rock and top 40. Now that I have satellite and regular FM, I’m always changing. It’s easy with a touch screen.

How many cars do you think you’ve owned throughout your life?


That’s pretty sweet. Have you ever looked at another golfer’s car and thought you might need to get what they have?

No. I never see the other golfers’ cars, but I do see celebri­ties’ cars on TV. All tricked out. I just saw on the last Cribs, Kim Kardashian had a white Range Rover with white seats with pink trim, and pink on the rims iLAUGHTER) ..yeah, but it was custom and it would be nice to have custom stuff.

Leading right into my next question. Speaking of custom, what do you like to modify on your cars when you get them straight from the factory? Is it rims you want first or an upgraded stereo system? What do you find that you’re not happy with completely, as far as factory goes?

I like to upgrade everything. I like it supercharged. I like to change the brakes, put all high-performance stuff on, high-performance tires with the biggest rims that I can fit, but still make manage. I have never had bigger than 22 inches, but I’ve seen them. Definitely leather seats. If I can fit TVs in there somewhere…I’ve always had SUVs, so I had TVs in the back for group travel with a pile of DVDs.

Well, with that you know that they are sitting in the back seat and occupied. They’re entertained while you are driving.

Now, a navigation system. I don’t know how you can travel without a navigation system. I used to have my little Garmin, but now I get navigation systems in the car. Tinted windows. You know, Nevada is more lenient than most states. You can get the windows tint­ed very dark here, but then if you drive that car in California… ticket! You have to be pretty careful, being as different states have different regulations. Now I take off all the logos, too, all except for the one Cadillac symbol. I like a clean look.

How fast have you driven in a car?

Donald Trump let me take his Ferrari out at a tourna­ment a few years ago, and I’d say 150 or 160.

Was that on the Long Island Expressway?

No, it was in West Palm Beach. He’d just gotten a new Ferrari, and for our tour championship, we got to stay at his hotel and we got to play at his golf course. He has beautiful cars, and a friend and I got his car for a night. I’d like to drive on a track once. I know they have a racing track here in Vegas, and I’d like to do that one time. You know, where you can actually take a car out on a track.

If you ever want to go to one of my off-road races, let me know. I’ll take you.

Really? Do they have them here?

Yeah. I just did the Vegas To Reno back in August. The way the course was mapped out it came out to be


Yeah. Not on the road, but up in the mountains, on the sides of cliffs doing 80. We raced the Ford Raptor truck, the only Raptor they modified for racing. Off- road is fun, but it’s not very glamorous. If you don’t mind eating dirt for a few days…

Okay, speaking of your Tahoe, it was lifted. Did you put the lift kit on it?

I bought it that way.

What do you have going on right now, or what is your favorite charity?

This year, I got to be on Celebrity Apprentice, which was fun because I got to play for my favorite charity. The Boys & Girls Club. Now that the off-season is here, I have more time to spend here and in Sacramento where my parents live, and I’ll spend more time with the kids here and there. I’ve got great sponsors. My largest sponsor is Addidas. (Others are) Taylor Made, Cannon, Outback Steak House, Mastercard, 24 Hour Fitness, Sky Golf and Winn Grips, which are two golf companies. I do stuff with Addidas Eyewear. I got to design an Addidas shoe for 2010. That was exciting.

That’s cool. When does it come out and where?

In January, I think all over the world. You always have a dream of having a shoe.

(LAUGHTER) Yeah. Why did you choose Vegas?

I chose Vegas because my coach is here. Butch Harmon lives in Vegas. I came across this area of Lake Las Vegas, which doesn’t have the feel of Vegas. You have a man-made lake, beautiful homes and a sense of community. You’re a half an hour away from the strip and anything and everything you could imagine. There’s great concerts, spas, restaurants and shop­ping.

An international airport

Yes. There’s a lot more to Vegas than just the strip. You can go hiking in Red Rock. There’s skiing a half-hour from here.

Great spas.

(LAUGHTER) Yes. I would love to check out every spa in every hotel.

That’d be a book in itself.

Yes. It would make a great TV show. Get paid to do it and order every treatment on the menu.

Tell me about your motorcycle.

One of my favorite toys that I built with my dad is a custom bike. It’s beautiful. It has caricatures of me and my dad, and it is a retro baby blue. They actually had it on display at Treasure Island. They’ve shown it across the country at different motorcycle shows and now it’s at home. One day, I’d like to have a room where you can have it up on display.

You don’t ride it?

No, it’s too beautiful. My dad rides it when my parents come to visit me here in Vegas. It was on display for almost a year on the strip.

That’s neat. Have you ever had a bike you rode a bunch?

No. Being on tour, you cannot really take chances. Yes, you have to be extra careful with the body.

I was excited to meet Natalie knowing that she was not only an accomplished athlete, but a lover of horsepower. She was gracious, sweet and inviting/ A hot lady that knows her cars!

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Barbara Terry interview with Breaux Greer

Breaux Greer, like his friend Dan O’Brien, who introduced me to him, is a world-class athlete. He is an eight­time American javelin-throwing champion who holds the American record with a toss of more than 90 feet. He is an exceptionally in-shape, fun human being who enjoys his life to the fullest. Globally, he is ranked as the ninth greatest javelin thrower of all time.

What was your first car?

Let’s see. My first car was a Toyota Celica. It was in high school – an older car, obviously. I went to high school in, like, ’91 and I think it was an ’87 or ‘88. It was fast. It was one of those cars that, if you turn the air conditioner off, it goes faster. That’s how cool that car was.

That was a very nice car for high school.

Yeah. Well, I mean, I worked hard. Ever since I was 13 years old, I had a steady job. I literally had to keep money going through the family. It was just me, my two sisters and my mom, growing up, so somebody had to make some money. I actually had a little extra cash to buy a car with. I was always working, since I was a lit­tle kid.

Was it an automatic or a stick shift?

It was a stick.

I decided to get a ribbing in. After all, he had thrown me into a lake that was close to the photo shoot that we’d had with him earlier in the day.

How well can you drive a stick?

