"I felt the car was a much better street/show car than a drag race car. Collector car and hot rod car shows were just starting in the early 1960s in Ontario and I showed the car in Oshawa, London, Chatham, and Toronto. I did take the car to Cobo Center in Detroit in 1964 and it sure did not look out of place with the ‘big' boys.
Jim Dugal (owner 15) owned the car when it was copper, though it still retained the T-bird
"By this time our drag racing car Willoughby, Hope & Lang—1949 Anglia G/Gas (later to become the Rydell, Hope & Lang car with Wes Rydell taking Willoughby's place) was taking up much more time and I dealt the 1932 to Danny Ritchie for a 1964 Ford XL convertible. Ritchie was a fixture around our Pacemakers shop and the local hot rod scene."
Ritchie also raced the car at Indy with friend Jim Prowse flat towing the car behind his factory dual-quad 1958 Corvette. Ritchie was not physically well and sold the car to Theo Van Vlymen of Wallaceburg, Ontario. Van Vlymen was working in the parts department at Hallmark Motors, the Pontiac dealer in Wallaceburg. He made a few changes to the car, including the addition of the stainless steel firewall. Van Vlymen was about to get married, so he put the car up for sale.
Sim Regnier, another car salesman at Hallmark Motors, became the next owner. Regnier was living in Chatham at the time, but his townhouse did not have a garage. As winter approached, Regnier moved the car to the barn of his good friend Jim Price in Wheatley. Over the winter Regnier and his wife began the search for a home of their own and decided to sell the car. Regnier offered the car to Price and he agreed, having been looking at the car almost daily as it was sitting in his barn. When spring arrived, Price hit the roads in Essex County.
In 1969, John Fletcher saw the car being driven around Windsor and followed it home to Price's house (a distance of approximately 50 miles) so he could talk to Price about the car. Price mentioned that it was for sale so Fletcher told his buddy Richard Cottell about it and Cottell went straight to Price's to buy it.
Cottell put a lot of miles on the car, even though it was virtually unchanged from when O'Byrne built it in 1955. Cottell drove the car to the first Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, but became interested in a Willys coupe and sold the car to Wayne Klokman, also of Windsor.
Owner 16, Frank Wall from Windsor, Ontario, still had the 312/3-carb setup, but changed th
Klokman made the first changes to the car. He installed a set of Cragar mags and big tires, and he also painted the roadster copper. At some point in time, someone removed the 1955 Ford 120-mph speedometer and installed a 150-mph Thunderbird speedo so, due to that and the 312 engine, it became known as "the T-Bird Deuce".
Klokman eventually sold the car to Pat Pillon, who then traded it to Jim Dugal. Dugal painted the car red, and traded it to Frank Wall for a Deuce sedan. Wall used the car sparingly but took his daughters for rides in the rumble seat. He had another hot rod and let his friend Al Rossi drive the car to many shows in the Windsor area as well as to shows in Michigan and Ohio.
Wall then sold the car to Lorne Gawne. Gawne pulled the 312 engine and installed a 351 Windsor as well as cover with a wild faded paint going from red to green. One time, while tuning it, the transmission slipped into reverse and the car took off down the alley, taking out a fence and damaging one rear fender as well. That, of course, led to another paintjob.
Roy Klann (owner 20) did a complete rebuild of the car while it was in Adrian, MI, which i
Al Hebert of Windsor bought the car from Gawne and sold it to Karl Chase of South Lyon, Michigan, and Chase made some more changes to the car. He installed a 1959 Olds rearend with coilover shocks replacing the early banjo housing and transverse spring. Chase kept the car for a few years and sold it to Roy Klann of Adrian, Michigan. Klann installed a Ford 302 and C4 trans, removed the rear fenders, installed a hood, and made many other updates.