• 2016


Ken Harris and his 1949 Chrysler Royal

Ken and Jeanie Harris, Bartlesville, OK

Jim was a neighbor who lived down the street from me here in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. One day he was outside polishing his car. Being a car nut, I just had to stop and look at it. Jim and I became friends from that moment.

131228_1823_5035Jim told me he bought the car from his next door neighbor. He said when he was a child he’d watch his neighbor with the car that he fell in love with it.

He bought the car in 1975. It was basically Jim’s baby. He nicknamed it “Blue Heaven” after the color of the car, “Ocean Blue.”

The 1949 Royal was a passion for Jim. It got him through a lot of struggles. Jim had Crohn’s Disease so he was very sick most of his life. Restoring the Royal was his therapy.

In ’77 Jim entered it into his fi rst car show — the Walter P. Chrysler Club National Meet in Lake Tahoe. He won “Best of Show.” The ’49 also won the Hershey, Pennsylvania, car show and as far as we can tell, it’s the only post-war Chrysler vehicle that ever won Hershey two years in a row. The car has won fi ve national championships.

The Chrysler Royal has every option you can possibly fi nd on a car. Jim wouldn’t use anything but Mopar® parts. 131228_1819_5031Because as Jim would say, ‘if it’s not a Mopar, it’s not worth having.’

Jim passed away on April 12, 2010. He was 74. He passed the car on to me in his will. He told me I was the only one who could take care of it.

This 1949 Chrysler Royal will stay with me till the day I die. It’s in my will for my daughter Stacee, who is also a car nut. Jim’s wish was to share the car with as many people as possible.

I take it out to let other people enjoy it and tell Jim’s story. That’s really how I want Jim and his car to be remembered.

TAGS:   |   |   |   |