I can drive a stick pretty darn well. Yeah, it’s funny because, whenever I was learning, I learned on this really crappy car. I don’t remember what it was, I wanna say it was a Buick, but I don’t even know if they have a stick-shift Buick. I’m here, sitting at a red light, and I’m probably 12 years old at this time. My mom’s, like, cool, just drive. I revved it up so hard because I didn’t want to stall it because we were on the high­way. I did it and I just spun around on the highway. We went in a ditch and we came back out. I told my mom, ‘Get in the drivers seat. I’m done with this thing.’ I didn’t drive for a while after that.

And how old were you when this happened?

I was about 12,1 think. I had big responsibilities when I was a kid.

Do you find that the hard work ethic that was taught to you as a youngster has helped shape you into the exceptional adult that you have grown up to be?

Absolutely. You know, that’s the thing. Growing up, whenever all my friends – being in high school or jun­ior high – they got to go to parties and do all that stuff. I had to work because I would help my mom pay the mortgage, even at such a young age. I didn’t have the freedom a lot of other kids had, so it made me grow up a lot faster and appreciate everything I got. I just men­tally grew up. I didn’t have the leeway and do stupid stuff like all the other kids. It kept me out of trouble, kept me out of jail.

How many cars have you had since that first Toyota?

I moved on to a Civic after that.

Okay, time for another ribbing.

Why did you choose a Civic?

It was just an easy car with gas and mileage. I was doing a lot of work in different places, so I needed a car that didn’t take too much gas. And that was the most low- maintenance car. I had that and I’ve had a Tahoe, I’ve had aZ28, which was probably my favorite car-a Camaro Z28 – which I had souped up. It was really fast. That’s how I lost a lot of money, paying for gas with that one.

Did you have the 5.7-liter in the Camaro?

Yes I did. It was a really fun toy car. Then I got this, and this has been a really easy car. I wanted to get a bigger car, but I didn’t wanna go for a Tahoe and I didn’t wanna go for a regular car. This is kind of in between and it’s got the big Corvette engine in it. My dog and my javelins fit in it, so it is just perfect for me.

It’s a Trail Blazer?

Trail Blazer SS. This one has 425 horsepower, so it’s a fun little toy. It sucks up gas like crazy.

Well, with that engine, what do you expect?

But it’s fun. It’s just a fun little toy.

What year is it?

It’s an ’07.

What’s your favorite color combination? Obviously, this one is black on black, so do you always gravitate towards this particular color combo?

Yeah. Im always black on black. Ive seen a lot of white cars, and white cars are looking good right now. They tend to stay fairly clean out here in the desert.

Like the white diamond color?

Yeah. Some window tint and some fatty rims, and that baby shines.

Speaking of rims, what type of modifications do you like to do on cars that you own?

Every car I’ve ever had, I’ve put rims on. Every single car I have owned, I put limo window tint on it. Always gotta have a sound system and, every once in a while, I tweak the engine. This is the first car I’ve had that I didn’t put different rims on it. The rims on it are great. I had a supercharger in this car that I’m gonna put back in. I was gonna sell it, but I’ll probably just buy another car and keep this as a Gracie car, to tow her around in – Gracie, my dog. So I might as well put it back in. It’s really fun when you put another 80 or 100 horsepower in.

When you were a kid, did you have that dream car? Lamborghini, Porsche? Was there a particular flashy car that you thought you would always buy when you got older?

I think I’m like a lot of people that, whenever they saw Gone in 60 Seconds, everybody wanted an Eleanor. Strangely enough, I saw that car last night. I’m just sit­ting there, thinking, “Wow, that is just an unbeatable car. If I could just have that one car, I would be com­pletely happy.’

Simeon Rice has an Eleanor that he is restoring.

I love those. You cannot beat them.

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

I listen to a lot of Howard Stern now. But, as far as music goes, I listen to everything. My favorite of all time is Brian McKnight, strangely enough.

Oh, I know. He is great! Cool, grooving music.

Yeah, I know. But you just wouldn’t picture a guy like me because I also listen to Marilyn Manson. I can’t really get into country, and jazz never did it for me. Anything with a piano or acoustic, or the complete opposite – anything that’s really loud and obnoxious. I really like all of those.

From the sounds of it you like variety; you like to mix it up.

I like the whole gamut.

How do you know Dan O’Brien?

He’s in track, and in the track community. We’re all a family and he’s obviously one of the top athletes to ever set foot on this planet. To me, he’s just another guy, but if I take a step back. I’m, like, ‘Holy cow, that’s Dan O’Brien. That’s the guy that’s done so much.’ He lives by me, so while he’s training, I’m training. It’s just, like, you run into him and it’s, ‘Hey, how’s it going.’ He’s a good role model for a lot of people to have. He’s just freakishly amazing. I mean, he could still make the Olympic team if he wanted to. That’s how good of an athlete he is.

This one had me curious.

What do you think of hybrids and would you ever own one?

Yes, I would. I would own a Tahoe hybrid now, if some­one would give me one. I’ve got no problem with them. It’s just going to keep getting better and better; it has to. But I wouldn’t own one of the small, funky hybrids. I don’t mind them; whenever I see somebody driving them, I’m think­ing, They’re smart.’ It doesn’t fit my personality. I like to burn gas.

Right You like the horsepower. Do you get a lot of speed­ing tickets?

I rarely get speeding tickets. The thing here, especially in Scottsdale, you know where the flash cubes/speed traps are.

I was thinking it had been a miserable trip.

I think I’ve gotten three here in Arizona in the last five hours.

You pass them and you just see the big flash come out of nowhere.

I don’t know how you guys deal with it here. I constantly speed, break the law and they’re everywhere here.


Well, that’s the thing. If you lived here, you’d know where they are. That’s a good thing. In Atlanta, you’re driving around and you got cops hiding in woods.

Yeah, but you can talk your way out of it in Atlanta, among other places in the country.

I’ve gotten really lucky at times when I’ve gotten pulled over. Somehow – maybe I was on TV at the time – the guy’s, like, ‘Oh, you’re the guy off of TV.’

