"I'm a Ford man," said Richard Williams of Paulden. Richard has been rebuilding and racing classic cars for the past 50 years, and yes, they have always been Fords.
"I've always been mechanically inclined and as a kid started tinkering with bikes. I think I got my ability from watching my dad and my brother work on cars," Richard said.
The first vehicle Richard put a new engine in was a 1941 Ford pickup.
"I put a 1949 Cadillac engine and three two-barrel carburetors . It went on from there," he said.
In 1959 Richard met and married the love of his life, RoseMarie, who, after meeting Richard, also became interested in cars and they worked on them together.
"I enjoyed being his grease monkey," RoseMarie said laughing.
Richard also liked racing some of the cars he rebuilt, such as his 1957 Ford and 1963 Ford I Ranchero.
"I liked racing because I loved the thrill of it. What was the most fun for me was beating Chevys. I even had a decal painted on my sweatshirt that said 'Chevy Eater'", he grinned.
Growing up in Phoenix in the '50s and '60s the "in" thing for teens was to "cruise Central Avenue."
"Back then we had so much fun cruising our cars," RoseMarie said. "We didn't need drugs because we had our own natural high with our cars."
Richard had somewhat gotten away from re-building cars in the last few years because he had no place to build them where they lived in Phoenix.
Richard and RoseMarie moved to Chino Valley from Phoenix in 1998 after he retired as a truck driver from Fry's grocery stores.
They eventually met and became friends with Dean Echols (a long-time car enthusiast) here in Chino Valley.
"Dean invited me to drive one of his classic cars in the Route 66 Drive, and that gave me the bug to get back into cars," Richard said.
They soon joined Yavapai Classic Cruisers car club and now enjoy going on cruises and cruise-ins with other car lovers.
"We enjoy meeting people who have the same interest that we do, and we just have fun. That's what's important," Richard said.
One of the two classic cars Richard and RoseMarie now own, a 1963 Mercury Monterey will be on display at the Chino Valley SpringFest car show on May 29 and 30 at the Community Center Park on Road 1 East in Chino Valley.
RoseMarie and Richard, however, won't be at the car show because they will be in Hawaii celebrating their 50th anniversary honeymoon!