View Full Version : Corvette Action Center Loses a Valued Member

03-06-07, 04:35 PM
Just passing the word that the Corvette world, no, make that the automotive world, has lost one of it's true fans. And I've lost a true friend.

I wanted to let everyone know that former moderator Ken Stapel has passed away. He was found in his apartment yesterday, possibly losing in his wait to get a liver transplant.

Ken maintained an extensive site on things Corvette and of the California car culture. Here's a link to his site, don't know how long it will be able to remain up...

http://www.corvetteobsession.com/Ken...Obsession.html (http://www.corvetteobsession.com/KenStapelsCorvetteObsession.html)

We'll miss you, Ken!


Tried to get this in the News & Announcements Forum--perhaps one of the moderators can move it...

03-06-07, 04:42 PM
It’s very sad to learn Ken has passed. I never met him, but I always enjoyed his posts.

I will keep him in my prayers.


03-06-07, 04:59 PM
I never met Ken in person, either. I enjoyed my relationship with him on-line. I am sorry to hear of his death.

03-06-07, 05:12 PM
At the thread originator's request, we've moved this to the News & Announcements Forum.

Although I never met Ken personally, there are few people I can say were more genuinely enthusiastic about cars- all cars, not just Corvettes.

Ken, your time on this Earth was too short. Godspeed.


03-06-07, 05:13 PM
Damn,I'm glad I called him last week,he really wasn't doing very well but we did have a nice visit!!! I was afraid that the end was near,he kept rambling bout things that really didn't make sense to me!But I listened,Ken really helped me out with learning how to do things on my computer and on my web sight!!

:upthumbs Rest in Peace Ken!! Thank you for being my Friend!!!:upthumbs

03-06-07, 05:14 PM
God Bless,Ken!!!!!!!

03-06-07, 05:22 PM





This really saddens me. I'll have more to say about this in an email announcement to the membership later tonight.

03-06-07, 05:39 PM
I also never met Ken. But, I sure felt his enthusiasm in all things mechanical in his postings. He certainly seemed like a genuine, positive fellow. I enjoyed reading his sharing of knowledge.

May he rest in peace, and I wish his family all the best in difficult times. :upthumbs


03-06-07, 05:56 PM
I met BroKen in September of 02 when he was on one of his road trips, we spent two weeks together. Two weeks out of a lifetime I lived, I learned, I will always remember.

03-06-07, 06:14 PM

6 Shooter
03-06-07, 06:19 PM
http://i19.tinypic.com/2rh9xsh.jpg (http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/files/Ricky_Ronnies/IMG_0914.JPG)

Ken Stapel's Corvette Obsession (http://corvetteobsession.com/kenstapelscorvetteobsession.html)

Bowling Green Road Trip 2001 (http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/BowlingGreenRoadTrip.html)

Road Trip 2002 (http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/CorvetteObsession_RoadTrip2002.html)

03-06-07, 06:39 PM
Rest in peace Ken............Your life touched many of us..............

03-06-07, 08:44 PM
I was saddened to hear that Ken Stapel passed away yesterday in his apartment on his birthday.

Ken was one of the very first members here since January of 2001. He quickly became one of our staunchest supporters gaining a huge following here with his quick wit, humor and sometimes strong personality.

He quickly learned how the forum software worked and combined with his incredible knowledge of C4 Corvettes, quickly moved up to being one of the first Administrators here.

I first met Ken during the L81 Vette Registry event at the NCM in Bowling Green. He drove out with BlackDog and Rare81. When I saw him pull up, I was shocked to say the least. Pictures just don't do his Corvette justice, and when he first climbed out of it, I couldn't believe he drove all the way out from Huntington Beach in any semblance of comfort.

Ken not only had a larger than life persona, but he was a tall, strong, big-boned guy who you wouldn't think could fit in a C4 well. Somehow, he did it, and loved every minute behind the wheel.

I spent a good portion of that first night shooting the breeze with him and Rare81 in his hotel room. Even though I could barely see straight after the long day of partying and socializing with everyone, he was ready to keep going well into the night.