Oh yes, that does help!

Every once in a while, it’s gotten me out of trouble.

Tell me about your doggies.

My dogs are my life. I had a dog for 18 years and, in February, she passed. Gracie was lucky enough to be brought up with her for a year? so it was really cool. This is Gracie; she’s a Presa Canario, which is the rarest dog on the planet. She’s a little bit over two years old and she’s my everything. She literally is. Friends sometimes come and go; people come and go out of your life. But there’s two things I wouldn’t mind spending my money on – it’s my dog and food – the only two things I need to survive.

They are great and I feel the same way. Tell me what all you have going on in your life right now.

Currently, I’m just kind of idling by. I still have a cloth­ing line, I still have a medical patent business in New Orleans, and I’m seeking out a couple movies here and there and doing the track thing. Trying to stay busy.

How fast have you gone in a street car?

I got up to 167 in my Camaro. It was outside of New Orleans and I realized that I had cut off an hour and some change of driving time on that trip. I didn’t real­ize I was going that fast because you’re sitting on the road and you just tend to not realize it in a Camaro. It just sounds like you are idling. So, 167 was my top.

That might have been the fastest of all the athletes I’d inter­viewed.

Wow, very impressive, Mr. Greer.

Yeah. I didn’t realize I was going that fast, but I looked down at the speedometer and was, like, ‘I should slow down.’ Normally, I’m an 80-mile-per-hour guy. Not too fast, just fast enough to get people out of my way and keep cruising.

Have you ever looked at another athlete’s vehicle and thought ‘I have to have that?’

No. Actually, I haven’t. Maybe because I live, literally, a minute from Barrett-Jackson. Those are the cars that extreme enthusiasts have, so I get to go see the top cars of the top cars. If you have an athlete driving a Ferrari, big deal. That’s not history, that’s just a Ferrari. Essentially, anyone could get that if they have money. They don’t make the ’69 Camaros anymore. You get one of those in perfect condition, and you’ve got a car. I tend to, every once in a while, envy those kinda guys. Strangely enough, they tend to all live in Scottsdale because I see them all the time. There’s a lot of money that’s gone through Scottsdale.

Have you ever been involved in an accident?

Yeah, I have. I was at a car wash this one time, getting my car cleaned up and polished for an athletes/cars book interview and photo shoot. Oh, that’s right, it is your book. I was getting it cleaned up and then I see an Escalade coming out of the cash wash shoot. It just gets finished power washing and it starts rolling out. It just keeps picking up speed for a good 30 yards. It keeps coming and just smashes right into my car. I got a new bumper out of it!

(WE BOTH CHUCKLE) Do you think you’ll ever pull the trigger on the Eleanor?

If I have a ridiculous amount of play money. It is still hard for me to think about because it is a car, but I would like to have it. Not necessarily keep it for the rest of my life; I’d just like to one-time own it. Just play around with it, not put many miles on it, just say, ‘Hey, this is my car. Check this thing out.’ There’s something to be said to that, because that is history. But, like I said, I like to throw my money towards investments and not having to work the rest of my life. Maybe when I’m an old man and I’m extremely comfortable, then, yeah, I could throw some money towards that way.

Do you have any favorite road trips you like to take?

Absolutely. Driving from my house out here to the hills. I try to do this daily because it’s just refreshing. It tends to unwind the mind without you knowing, just because it’s so beautiful out here. I don’t even realize it because it’s only, like, a 15-minute drive and it goes by so fast. This is surely my favorite place to drive. I mean, you look across and see forever. It’s peaceful. I don’t think enough people get enough time to themselves, just to unwind. They think they do, but they really don’t.

What’s the craziest thing that you have ever done in a car?

I think one of the craziest things was, me and one of my friends were in my Camaro in college and he was in the passenger seat and I was in the driver’s seat. We were only going, like, 65 and I asked him to sit in the driver’s seat. So, as we’re driving, he switches over and I, like, let the gas petal get up to 100. He’s, like, one of those crazy guys, so I climb out on the windshield and he goes to 100. Thinking back, it was really dumb, but it was actually kinda cool. On the front of the car, you’re going 100 miles per hour past other cars, hanging on to the windshield wipers. I thought it was kinda cool.

Have you ever been into motorcycles?

No, only because I know what would happen if I got ahojd of one. The two evils of those are those that have fallen and those that will fall, and I have no doubt that I would press my luck. I have that much common sense to say no, I’m not going to get into that.

On my way there, I got a call from the cardiologist that my beloved first dog, Rocky, had died from heart failure. I was heartbroken, but couldn’t cancel the interview. Breaux took the time to tell me about never getting over losing your first dog, but gave me insight on getting another one. He is a big, tough guy, but he’s down-to-earth and has a big heart.

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Barbara Terry interview with Bill Goldberg

Bill Goldberg has an interesting background. He is a former NFL player, former WWE Heavyweight Champ, is a car aficionado and a humanitarian. Like Hulk Hogan, Bill Goldberg was one of the biggest phenomenons to hit the professional wrestling world. Unlike Hogan, he did it from the first day he stepped into the ring, starting a career hotter than any pro wrestler before or since he entered the squared circle. Goldberg, as he was known in the ring, catapulted to unparalleled success. He’s a former two-time WWE Champion and was the first person ever to hold the WCW and WWE Heavyweight Championship at the same time. Since then, he has established an acting career and has hosted a television show about vehicles called “,Bull Bun” on Speed TV. He does a tremendous amount of charity work, and is a true “car” guy.

What can you tell me about your first car?

It was in a lot better shape when I got it than when I got rid of it. It was a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it was a nice first car, for sure. I think that started the addiction. My family has an affinity for automobiles.

How old were you when you got the Trans Am?

Sixteen. My dad said, ‘Get a 3.0 (GPA) and a job, and I’ll get you a car.’ I had a 2.9 and I got a job at McDonald’s, so he got me a car.

What exactly were you doing at McDonald’s?

Before I got fired, I was flipping food.

