By Yvette VanDerBrink
Healthy competition builds character and success. Everyone remembers the first time that they experienced speed. For some it’s a scary experience and for others it becomes their drug of choice. Speed gets the hair on the back of your neck to stand up when the adrenaline and RPM levels max out. For Ron Clemens it was the latter.
Ron has been working with cars since he was 12 years old. While he was growing up, he was always hanging around the local gas station, so they said, “If you are going to hang around, you might as well be working.” Ron worked at that gas station for the next ten years until he took over bulk delivery responsibilities and eventually became the manager of the station at the young age of 22.
With the money he earned he bought a 1935 Ford coupe. This wasn’t his first car and wouldn’t be his last. He’s been trading and building cars ever since. He became hooked on speed after he traded his 1935 Ford for a 1966 Chevelle SS. With just some minor adjustments the stock SS would fly. That speed would eventually earn Ron some extra money.
There was no turning left for this racer, he tried dirt track once; dirt wasn’t where it was at. The drag strip was where he tested his skill as a builder and a driver. He won his first drag race in 1967 with that 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. That car also fueled his obsession with going “faster.”
Ron also began restoring cars in 1969 at a local body shop; he learned the craft hands-on. He also married and gained a new hobby – kids. The need for speed took his racing career to Super Gas classification in 1995 at Topeka, Kansas. His racing and building skills took him all over the Midwest.
Ron has had many cars including a Boss 429 Mustang and MoPars, but he always gravitated towards Chevrolet. Several of his builds have been featured in Late Great Chevy, Super Chevy and other car related publications.
Ron and his family enjoy racing and hunting for cars. Ron bought and sold several businesses and managed propane for Ferrell Gas. While travelling for his propane job he was able to keep an eye out for new cars. Ron figures that he has bought and sold hundreds of classic cars. John Force is Ron’s favorite racer, and like Force, Ron relies on his business sense and his need for speed to remain racing into his 70’s.
The collection being sold has several of his “street to strip” customs and wonderful restorations. There are also collectibles and a variety of high performance parts including Pro-Charger motors, parts, GM big block, Ford, MoPar, and more. Ron has decided to scale back his collection and not leave it to be a burden for his family to sell.
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC will sell the Clemens Collection on June 16th, 2018 at his home in Basehor, Kansas minutes from the Kansas City Race Track. Everything will be sold NO Reserve to the highest bidder. The collection has something for everyone and will be on-site and also on-line for bidders. Several rare cars are featured, including a 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 426 HEMI coupe that is certified 1 of 136 built with these options. The collection has a NCRS Top Flight 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupe, 1966 Chevrolet Nova Coupe, Fabulous Hot Rods and Street to Strip Gassers. Just like any car collector, he has offerings to fill a “Man Cave.” The auction will have signs, hoists, toolboxes, and collectibles. There are also a variety of rare drag racing and GM big block parts. Ron has restored a variety of Tri-Five cars and there is an assortment of NOS parts for them. This is a great opportunity for great cars and wonderful collectibles. For more info or call 605-201-7005. So, if you have that need for speed, we’ll see you in Kansas at the Clemens Collection.
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC
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