As many of you know, Ken suffered from several health problems, but regardless, Ken lived life to the fullest. He lived life hard and lived it fast and if you tried holding him back, he'd leave you in the dust without any hesitation.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his removal from the Administration here, I still considered him to be a friend and valuable member here. While on the subject of his removal from the Administration, now is definitely not the time to air dirty laundry, but let me just say that I've seen a lot of bull**** and general misinformation floating around the various forums sites about that situation.

The decision to ask him to step down from the Administration was not an easy one, a quick one, nor one that I took lightly. Those of you that know me and know me well, know damn well what I went through in making the final decision.

I will always remember Ken as the quick witted, sharp-tongued comedian who not only made members laugh with his posts, but educated many with not only his knowledge of Corvettes, but the knowledge he gained through many of his life experiences.

His support for the Corvette Action Center was unyielding and his zest for life, even through the rough times he had, was incessant.

Rest in peace BroKen and Godspeed.


Edit: As of this posting, we don't have many details on Ken's passing, an obituary or notice of services. As soon as we can find anything out, I'll post it here.

03-06-07, 08:51 PM
This is sad news indeed.
Rest in Peace, Ken.

03-06-07, 08:55 PM
sad to hear about his passing

Erik S. Klein
03-06-07, 08:59 PM
RIP Ken. You will be missed.

03-06-07, 09:06 PM
Sorry to hear of Ken's passing. Never met him personally, but bought several parts from him. Nice to know he'll live on in my car...

Sal Collaziano
03-06-07, 09:10 PM
It's always sad to see a member go.. You just never know when it's going to happen.. Rest in peace, Ken... Maybe we could all chip-in and keep his site online in remembrance...

03-06-07, 09:18 PM
R.I.P. Ken, you will be missed. Guy

03-06-07, 09:23 PM
I am very sorry to hear this news. Peace be with you Ken :cry

03-06-07, 09:25 PM
Ken, rest in peace.

03-06-07, 09:26 PM
You will be missed, but not forgotten, Ken. We will all meet again someday.


03-06-07, 09:33 PM
Sorry to hear of your passing. We'll miss ya man!

God Bless You.


03-06-07, 09:34 PM
Rest in peace, Ken. You touched more lives than you could know.


03-06-07, 09:35 PM
I pray that Ken knew the Lord and has been with him from the moment of his passing.

His car modification exploits are well remembered, RIP

03-06-07, 09:37 PM
A sad day indeed.


03-06-07, 09:38 PM
Sad news. R.I.P. Ken, your legacy will live long................

03-06-07, 09:47 PM
OMG! this realy saddens me . I remember early on maybe 5 yrs ago when i was starting my project , I confered with Ken thruout . he was a tremendous help and always willing to share his experience. I have kept in touch thru e-mails and did a little business with him on parts. But it has been a few months since I have talked with him. I will miss him. I had no idea he was ill. Godspeed Ken.....

03-06-07, 09:48 PM
Ken and I lived through the same decades and more than once walked down the same roads. Though our paths never crossed (until our meeting here at the Corvette Action Center Community), and sometimes our head strong values lead us in different directions, we still wound our way through life in much the same way…

It was a grand trip home from Bowling Green in 2001. As Ken would say … his 2 older siblings escorting the younger C4 home. The trip was not without incident, the Z51 was dealing Ken and us fits, but with time and encouragement we all made it home. We would laugh at how great BLACKDOG and Rare ran and nice they looked with the Silver Z51 between them. If not for that finicky C4 I would not have captured Rare in the Clouds photo, nor found just the right rocks to haul home from the desert outside of Ely, NV and of course “The Rare Moon Over Nevada”.. and the nickname to follow *

To say Ken was a one of a kind, would be an understatement… He sometimes traveled the road least traveled, but in the end he got where he needed to be, AND but for the grace of God, there go I…

I hope they have drag strips and fast cars in heaven, if they don’t, I’m sure *“BroKen” will have a few suggestions …

That **** eating grin and that look of disgust ;LOL I guess Ken WAS One of a Kind :dance


03-06-07, 09:51 PM
I spent a bit of time with Ken both times he was here in Bowling Green. Time that I will always say that I spent with a friend. "BroKen" thanks for the memories, may you rest in peace and may God have mercy on your soul.