Why did you get fired? (LAUGHTER)

Because I was eating all of it. It was ridiculous to me that they had a timer on it, and after five minutes, they would throw it all away. It was still good – at least for half an hour.

And, back then, our parents made us clean our plates. That was the rule of thumb.

That wasn’t necessarily what I was thinking about. I was thinking, ‘Man, they’re going to throw away this quarter-pounder with cheese. I’m eating it.’ Or my buddy or dog could eat it.

Is there a car that you bought as a gift to yourself after your wrestling career took off?

Yeah, pretty much every one that I’ve bought since I started wrestling.

Does one of the first ones stick out in your memory more than the others?

I’d say the most memorable experience that could be categorized as rewarding myself for my wrestling duties came when I was wrestling in Japan. I was simultaneously on the phone with a guy named Bob Johnson, who got me involved in the car business. He was buying me vehicles at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale and, at that time, I bought that Boss 29, that Lawman Mustang, I bought a ’70 Z28 Trans Am and a ’68 Chevy Camaro. I did that to reward myself for going over and enduring the business of wrestling in Japan. As a matter of fact, it’s a really funny story, when I got frustrated with the business dealings overin Japan-my agent was with me-he would look at me and say one word. It was Yenko. It would totally change my demeanor and make it bearable.

Why Yenko?

Because I knew the money I was making over there would allow me, when I got home, to drive one of the three grotto blue RS/SS Yenko Camaras.

So it was kind of a focal point or motivation for you, then?

I’d say, at that point, darlin,’ that was a mild understate­ment.

What do you drive now? What do you use as a daily driver?

A ’95 S600 Mercedes and a ’99 Dodge 2500 Ram truck. I split my time between those.

Tell me about this one-of-a-kind car that is snuggled in your garage.

The story begins with a guy named Al Extrand. If you want the story straight from my mouth, I’ll tell you, but you can also go to, which is a Web site about the best Mustangs on the planet. Basically, a drag racer named Al Extrand, who was a corporate lawyer for Chrysler, developed this idea that he wanted to branch out and make sure his legacy was not defined by how fast he could travel a quarter-mile. He was tired of seeing ser­vicemen come back from the war to spend $3,500 on a Hemi, only to wrap it around a tree a few weeks later and die. He wanted to teach guys to drive. He also, at the same time, wanted to boost the morale of the troops overseas.

I don’t know the exact details, but Chrysler didn’t want to extend the money to pay for the program, so he obviously quit Chrysler and went to Ford. Ford did the tour and the tour involved two Boss 29s and a V* Super Boss. They were blown and injected cars with parachutes, roll bar and drag slips. Radiator and batteries were relocated in the truck. Other than that, they were pretty stock. They had paint schemes – the two Super Bosses were red, white and blue as a U.S. tribute. And they set up six or eight cars, actually with driving courses, on the bases and they would teach these guys to drive, to an extent. They also got to drive the Bosses right outside the VA hospitals and down the tarmac of an aircraft carrier. I know the USS Coral Sea, for sure, because I have pic­tures of it. It boosted the morale of the troops to see a red, white and blue Mustang do a 190-mile-an-hour quarter-mile in eightseconds. There’s something about that that gets the hair standing upon your arms and makes you forget what’s going on around you, maybe.

The big story behind the two Super Bosses is, one got left in the States while one was delivered to the Coral Sea. They proceeded to drop a cargo container on top of it and pushed it overboard, so there was only one left. The General asked Extrand where it was and he sent a C-130 to the States to pick it up and bring it back. Fortunately, they didn’t drop a cargo container on it or it wouldn’t be in my garage. It’s got 1,200 to 1,400 horsepower, 760 miles on it – that’s about it. I’ve got all the documentation on it, original pamphlets that were handed out at the events in Vietnam – unbeliev­able the documentation I have on it. It’s cool, and Al was a great guy. Al and I met, I took it to the Carlyle Ford show.

Another great story. There was this kid. He was taken to see this car when he was 10, in Vietnam. He’s Vietnamese. So, at 12, his parents move to the States, and he gets into the auto industry and goes on to design the new generation Mustang. I reunited the car with Mr. Extrand and the kid, who was now a man, with the car. The last time he saw it he was 10. Unfortunately, Mr. Extrand died on May the 10th, this year. Ironically, I gave the car to my son and my son was actually born on May the 10th.

Oh, wow. How incredible. I thought to myself what the odds might be.

Yeah. I think it was all part of the car and Mr. Extrand’s journey. He was very passionate about it and it’s a great cause. I’m going to use that to its fullest, to get kids involved in automobiles by taking it to some events or just by carrying on its history of patriotism.

It’s amazing how some cars…there are certain car stories that bring people together. And it’s amazing how complex they can be.

Yeah, well, look at the car we just built for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation that got $681,000 at Barrett- Jackson Auto Auction.

That is amazing. Bill. What can you tell me about that?

It was an honor to be able to spearhead the project. I’ve been going through Barrett-Jackson for years. They’re great people over there; they’ve always taken great care of me. They provide the venue, they provide car guys like myself to not only view, purchase and sell the most wonderful cars on the planet, but us car guys can hook up a couple times a year – like a reunion – or once a year, in my case, and wrap our minds around some cool stuff. Barrett-Jackson attracts some cool people. Darrell Gwynn, I met, my first time, at Barrett- Jackson. He was auctioning off a motor, at the time, and the benefits went to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. I’ve gotten to know him and the founda­tion and, one year, Tony Stewart and I were on stage, and I met a guy and his kids. At the end of the day, he ended up giving me a 1970 Plymouth Satellite. He and I decided to turn it into a charity car because I knew that I could make a few phone calls and I knew a few guys like me in the automotive world that wanted to make a dif­ference. Within two weeks, I assembled a team of guys that ultimately raised a shitload of money for charity in one day. I can honestly say that we probably broke a record that day, from a few guys getting together with some knowledge and ideas about cars. It was for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, but, at the end of the day, it was for the kids that could and do benefit from the foundation. And to have Richard Petty drive the damned thing onstage was incredible.

