"This was going to be our last car that we would buy together. I wanted something we could drive and that had air conditioning."
MOUNDRIDGE — Harold Funk was known for loving cars, a legacy that lives on after his passing in 2015, thanks to the efforts of his wife, Sherry, and his daughter, Ginger.
"He was a car nut," Sherry said with a laugh. "We had so many cars over the course of our married life, it was ridiculous."
Even in his high school years, Harold was known for taking care of his cars — fixing them up and making sure they were spotless. Sherry recalls he would pick her up for dates in his Corvette.
"He took care of cars," Ginger said. "He liked Chevrolet cars — Corvettes, Camaros and Chevelles."
Harold could take cars that were dented and rusted out and restore them to life, making them look as good as new.
"He liked them old, but original," Ginger said. "He didn't want there to be anything extra done to them."
A member of the Newton Railrodders and the McPherson Area Cruisers, Harold and Sherry would then drive their classic cars to enter them in car shows around Kansas — if the weather was good.
"He would never drive his cars in the rain," Sherry recalled.
To Harold, taking care of a car meant making sure even its undercarriage was clean and well-kept. His classics were always parked on carpet so that it would not absorb any moisture rising up from the ground.
As a die-hard Chevrolet fan, Harold was always on the lookout for his dream car — a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport.
When talking with other car enthusiasts at car shows, Harold would ask if anyone knew where one was. It was at a car show in Arkansas City that he finally learned of someone wanting to sell one.
"This was going to be our last car that we would buy together," Sherry said. "I wanted something we could drive and that had air conditioning."
Harold recognized immediately the Chevelle that was being offered fit the bill — it was all original and did not require any mechanical work.
"They spent so many years fixing up and tinkering with cars that this time they found one that was perfect just the way it was," Ginger said.
The car's red and black paint, black leather interior and 402 big block engine makes heads turn as it rumbles down the road. The Chevelle currently has around 123,500 miles on it.
"It is a driver," Sherry noted.
After Harold's passing, Ginger drove the Chevelle in her father's funeral procession — first spending a few hours learning to drive the 4-speed vehicle.
Now, Sherry and Ginger take the Chevelle to several car shows each year, sharing memories of Harold and the cars he loved. Ginger even designed a sign that features a picture of her father and details about the Chevelle that is displayed by the car.
"Car show people are friendly," Sherry said. "It's just like a family."
The Chevelle recently won "Best in Class" at the Cars in the Park car show in Newton.
"He would be very proud and honored that they chose his car," Ginger said.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.