03-06-07, 09:52 PM
It is sad but Im sure he is in a better place and I'm sure we will see him again some day.

03-06-07, 09:55 PM

Steve Calvin
03-06-07, 09:59 PM
I've been away from the forum for quite some time. It was with deep sadness that I returned upon the receipt of the notice of Kens passing.

I had many conversations with him in the past and while I never met him I know that he was a person that I would have been proud to call a friend.

My sincerest condolences to his family.


03-06-07, 10:04 PM
I'm sorry to hear the news. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Ken on a few occasions. He will be missed.

Don D

EPiC Vette
03-06-07, 10:07 PM
Thoughts and prayers for him and those of us mourning his passing.

Though I haven't met you, I wish you Godspeed, my friend...

03-06-07, 10:10 PM
Sad news indeed :confused "BroKen" will be missed, he was "One of a Kind!"

03-06-07, 10:10 PM

A great lose to us all :( He's in my prayers too!

03-06-07, 10:11 PM
My sincerest condolences to those who knew him.

03-06-07, 10:29 PM
Very sad news. Rest in God's peace, Ken. Condolences to his family and friends.
Tom and Sue

Donate Life...

Bob Chadwick
03-06-07, 10:31 PM
RIP Ken. I only met you the one time at Sharkfest on your cross-country trip but enjoyed the time we spent.

03-06-07, 10:40 PM
I met Ken a couple of years ago at the first L81vetteregistry rally in BG. He was an arrogant ass and was always giving me crap. I liked Ken and he is going to be missed.

Here's to you Ken :beer May you rest in peace Bro'

03-06-07, 10:45 PM
Even though l never met him in person his love for vettes will never be forgotten.


03-06-07, 10:45 PM
Sorry to hear about Ken's passing.

03-06-07, 10:46 PM
I am saddened to hear of Kens passing I joined cac shortly after he did and we kept in touch through e-mail and the cac . Even when he was sick we were in touch but he did not let on that thing were so dire . My only regret is not having met him in person :cry I hope his new life is filled with:lou You will be missed broken Steve

03-06-07, 10:50 PM
Ken was a Great Guy, always friendly with a kind word and smile.
Always an interesting story to tell.

See You In Heaven Ken!

03-06-07, 10:58 PM
Been awhile since I have visited the forum. Thanks Rob for keeping me up to date. Sorry to hear of Kens passing. As has already been said, Ken was one of a kind and will be greatly missed. We had a great time in BG at the L81 and later C3 meeting, and Ken was always in the middle. That C4 was a hell of a machine, but at that time, Ken had a hell of alot of misfortunes. Misfortunes are all new experiences and that is what keeps Ken and our time together much more special. Good luck Ken, it was great and watch over us.

03-06-07, 11:07 PM
Godspeed, Ken. You'll be missed.


03-06-07, 11:12 PM
God bless the family and friends he left behind.

03-06-07, 11:22 PM
gods speed ken

03-06-07, 11:27 PM
Shared & jousted through a few emails & posts over the years ... never met ... but his mind's breadth & depth will be missed. May God bless you & yours Ken.

03-06-07, 11:32 PM
Thats sad........God Bless !

03-06-07, 11:32 PM
Ken we will miss you. The corvette action center will never be the same again.

03-06-07, 11:38 PM
May the road of the next life be curved, beautiful, and room enough for wide open throttle when you feel like it...

03-06-07, 11:38 PM
Very sad news. While I didn't know him, I sure enjoyed his posts. Condolences to all that loved and knew him. He will be greatly missed. Godspeed Ken.

03-06-07, 11:40 PM
RIP :(

03-06-07, 11:41 PM
I am saddened to learn of Ken's passing. He helped me with several issues with my C4. When I first learned of Ken's need for a liver I wrote on that thread that a friend in my club was also awaiting a liver transplant. Gary got his liver right before Thanksgiving. I saw him tonight at our club meeting and he's the picture of health. I'm so sorry that Ken was not able to hang on until his wish for a liver was fulfilled.

I'm sure he will be missed by all of us who he touched through CAC.