It must have been an incredible moment.

Yeah. It was amazing until Richard Petty took his cowboy hat off and put it on my head. But it was incredible. It was awesome. Guys were bidding some serious money. It was a special group of guys working together for a special pur­pose. It was awesome.

What type of music do you listen to when you drive?

I try not to listen to any music unless I’m in my Mercedes because I want to listen to the engine.

Spoken like a true car guy.

It’s not original, but it’s the truth, so…

At any time in your career, did you ever look at another athlete’s choice of car and go, ‘You know, I have to get me one of those.’

Yeah, absolutely. Kevin Greene had a one-on-one copper- ish color Charger Daytona, 1970. That car was awesome. I wanted that car so bad, I wanted it when I saw it. I’d say, ‘That’s the only one.’ I haven’t seen too many guys driving the McLaren FI. That’s the only other one I really want.

Have you had any bad accidents that stick out in your mind?

Nope. I only had one accident, in the snow when a woman’s SUV went out of control. I was driving a 1985 Mustang 5.0, which is very small, so, other than that, no. Did the Mustang make it?

No, it was totaled.

Sad, yeah. Do you get pulled over much?

No. I do so much stuff for the Armed Forces, military, Fire Department and Police Department, I kind of keep that in mind when I’m driving down the road, maybe a mile or two over the speed limit.

What do you think the fastest you’ve been in a car would be?

Shoot… probably 180.

Nice. What kind of car was that in?

It was a…if I tell you, I’d give it away as to where I drove it.

If you want to keep it a mystery, you can.

No, it’s a toss-up between my 2001 twin turbo Porsche or my ’92 turbo Porsche.

What’s your favorite color combination with a car?

That’s easy – black on black. I have 12 vehicles that are black.

Well, there’s nothing prettier than a cleaned up black car, and nothing uglier than a dirty one.

Nothing harder to keep clean, either.

Do you have your eyes on any particular vehicle that you want to buy right now?

A 1994 McLaren FI. It’s not a reality, considering they are so few and far between and they’re worth about a million and a half or so. Think I might wait a bit.

What’s your wife think about your choice of cars?

She loves them. She wishes I wouldn’t get them so big because she’s tiny. She might like more nimble cars. She can drive her ass off, and she likes to drive as much or more than me. She’s a better driver, for sure. She’s fun to watch.

What kind of motorcycles do you have?

A Confederate Hellcat I gave to my wife, so I do not know if I can consider that mine anymore. A couple West Coast choppers.

How many cars do you think that have you owned throughout your life?


How many do you have now?

Twenty-two, I think…no, 20.1 just got rid of two. I might have a couple floating around somewhere. I have 20 cars.

Do you have any favorite road trips that you like to take?

I don’t like to drive these cars very far. My road trips on

Bull Run are far and I’m in an RV.

How often do you start all your cars. Remember, you’re talking to a mechanic.

Shoot…not nearly enough. Once a month, maybe.

No, that’s not nearly enough.

Some of them have been sitting here for six months, some for one month. A Jaguar I bought from my broth­er’s best friend for $12…l got it two years ago as a restoration and it’s been sitting here two years and it’s never been started. I have a couple that aren’t started. I should. If you want to, find some time for me or have someone for free that could come over and start them.

How often do you change the oil in them, even though you’re not driving them 3,000 miles?

Some are just drained, they’re not on blocks. Some of them just aren’t going to be driven, period; they’re just for show purposes. I drive the Lawman and the oil is changed in that once every six months. It seats three people, so I don’t drive it much. There are so many cars here. Unless I had people to watch the estate and work every day, I don’t have the time.

I do have to say, it was nice meeting you and not being greeted by an entourage of assistants.

Life’s too short to have to spend your time with people you have to work with 24 hours a day. I like doing car work, yard work, sitting with my kid. Those are times you can’t get back. I believe I’ve worked hard enough to spend my time with my wife, my son, my animals, my vehicles. I have to take advantage of my time. When it comes to cars, they need maintenance. I’ve just fallen behind.

I’m just giving you a hard time. Do you have anything in the works right now, as far as a charitable cause, to do with cars?

I always do. Be specific. Am I building one to give for charity? I put up a rally to go to Camp Pendleton. The guys at SuperBird are giving the car back next year. I’m going to be standing onstage next year trying to get another $600,000 or $700,000 for the same car we sold last week. I know Alice Cooperand I are building a car for next year, and part of that will go to charity,

I found Bill Goldberg to be one of the toughest looking men on the outside, but a pure gentleman on the inside. When we pulled up to his house the day of the interview and photo shoot, I was in amazement of his extensive collection of clas­sic and one-of-a-kind automobiles. This interview was a blast.

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Barbara Terry interview with Ric Flair

Ric Flair is, by far, the most decorated professional wrestler of all time. He is a 16-time heavyweight champ who has held belts in each and every major league of professional wrestling – from his early days in the AW A, through his glory years in the NWA and WCW, to his final years in the WWF. He’s still considered the best tech­nical professional wrestler of all time.

Known as a jet-setting playboy who rolled from town to town in comfy limousines, Ric is actually a family man and a car aficionado. He has seen highs – such as receiving the key to his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. – and lows, such as recovering from a broken back suffered in an airplane accident., an accident he recovered from, and, with some hard work, won many a title after.

I started with some small talk, but the fact of the mat­ter is, the love of the automobile is like any other love – you never forget your first one, you never forget the one that made your engine race that very first time. I asked Ric what his first car was.

A yellow 1965 Dodge Dart that my parents gave me for graduating high school.

Apparently, if you’re on the road long enough, the first one doesn’t matter as much. Still, I wanted to see if Ric was being coarse or really held a soft spot for that first car.

How long did you keep it?

I kept it for six months, then got a Dodge Road Runner…then I got a Corvette…then I got a Riviera and then I got another Corvette.

A/?/?, so he did remember his vehicles. In precise order and from the beginning. Apparently, he loved them all – not just the first one. Did he collect more? Was this a part of his suc­cess, or were cars his true passion?

