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MY BLUE HEAVEN
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.
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.
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.