03-06-07, 11:42 PM
My condolences to family and friends, Ken will be missed.

03-06-07, 11:50 PM
Very sad news indeed, condolences to his family, and all of us who have lost a great person and a huge car person. I gave him quite a bit of grief over not coming to our cruise nights up this way, when we finally met it was at Ricky & Ronnies. His very wicked C4 finally made it to our cruise spot soon after. What a car and what nice guy.
Are there plans for a wake of some sort at one his hang outs?
Bruce & Tracy

03-07-07, 12:01 AM
Rest in Peace, Ken. And to Ken's friends and family, my sincere condolences for your loss.

Jane Ann

03-07-07, 12:09 AM
I also met Ken back in '02 during "SharkFest" and even had the pleasure of going out cruising with him. Actually, it was more an impromptu street race, but we both had a blast. So much that Ken made mention of me and our little race in the travelogue on his site. I was hoping to meet him again someday to rehash the good times. I guess I'll have to wait until it comes my time to join him at the big afterparty.
Ken lived the way he wanted. We should all be so lucky.
Ken may be gone but he certainly won't be forgotten by those that had the chance to meet him.
Ahh, what the hell...here's one final :beer for ya, Ken!

03-07-07, 12:24 AM
This is truly a sad day. I still have fond memories tearing up the hiway with Ken and Andre at BG in '02 and Blackdogs' pool party. That said I am at a loss for words.

03-07-07, 12:24 AM
Sorry to hear about Ken's passing. I heard he's leading a caravan of Vettes to high heaven and racing some ricers on the way. ;)

03-07-07, 12:26 AM
Had hoped to never get that e-mail. Rest well my friend....you deserve it.

03-07-07, 12:27 AM
Ride on....Peace be the journey.:w

03-07-07, 12:33 AM
I was just thinking about Ken the other day--wondering how he was doing and put off asking about him on this forum because I didn't ever see him on here after he wasn't an administrator anymore.
My only connection to Ken was thru the CAC. He was funny and knowledgeable. What a thunk in the head and heart it is to log on here and find out he's gone.
He's at peace and free now.
Ken, Godspeed.

03-07-07, 12:47 AM
I haven't been following CAC as much as I used to. CAC was one of the first maybe the first Corvette Related Forum I joined... I remember reading Ken's webpage and his posts a while back. Though I never met him, I would have liked too, he seemed like a down to earth person and a true gear head...

Ken you'll be in our prayers! R.I.P. Brother...

03-07-07, 12:52 AM
Sorry to hear this news!

03-07-07, 01:01 AM
Very sorry to hear about this. God bless:cry

03-07-07, 01:04 AM
God speed

03-07-07, 01:05 AM
Well, I didn't know him, or even know of him, heck, I'm just a newbe, but I want to say Rest In Peace as well !


03-07-07, 01:07 AM
Sad news,

I had the good fortune to meet Ken when I visted LA and had a spin round in his Vette. A great guy, even after about 2 years when on another visit I just turned up at Ruby's by chance only to find Ken in his usual spot beside his Vette he instantly saw me, said hello and flashed that big grin of his at me like it was just last week.


03-07-07, 01:12 AM
ken you will be missed rip
we were glad to know you
jeff and sandy

03-07-07, 01:30 AM
I know I don't post here often.

I met Ken at a meet at Ricky and Ronnies a couple of years ago. Both him and his car left one helluva impression.

May he rest in peace.

03-07-07, 01:31 AM
It is said that some of the brightest stars furiously burn gloriously-short lives escaping the fate of a long existence obscured by the shine of others.

I learned of Ken Stapel back in Shark-Fest 2002, never having the chance for an introduction, but irregardless, he availed himself to others who had a technical question on some issue, or he expressed how he felt about some Corvette modification or unpopular subject. I know that he had a measure of devotion towards his C4, and when I first saw it, albeit in the midst of performance problems, I could tell that it was a special car.

It has always puzzled me how much higher his posts-count was in CAC, and when compared to some of the other early CAC members, it made me wonder -how did he do it? He had to speak his mind just about any subject discussed here, and so like so many of you, there lies my connection with him.