Did you have a wrestling career at this point?

No, I didn’t start wrestling until 1972.1 got the Dodge Dart in 1968, then I kept it for a while, then I got that Road Runner, then I got a 1957 Chevy lmpala,then I got a 1968 Corvette. That was a very unusual car, with a 3-2 setup with 435 horsepower. Then I got a brand new Riviera, which was more businesslike when I started selling life insurance. Then I got married in 1971 and I bought my wife a new Volkswagen. And then I got a tricked-out Cutlass for my wife, then I moved to Charlotte and, within two weeks, I bought my first Cadillac – a 1972 Fleetwood Brougham that was black on black.

Now we’re talking – 435 horsepower. Awesome. I noted that each car he bought got more and more detailed. I was curious what he bought after fame set in and if he had spe­cific preferences.

What is your favorite color combination?

I like blue or red.

What do you drive now?

A 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with 7,000 miles – silver exterior on a grey interior.

Why did you choose this particular ride?

I have mostly driven Mercedes recently, and when Steve Austin bought a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, it was real nice. So I drove to a Porsche dealership and looked at it. The Turbos are real fast, with 500 horsepower. How fast have you driven it?

I have driven it 140 miles an hour, but it is a lot faster than that. It is like a sports car, except it is an SUV.

It’s a good thing that it does not have a governor on it like a lot of your General Motors cars do.

Exactly. I do a lot of highway driving in it, and it is a lot of fun to drive here in North Carolina.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are driving down the road?

I like rock and roll, like Bob Seger and Dion. I listen to everything. I even listen to country, but my favorite music is old-time rock and roll, like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys. I listen to everything.

So you are pretty well-rounded in the music arena when you are driving?

I know nothing about the contemporary artists. I obvious­ly know their name, as I see them on TV, but I do not follow them that closely.

Do you have a dream car that you have yet to purchase?

There is not one. I was going to buy a Bentley before I bought the Cayenne, but I like the Cayenne better.

Ooooh. Bentleys! Like a Bentley Amage?

I like the Bentleys, as some of my friends have them, but I got the Cayenne because it is like an SUV. I carry a bunch of stuff in it and I like the look of it, as it is dif­ferent. And there is only one other one like it in Charlotte.

Do you get a lot of speeding tickets?

No, but I used to.

Was that back in the crazy days?

Yes. I had 82 tickets in five years.

WHOA! How do you keep your license like that? Champ or no champ, that’s a ton of tickets. Eighty-two in five years…that must have been before the points system kicked in.

Yes. The judge actually sentenced me to 30 days in jail for it. He called me a habitual speeder. This was in 1983 or 1984. When he said 30 days, I about died.

Well, maybe his size and profession had something to do with him not being sentenced before that. Pro wrestlers don’t exactly live or look like stockbrokers.

Did you go beat him up?

No. I was down there for about an hour. Then they came and got me out. Then I had to go back to my lawyer and go to Superior Court. I ended up going to court for the speeding violations on Christmas Day. Back in the old days, you used to be able to get out of a ticket for $20. We would drive about 3,000 miles a week and we would drive 100 miles an hour.

There it is. Three-thousand miles a week, more than 400 miles a day. That’s wearing out some tires…like driving six Indy500s a week. And, with 82 tickets, he probably rode the cars as hard. Made me wonder how much he learned about cars on all those roads.

How many cars do you think you have owned throughout your life?

Wow, that would be a lot. I started buying about three Mercedes a year in 1984.1 have always had at least two or three Mercedes all the time – the 500s, then the coupe and the four-door – so it is hard to say, but prob­ably 60-something Mercedes. So I have probably had about 100 cars.

Do you prefer to own or lease?

I have done both, but prefer to own.

What is the craziest thing that you have ever done in a car?

I guess that I have done a lot of crazy things in cars, as I have owned two different limousines. I have had a lot of fun in cars.

Pro-wrestling. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as a buddy. Charlotte, North Carolina as home. Though Hie is originally from Minnesota, he’s lived in the deep South for years.

Do you prefer cars, trucks or SUVs?



I prefer my Porsche Cayenne SUV because you can drive it fast and it has a lot of room, different look and there are only two of them in Charlotte in this particu­lar color.

Funny. Hie Flair. Steve Austin. Hough and tumble grapplers who destroyed themselves inside the square circle for years… You picture them out in a 4×4 with a cooler of beer somewhere. Not in Porsches and Bentleys.

You mentioned that Steve Austin has a Porsche Cayenne.

Yes. Stone Cold Steve Austin lives in San Antonio, Texas.

All the partners and friends you’ve had in the busi­ness – from The Four Horsemen to Triple H – you must have seen some sweet rides in your time. You can’t be the only collector on the circuit Do you think that you have ever been influenced by another wrestler’s choice in cars?

Seeing Steve Austin’s Porsche Cayenne was the first time ever.

As much as they travel, accidents are, sadly, very common for pro wrestlers. Flair had the airplane crash that broke his back and took the life of Bob Bruggers. A good friend of his, Terry Allen, known as Magnum TA, had a career-ending wreck in his Porsche at the height of his career. I wondered if he ever had any bad ones in all those years.

Have you ever had any bad car accidents?

I had a bad accident when I hit a deer going 100 miles an hour in North Dakota in 1973, as it destroyed the car. But no one was hurt and that is the only bad wreck that I have ever been in.

You are very lucky.

Yes, knock on wood.

What is your favorite car that you have owned from the get-go?

The Porsche Cayenne that I have right now.

Do you see yourself buying another Porsche Cayenne Turbo in the future?

Yes. I am going to buy one every year, a new one every year.

Wow, that must be nice, to be able to buy a brand new Porsche every year. That’s my kind of collector I wondered if he was going to switch things up in his new rides or if he’d stick with tried and true

Are you going to go silver again next year or possibly a black-on-black?

I think I will go black on black next year, or I will go with what no one else has in Charlotte because I like to go with the limited color scheme.

