Born to be Car Guys!
Some guys are just born with that car-gene and some are not. Over the past 100 years the romance of owing a hot car has grown to the point, where people pay a million dollars to own one, vintage or not. My father, Bill Williams and his cousin, Bill Stroh, had a love for wheels right from the start.
Even when Bill Williams moved away from Chicago, to California, Bill Stroh visited during the Summer months and their devotion for anything fast continued to grow.
|Bill Williams in his first car.|
Car Guy's Gone Wild.
Bill Williams and his cousin, Bill Stroh, continued their car crazy love, until the draft temporally stopped the obsession for a couple of years.
Bill Williams in his Army uniform, before being shipped to the Philippians, poses with Bill Stroh, who would soon enlist into the Navy. However that didn't stop them from spending every available minute working on their cars.
Both Bill's learned how to rebuild an engine as teenagers, and could talk the talk with any mechanic, while their girl's sat patiently and waited.
As Teenagers the cousin's formed a Car Club, called the 4-F Club and cruised for pretty girls. It didn't take long before both guys had THE ONE.
Car Guy's Gone Wild.
Bill Williams collected beautiful automobiles for the pleasure of being seen in them. Bill Stroh raced fast cars for the pleasure of driving them.
Ladies man, Bill Williams, became an avid car collector, in his late 40's, after the Maybelline Company sold in 1967. He bought Casa Guillermo, in Palm Springs in 1973, for it's 4 garages, and two acres of land, where stored several more cars.
Mama drove a Hot Rod - Thanks to my cousin, race-car driver, Bill Stroh.
Bill Stroh's 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 350, was the catalyst that inspired Bill Williams to build his car collection.
The 1965 GT350 had one purpose in life and that was to put the Ford Mustang in the winner’s circle in SCCA road racing. Bill Stroh on the left, with his son and brother in law, raced this Cobra and I have to say, it made my dad, Bill Williams a little jealous. In fact three years later my dad trumped his cousin and bought a 1968 Ford Mustang
Shelby GT500 Convertible.
Here I am with Bill Strohs son, standing next to Bill's GT 350 Cobra. It was the Summer of 1966, while I was in Chicago, getting to know my father's family. I had no idea that five years later, I'd be the owner of a 1968 Shelby Mustang, GT 500 Cobra convertible when my father gave his car to me in 1971, for my 24th Birthday.
Here I am admiring Bill Stroh's racing Cobra. I'm sure it was this car, that planted the seed in my father's mind, to begin his car collection, after theMaybelline Company sold, in December of 1967.
Bill Stroh died unexpectedly from a heart attack in 1974. He was only 50 years old. Bill Williams lived to be 82 and grieved the loss of his cousin for 32 years. It was like losing a brother he said. My dad bought Bill's Porsche from his widow Mary Stroh and gave it to his son, William Preston Williams years later.
Bill Williams memory lives on through his Clenet Automobile.
Alain Clenet, refers to his American, coach-made, Clenet, as Driving Art.
Alain Clenet was recognized for his contribution to Santa Barbara history, at the Concours d'Elegance.
Steve Kourocas, (Clenet Coachworks original fabricator,) Alain Clenet, (designer and owner of Clenet Coachworks,) with Bill Williams daughter, Donna Williams.
Alain Clenet, sharing some memories of Bill Williams, with his daughter, Donna Williams.
Steve Kourocas with Donna Williams. Kourocas has many good stories about her father, Bill Williams during the fabricating, of number 13.
Clénet is an automobile series with old retro styling, mixed with modern technology. Each limited-production model was conceived, designed, and produced by a small team of men and women in Santa Barbara County, California in the 1970s and 1980s. The automobile's distinctive styling was based on the high-end automobiles of the 1930s. Despite their retro looks, Clénets used modern drive trains and suspension systems.
My father, Bill Williams, the ultimate Gatsby...
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