For Ken Brownlee, Ford was the “only” car manufacturer. When he was a kid, he would sneak out and run down to the local dealership to see the new models and watch the mechanics do their mechanical magic. When he finally scraped up enough money, he bought a Model A Ford and dated his wife Evelyn in that car.
Ken always had a project going, if he wasn’t racing go-carts or going to the races. His wife wasn’t fond of the old cars, but enjoyed going with him and the family to parades, car shows and looking at cars. Quite often, she would sit in the truck with the kids while Ken was taking in the cars. Ken was always on the look-out for the next project. When going to shows he would go to town cafés and ask if there were any old Ford dealers in the area so he could make a potential buy. He spent many hours buying their left-over and NOS inventory, advertising materials and any other items associated with Ford.
Ken’s family grew and his three kids eventually became involved in the hobby. There wasn’t a local parade that he didn’t have them help with the Model T Ford fire truck by throwing candy, running the music, or shooting confetti out of a reversed vacuum he rigged up.
He loved Ford so much that he bought a building and converted it into a Ford dealership, complete with a parts department from all the NOS parts that he had bought through the years. He called his building, “Kenny’s Old Ford”. Ken’s home was adorned with with gas pumps, signs, and other Ford advertising.
Ken loved Mustangs and amassed a few of them over the years. When his son Jeff, was about 17, they went looking for a Shelby. Ken knew of one that was in a nearby garage. After a visit to the garage they ended up buying the Shelby. Jeff had to purchase the car under a title contract with his father Ken. Ken believed that there was no easy way to reward without hard work. Unfortunately, Jeff lost his job and couldn’t pay his dad, so Ken took ownership of the Shelby. This is the same 1966 Shelby GT350 that is now up for sale. The rare car will be offered at no-reserve and with all documentation. The car has been in the family since the early 1970’s. After some researching of the registry it appears there have been no entries since the car was sold new in Chicago. The car is original, except for the backseat, which Jeff installed after he bought the car, and minor superficial things associated with a kid owning a Mustang.
Ken accumulated other vehicles, including a Model A coupe, roadster, several Mustangs and over the years, hundreds of NOS parts, advertising, literature and more.
The family has decided to sell Ken’s collection on Sept. in Smithville, Mo. at his “Kenny’s Old Fords” location. Everything will be sold no-reserve to the highest bidder with no buyer’s premium for on-site bidders. VanDerBrink Auctions will conduct the auction that will start at 9 a.m. The collection has many vehicles, accessories, and hundreds of NOS parts, used parts, literature, and much more. Bidding will begin at 9 a.m. Peview will be Friday Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
VanDerBrink Auctions 605-201-7005 or www.vanderbrinkauctions.com