I felt the denial when hearing of his passing, but I also felt at peace thanks to my initiative at the end of last November to write to him and introduce myself in an "official" way.

Here is to one of our CAC members who illuminated us with his furious shine.:m

03-07-07, 01:34 AM

Thanks for posting this on the forum. I too have been away from the forum for quite some time. When I received the email from Brad, I was deeply saddend. I met Ken, you and Brad in 2004 after getting my car and meeting up with you guys at Ruby's in Redondo. Ken took me "the newbie" in and made me feel welcomed and part of the "Corvette Family". He even saved me a spot next to his car. I always enjoyed talking with Ken and learning from him. After I had that fender bender with that Jaguar, Ken offered to drive me home after dropping off my car for repair. Ken went 40miles round trip out of his way to help me. His dedication to help others was always there and will definitely be missed. When I visited him on Thanksgiving day, he was pretty down, but I think the visits and phone calls from all of us kept him going until yesterday. Please rest in peace Ken. We will truly miss you.


Attached are some pictures/memories from those times.

03-07-07, 01:35 AM
Ken sounds like he has lived a wonderful life and made an impression to many many good people.

I'm sorry to hear he has passed on.

TKO Performance
03-07-07, 02:48 AM
I've been away from the forum for quite some time. It was with deep sadness that I returned upon the receipt of the notice of Kens passing.

I have also been away (too long). I could not have said it better then the member above.
My only addition is that I did s/w and deal with Ken briefly here on the forum. From reading the posts from other members, I only wish I knew him better.
Rest in peace.


Mike Rice
03-07-07, 02:58 AM
Sad to hear long time 'Vette lover gone. May he rest in peace until we meet again!
'94 ZR-1

03-07-07, 04:21 AM
Ken, buddy, we were due for another burger, dammit!

Ken and I only met twice, but we were instant brothers. He got me and my fast antique all the way to Redondo, even with some needed last minute vectors. Such was Ken, as mentioned here with some truly touching comments about how he would give you the shirt off his back and more, if you needed it. We shared some triumphs and trials; a bit of disgust when the fast-Vette issues seemed to be never ending, but he boosted me up enough to finish my car and to bring the biggest Corvette smile to my face in decades. Ken, you'll be ever with me when I drive my oldie, even knowing that you had a few cubes on me and probably more oomph, :pat

I (mostly) left the forum after the admin thing, but I always felt Ken knew what worked and what didn't and was not afraid to tell it like he saw it. We saw a lot of it the same.

I know Ken's in a better place and going with his hair afire, as it should be.

Rest easy, buddy.

Mike :w

03-07-07, 06:25 AM
I also met Ken here many years ago.

Our friendship grew over time. We met in person at Sharkfest 2002 in BG and had an awesome weekend. I still remember doing 140 mph in his 87 Z51 down a back road thinking my life was going to end any second!

His car and his love for Vettes and helping others formed a concrete bond between us. He trailered it down to my house in Florida and we spent a couple of days together working some bugs out and putting it on the dyno. then going to the dragstrip. Some great memories there.

You see, the thing about Ken, was his incredible ability to think about things, and put things in perspective. He helped me through some really tough times.

Ken was there for me when I had personal success doing car stuff, he was there for me when I lost my dad, had my first child, and as I have made many life changes he supported me. He never passed judgment on my decisions. He just listened. He may have been 5,000 miles away, but we could pick up the phone and it was like we were side by side.

I knew he was sick...really sick, so I cherished our opportunities to speak. Ken started walking on faith. He found strength in God and his passion to find a purpose in life enriched me and gave me more momentum.

I can say for a fact, that Ken was at peace. He was frustrated with his condition, but he placed it in God's hands and tried to make the most of his last days. He was still looking for ways to help others and reach out to those in pain...Like I said...What a guy!

I miss you brother!

03-07-07, 06:43 AM
RIP Ken. You will be missed.


03-07-07, 07:08 AM
Here such a short time, but touched so many...RIP

"What we do for ourselves, dies when we do, what we do for those around us and others is immortal" - Albert Pines

03-07-07, 07:52 AM
Sorry to hear about a great enthusiates passing, God speed!


