Walker Everson — Lots of GMs, Lots of Fords

  • story by David M. Brown
  • posted on 08/2010
  • posted in: Great Garages

Tempe’s Walker Everson loves his GMs and Fords.

After World War II, his dad opened a General Motors dealership selling Chevrolets — the starting line of Walker’s car love. That was in Drayton, N.D., a town of approximately 1,000 people about 30 miles south of the Canadian border.

In the ‘70s, he moved to Colorado and met his wife, Dianne. Here, too, his particular zeal for Corvettes and muscle cars turned professional as the couple opened a small special-interest lot in Fort Collins with many of the now very valuable collector cars.

“It wasn’t uncommon to see 427 Tri-power Corvette roadsters and ’57 Fuelies and an occasional Shelby or Boss Mustang displayed in our showroom,” he recalls. “We actually brought our twin girls home in a ‘63 Split Window coupe — before the car seat law, of course.”

He also began acquiring Fords: Panteras, Mustangs and Shelbys, in particular. Walker: “The Ford line then was less expensive to own and restore, and my father-in-law was a huge Ford fan.”

Enjoying their business in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they visited Scottsdale in the winter, drawn as much by the Kruse and Barrett-Jackson Classic car auctions as by the weather. “We would load up a truck full of toy cars and come to the warm-winter car paradise,” he says. “As the value of Corvettes rose, we would branch out more.”

During these years, the family also visited antique shops, looking for Coca-Cola and soda pop memorabilia and signage. They have a few pieces dating to the early 1900s. “So, my garage walls are covered with the vintage Coke signs and the pictures of many of the cars we owned through the years,” Walker says.

In 1985, he moved his family to Arizona, opening a small classic car store on Scottsdale Road. “We met a lot of amazing people and sold a lot of amazing cars from this location, but 1990 brought many changes in the world.”

The first Gulf War changed the economy and slowed down collectible car interest, he explains. So, they closed the retail classic car store and moved into the wholesale side of the car business. “I think when you grow up in a sales family, you are always looking for the next sale or the next amazing buy, so all of my cars are for sale,” he explains.

At the same time: “Many people ask me which car was my favorite and which car do I regret selling. I answer, ‘All of them.’” 

Still, his love for the “old” cars always keeps a few around. Here are some of Walker’s current joys, as he describes them:

•1965 Ford Mustang — “The two-door hardtop was bought at Money Oldsmobile in Phoenix by the previous owner in 1966 as a used car. The same owner owned it until a few years ago when it was purchased from his estate by a Copperstate Mustang Club member. I purchased the car from the elderly gentleman who no longer had the time to keep it up to Concours specs.

“The car competed in Concours class at Mustang shows in the state from the late ‘80s on and received many 1st Place, Best of Show and Best Interior awards over the years. It is still in fantastic condition.”

•1971 Ford Mustang convertible — “The car was purchased new in Phoenix at Canyon Ford. It’s described in the original Marti Report as a summer-winter rental. In other words, it started life as a rental car.

“It’s equipped with the factory 302 V-8, automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and air conditioning. The owner previous to me had the car refinished in the original bright red paint and new interior including a new white power top. Many upgrades include the Mach 1 hood, Rally Stripe package, front and rear spoilers, and Magnum 500 chrome wheels. The car is in amazing shape, with 60,000 original miles on the odometer.”

•1965 Cobra — “The Roadster was built by Factory Five Racing with a 427 Stroker V-8 — the mirror twin to a factory 427 AC Cobra. It has a Tremec 5-speed transmission and a 9-inch Ford rear end. No surprises here: It just gets up and is gone. This car was acquired at a local classic car auction a few years ago.”

•2005 Ford Mustang convertible — “With a new design for that year, this particular car was sent to 3 D Carbon to be fitted and shown at the 2005 SEMA show in Las Vegas. What a car. You can start at the exterior special baby blue finish with pearl colors to the complete pure white leather interior. The styling extras stick way out over the stock model. The car now has 400 miles on it. With the special wheels, styling cues, suspension and color, this is a one-of-a-kind pony.”

Walker is working now on restoring a 1965 Buick Riviera Grand Sport Coupe: “I am looking forward to showing it in the fall.”

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