Murl G. Randall, a lifelong resident of Houghton Lake, Mich., passed away in Pensacola, Fla., on Jan. 9, 2022. In the old-car hobby, he was best known as M.G. “Pinky” Randall, as well as “Mr. Chevrolet.” Over his 94-year lifespan, Pinky Randall owned just under 200 cars, of which 180 were Chevrolet models from the earliest to latest models.
Randall was a veteran of World War II and Korean War military service, and a grocery industry professional. He served as president of The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) in 1985. He was also an AACA National Director from 1980 to 1994 and a Director of the AACA Library & Research Center from 1988-1992.
Randall owned a very rare 1912 Little Roadster. When William C. Durant was forced out of General Motors in 1910, he bought up Republic, Little and Mason automakers. He then hired race driver Louis Chevrolet to help design a car bearing his own name. The Little Roadster was the only car the Chevrolet-Little-Republic consortium had to sell in 1912. Randall would eventually offer his example of a Little Roadster to the Alfred P. Sloan Museum.
Another of Randall's favorite cars was a 1932 Chevrolet coupe that he first spotted on his quarter-mile walk to school when he was 4 years old. Randall kept track of that car for many years and was disappointed when it was sold and disappeared. In 1948, he ran across it and bought for $30, which he had to borrow and spend a year repaying.
Randall and his wife, Joyce, started collecting “everything Chevrolet,” he would say. The items ranged from license plate topper to toys. “I’d watch the newspapers and if I saw a Chevrolet item, whether it be a yardstick or cap or pencil or what, I had to have it,” Randall often said. Before long, the basement of his home was essentially a Chevrolet museum.
Randall's affection for Chevrolet was well-recognized by the automaker, and in 1996, he made arrangements with Chevrolet to buy the last rear-wheel-drive Impala SS ever built. At that time, “Mr. Chevrolet's” collection numbered 46 vehicles and included such gems as a 1914 Baby Grand, a rare 1930 roadster pickup truck and a green 1969 Corvair convertible that was one of the last eight Corvairs made. Joyce always said that she didn’t know anything about cars and was “just along for the ride,” but the couple amassed such a fine collection that Chevrolet eventually bought the bulk of it.
In early Spring 2019, Randall heard that all Impala production was going to end that fall. He then arranged with Terry Corrigan’s Classic Chevrolet dealership in Lake City, Mich., to buy that last Impala —a Cajun Red 2020 sedan. Delivery of the car was delayed by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Randall landed it in time to enjoy it.
A visitation will take place Jan. 16 at Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel, from 1-4 pm and from 6-8 pm, with a Masonic service at 6 pm. The funeral takes place Jan. 17, at 11 am at Houghton Lake United Methodist Church with Rev. Kevin Harbin officiating. A visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
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