Well. You’re a noted, self-proclaimed ladies man. Stylin’ and Profilin’ was always your saying. Have you always been that way? How has this related to your cars over the years? Let’s remember your first date. You picked your girlfriend up. Your parents said, ‘Here’s the car for the night.’ It was your first time driving to pick her up and you were saying to yourself, ‘I am the man, I got wheels.’

I would double date with some of the other kids that had the cool cars and we would have a blast. I grew up in the era of drive-in movies. You are too young to know what that is.

No, we had one in small-town Texas where I grew up, so I am very familiar with the drive-in movie scenario.

We had one every 10 feet when I was a kid. So you get your girl to the drive-in movie and you own them. So, where are they going to go? To the popcorn stand? They can only go there so many times.

Okay, enough of the love life. All the traveling over the years for your work, what have you done for yourself? I know you’re probably road-weary after 3,000 miles a week, but even a heavyweight champ has to have some down time, some family time and vacation time. Do you have any favorite road trips that you have taken cross­country in a car?

I have done so much driving with my kids…when my kids were in sports…I would drive so much and when I was wrestling, we would drive between 2,000 to 3,000 miles a week for 15 to 20 years.

Note: Flair wrestled the bulk of his career in the NWA and WCW. Back then, wrestling promotions were territorial. There was an unspoken code amongst the big promotions – the WWF Inow WWF), the NWA/WCW and the AW A – that you didn’t cross-promote into each other’s territories…until Vince McMahon Jr. changed the game by going national and global. Flair spent most of his career in the deep South with the NWA, until his later years when he went to the national WWF, where he recently retired a legend. Fie started his career in the AW A, which covered the northern Midwest, Great Lakes region.

What highways?

North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West i Virginia, Georgia. From 1974 until 1983 and even when we started flying, I would still do a lot of driving. For instance, if we flew into Dallas, we would then drive to San Antonio,                  Austin, Corpus Christi, and to Houston and back.

Enough for automobiles for a bit. I wanted to see what Bic was j doing in his life now, away from the “sports-entertainment” game.

What do you have to keep you busy?

I do a lot of public speaking and do appearances for Walmart and Coca-Cola. And I am learning how to live an ‘in-control’ lifestyle, which can be a little difficult being as I have been wrestling for 35 years and am used to travel­ing and doing what I want to do. It is a lot, but it is good for ] me to tone it down.

Have you found your inner peace with that?

Yes. I found it a long time ago, but lost it for a while. I can entertain myself pretty easily, so that is always good. I just do not sit at home and mourn. I am a guy that has had to take care of myself so much that I just do not like being alone, so why should I be. I have a wealth of friends and have worked hard, so I do not like sitting at home and watching TV. If you fall off a horse, you have to get right back on it and live life, and I have always known how to do that!

What more is there to Ric Flair, the man away from the ring? I know wrestling was your passion and your life and you love your children and family, but are there other things that drive you – besides cars? What is your favorite charity?

My two favorite charities are “Make a Wish” and “Muscular Dystrophy.” I stay involved in a lot of char­itable-type of organizations, like the troops coming back from Iraq and the process of taking care of our veterans. They come back to terrible health care. I have been involved in the Patriot Gala here in Charlotte that raises money to give to the hospitals to help the men coming back from Iraq. I have been to Iraq three times and Afghanistan once, going to the front lines. Then we do a show.

How long were you heavyweight champion?

I have won 16. The first one was in 1981 and the last one was in 1998. °

All-told, Ric Flair is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. The 16 titles is a record that he took from the legendary Harley Race. Flair has influenced and helped numerous pro wrestlers you see today – from Triple H to The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin Iwho once, as just Steve Austin, had hair and LOOKED like the Nature Boy). Flair has lived a spectacular life and possesses a won­derful car collection. His knowledge of cars was matched by his knowledge of wrestling and his hospitality.

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Barbara Terry interview with Todd Eldredge

Todd won six national championships in his amateur figure skating career. He won a gold, silver and bronze at the World Championships – six medals overall. He’s been to three Olympics and has a successful career on the figure skating circuit. Very accomplished, very impressive. The last thing I expected was the car afi­cionado and racing demon that I met when we got together in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What do you currently drive?

I drive a 1996 Ferrari 355 Spider, with 22,500 miles on it.

That is a sporty and stylish piece of machinery. Are you the original owner?

Yes. I bought it in June of 1996, right after I won the World Championship. It was a gift to myself.

Well, you have to spoil yourself, right?


I notice that it is red on a parchment-color interior. Is that your favorite color combination?

When I was a kid, I always wanted a Ferrari – just like every kid that looks at cars wants a Ferrari. And, whenever you think of Ferrari, you think of red. So, if it was going to be my first Ferrari, it had to be red. That is how I decided on red.

Do you think that you are going to upgrade to a newer model?

You know what? This, hopefully – barring anything going wrong mechanically with this car – will be in my stable forever, for so many sentimental reasons.

Do you think you will get an additional Ferrari?

Actually, I did have a 575 for a little while, and decided that one was good enough and two was too many.


What is the fastest that you have driven on the free­way?

It was in Michigan. I have gotten this Ferrari up to 165, and I think it tops out at about 185… pretty fast.

WOW. Noted. Todd likes speed, that’s pretty fast – faster than most everybody else I’ve interviewed.

Do you have any paintwork on it?

Just some small paint touch-ups from small rock chips, but, other than that, no.

What age did you learn how to drive?

I learned how to drive when I was pretty young. My mom would have my brother and I drive in the neigh­borhood when we were 13 to 14 years old, just to get an idea of how things work. I always just loved driving cars, driving cars around – driving all kinds of stuff, like go-carts. So I was about 13.

He started young, drives fast, has a Ferrari…definitely sounds like a guy that is deeply bitten by the car bug.

What was your first car?

My first car was an Acura Integra. After I won the national championship in 1990, I went on tour and made some money. With that money, I bought myself my own car – to give myself some independence, and get out and do whatever I wanted to do.

What color was the Acura?

It was kinda like a teal bluish/greenish kind of color.

Was it an automatic or a stick shift?

