Americans have a love affair with cars, but Ron Scattergood of Chatham is infatuated. His love for automobiles goes beyond a weekly wash, wax and buff.
Scattergood has always been a car enthusiast, and four years ago, he purchased a 1994 teal C-4 Corvette that he later airbrushed with a dolphins motif.
"I've always liked cars, and I always wanted to get a Corvette. We raised the kids, then my wife told me I could have one," he says.
"It was in pretty good shape on the outside (except for the paint), but the inside was a disaster. We cleaned it up and airbrushed the dolphins because it reminded me of our trip to Mexico."
Scattergood did such a good job customizing that he took second place in the C-4 class last year at the Route 66 Mother Road Festival, then first place this year. He attributes his success to his experience as a car show judge.
"You want everything to be as perfect as possible," he says.
But owning one winner wasn't enough. Two and a half years ago, he bought another - a red 2004, 5.7-liter C-5 Corvette.
"I bought this one for my best friend - my wife, Pam."
Pam has always enjoyed going to car shows and meeting the people, he says, and he wanted her to have a car of her own.
"I get so much enjoyment from seeing her smile," he says. "It melts me in a heartbeat. I picked it out for her and brought it home."
Pam's car won best in show at the Chatham Firefighters Car and Truck Show last year.
It's no surprise. Both Corvettes are customized throughout. Polished, stainless-steel mirrors that adorn the inside of the hood and clever pinstriping set the red C-4 apart from the rest.
"I talked to them about doing something to set the car off. They thought I was nuts, but then they said, 'Wow.' "
Scattergood didn't stop at two Corvettes. His newest acquisition is a 2010 Kona blue V-6 Premium Mustang.
The almost purple-blue pony car is altogether different from what you'd find on a showroom floor. The LED lights, airbrushed ponies, smoke and blue flames that decorate the car - under the hood and throughout - set this car apart from the rest. It won best paint at the Chatham Firefighters Car and Truck Show this year, as well as first place in class at the Secretary of State Car Show and best in show at the Beardstown Fall Fun Festival Car Show.
Though the Mustang hit the show circuit running, it wasn't intended as a show car.
"We needed another car for the family, and Pam liked the Mustang body style. When I got it, my wife found a T-shirt with the pony motif and I said, 'Wow, now I have to buy another car.' "
Ron admits that owning and customizing muscle cars is an expensive hobby.
"I've spent a fortune - and still plan on doing a little bit more."
Despite the expense, you won't see Ron or Pam using these cars for practical transportation.
"I don't drive them at all except for car shows," he says.
Ron and Pam store the cars during the fall and winter until April, when they start looking forward to shows, their favorite pastime.
"We love to go," says Pam. "Car people are a different breed - they're the most fantastic people. It's like a huge family."
Story published Friday, December 3, 2010 ( Volume 5, Number 7 )