It was a stick shift. It was kind of a bold move on my part because, at the time, I didn’t really know how to drive a stick shift It was one of those jump in with both feet and ya gotta learn.

Let’s see how quickly he adapted to a stick, how mechanically inclined one of the best figure skaters of the past two decades is.

Did you bum the clutch out in it?

Fortunately, I never did. I practiced a little on my dad’s truck before I bought it, then said, ‘Here we go, I will get it, and it is going to be more fun. And I need to learn how to do it anyway.’

What kind of back did your dad have?

I think it was a little Nissan.

Curious, with athletes, music is a way to escape while they drive, watch scenery, sing, whatever. But a figure skater deals with music at the office.

What type of music do you listen to while you are driving out on the freeway?

I think most Ferrari guys would say you do not need to lis­ten to music. You can just listen to the engine.

Listen to the hummm?

Yes! I do listen to music. I love Matchbox 20, Train, all kinds of other music…you name it I have to skate to all types of music, so I am always listening to different stuff to hopefully skate to sometime, or to just enjoy.

No Willie Nelson or Meryl Haggard?

No, not really a lot of country.

What is the craziest thing that you have done in a car?

The craziest thing that I have done in a car… hmmmm…hmmmm. I usually do not get too crazy. The scariest thing that I have done in a car was to back it into a wall at about 80 miles an hour at Sebring Race Track not that long ago. Actually, in a Corvette that I take to the race track. Unfortunately, Corvettes and puddles of water and hydroplaning do not go together. I backed it into the wall, which freaked me out a little bit, but it is all right. No big deal.

Interesting. Yes, Corvettes are built for speed, but are far too light for bad weather and tough roads. Speaking of the Corvette, can you tell me about it?

Sure. I have an ’06 Z06.1 have it all prepped up for tak­ing it to the track. I have it lowered a bit, I have bigger brakes on it, Linginfelter air box, harness bar, racing exhaust and belts. I have all of the bells and whistles on it to take it out, and make sure that I am safe on the track and stuff like that when I go out and have some real fun.

I knew a guy going 170 to 180 miles per hour on the road was a closet race driver. He’s getting ready to go on the track. Interesting. Let’s see if he’s ready to compete against serious competition.

Do you have 600 horsepower in the Corvette?

I have 505, but with what I have in it, it probably puts out about 570 right now.

You seem to really like cars.

Yes. I have had a bunch of cars in my time and I just love them. I am a huge NASCAR fan, and any type of racing that is on TV, I am there watching it. I have Speed Channel on at all times!

If you like racing and speed, you will have to come out to Baja and hang out with my team and I during some of the Baja races.

That is funny. My cousin, Mark Fleming, just started doing photography for some of the off-road rally races. He is up in Maine a bunch. I saw some of his photos and it is pretty cool.

Yeah, you get very dirty in off-road racing.

It is unbelievable, yeah.

Back to his cars. Let’s see if he’s ail power and speed or if he’s into style as well.

What is the color combo on your Corvette?

Black on black. Black is the worst color to try and keep clean, but the best color when it is,. It just looks awesome.

You cannot go wrong with black on black.


You made a comment that your Ferrari was a gift to yourself. Do you feel that your career influenced your decision in the types of cars that you have rewarded yourself with?

I think it is one of those personal things. Even when I was growing up as a skater, I was always into cars and things, and I was fascinated with racing. When I thought of racing, it was Corvettes and Ferraris. I used to watch all of the racing on TV, Formula 1, and it was always Ferraris. Everyone wants a Ferrari and I said I gotta have it.

But, what if he wasn’t rich and famous? What if he wasn’t ever a competitive skater?

Let’s say that you were a nine-to-five type of a person. What would your car choice have been?

Nowadays, I might have chosen a hybrid, being as you get better gas mileage with something like a hybrid. My cars do not get the best gas mileage.

That leads me to a question that I was going to ask you. Speaking of hybrids, would you ever own one?

You know I probably would. It all depends. If they made a cooler/faster model, I would be all over it. You think of a hybrid and you look at them, and they are not quite as cool. You know they do not make a Corvette hybrid right now…(CHUCKLE) I like fast cars, but, then again, there is the practical side to everything. Maybe when I settle down and have a family and all of that busi­ness, then I would probably think more along those lines. When shuffling the kids out to soccer practice.

(CHUCKLE) So, you’re talking a mini-van?


How many cars do you think that you have owned throughout your life?

Too many…(CHUCKLE)

Too many nightmares?

Yes…(CHUCKLE)To be honest with you, it would be hard to put an exact number on it. Probably 15, maybe even more. I had an Acura Integra, a Honda Prelude, BMW M3 and a Toyota Supra Turbo.

I see a sporty type of pattern going on here.

I did have a Ford Explorer, a Chevy Tahoe and a Jeep Grand Cherokee for a while. I did have a 1962 Corvette for a while, which was a fun little car, unbelievable. I do not know how the guys that raced them back in the day han­dled them with no power-steering and fighting the wheel the whole time, but they are fun to cruise in.

I had a 1932 Ford Roadster built by Roy Brizio. He has a shop near San Francisco called Brizio Street Rods. I had it built from the ground up and, unfortunately, had to sell it, being as I did not use it much. I decided that I could sell it and let someone else enjoy it and have fun with it. It was fun.

Todd seems to be a speed and racing type guy, and has no practical need for a truck. But he loves vehicles so much, maybe he is a truck guy.

Would you ever own a pick-up truck?

You know, I am sure that I would at some point, maybe to haul my race cars…(CHUCKLE)

We have the Ferrari, the Corvette. Are there any other members currently in the family?

That is all that I have right now. Being in Florida, I typ­ically drive my Corvette every day and bring this baby “Ferrari” out on really nice days. Being down here, there are a lot of those. But, being as the Corvette is in the shop, I am driving my Ferrari,

What I took from our meeting is that Todd gives you every­thing he’s got, all the time. He pushes limits and pushes himself constantly, living life to the fullest. I found out he races a Corvette as a weekend racer, and has an all-con­suming passion and desire to be fast and sporty.