03-07-07, 08:02 AM
God speed my friend.

I never met him but I enjoyed his posts and website.

03-07-07, 08:15 AM
Never had a chance to meet Ken, but was able to drool over his car at Irwindale Speedway one evening.

I wish I had met him though by all the nice things that are being said about him here...You know he did it right. RIP

03-07-07, 08:22 AM
Sad to hear, Rest In Peace Ken.

03-07-07, 08:22 AM
Over seven years I had the good fortune to have known Ken Stapel. Being another of the first few CAC members in the fall of October 2000, I began a friendship over the internet with what certainly seemed the ultimate Corvette enthusiast. Over the next few years as the CAC grew and events were held I met Ken in Bowling Green. You liked Ken right away. He had that infectious "car guy" energy and as all true car guys; had an opinion on everything. As luck would have it my company business took me to Southern California 2-3 times a year. This afforded me the opportunity to share a dinner with Ken and sometimes his brother Bill once or twice a year in Hermosa Beach. Hermosa Beach is a delightful seaside community and Ken's apartment was up on a hill but a mere few blocks from the beach and offered a great view of the Pacific Ocean that anyone would dream of.

Ken's apartment. It was like walking into the Library of Congress - Corvette wing. There was not so much as a sliver of free space on any shelf, bookcase, desk, coffee table, floor that wasn't filled with Corvette books, reports, magazines, CD's, DVD's, models, posters,...... the walls, his computer(S) all Corvette related. I can't begin to imagine what he actually had there; not to mention an enormous music collection as well. A collection that could easily be part of the NCM. And that car....... God did that man love that car.

I saw that car bone stock, stripped bare to the frame and in various stages of repair, upgrade and in operation. It was his love. No matter how sick I saw Ken over the last few years; and Ken truly kept that very close to the heart; when that car was running great Ken looked like a million dollars. I sometimes think for the longest time it was what kept Ken going as his health faded. In all the years I knew him he never let on once just how sick he had become. I think many of us that knew him basically knew those years at the refinerey had caught up with him.

Ken was one of the few people I could pick up a phone with; 24 hrs a day and know that he'd help you in any way he could. He loved the CAC and he loved just talking and interacting with everyone he met. As many have said he was truly one of a kind; and I was both privledged and proud to call him a personal friend.

Adios amigo.......... nut

03-07-07, 08:37 AM
The World, both real and virtual, will never be the same without you Ken. RIP

03-07-07, 08:39 AM
God bless Ken and his family.


03-07-07, 08:39 AM
Why does God always take the good ones early?


Thanks for sending out an e-mail to all members... like others I don't drop by very often but always enjoyed having fun with Ken on these forums. He was a good sport and didn't mind our fun poking about his shaved head with the photochop pics.

03-07-07, 08:52 AM
So long Ken . Glad to have known you . You were the most interesting person on the web . Cliff

03-07-07, 08:53 AM

My condolences to his family

03-07-07, 08:54 AM
May he cruze the streets of gold forever in peace.

jim coulter
03-07-07, 09:04 AM
A very sad day, our prayers are with his family.

03-07-07, 09:41 AM
I Remember Ken, Read His Posts for years, He was always there helping make the C3 tech world a little easier.

03-07-07, 09:43 AM
I am very sorry to hear of this. Ken will be missed and my condonences to his family. Mike

03-07-07, 10:04 AM
Godspeed, Ken.

Prayers sent for his friends and family.


03-07-07, 10:04 AM
It’s very sad to learn Ken has passed.
I never met him, but I always enjoyed his posts.

I will keep him in my prayers.

Howard Straley

03-07-07, 10:08 AM
Very sad to hear, condolences to his family.

03-07-07, 10:16 AM
Well, now I know why my last email went unanswered. This is truly a sad day.
<o:p> </o:p>
Ken both befriended and defended me, made me smile and made me think, gave advice and ask for information and above all stood firmly by his ideas of right and wrong regardless of the cost.
<o:p> </o:p>

‘Tis all a Checquer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays;
<o:p> </o:p>
Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
<o:p> </o:p>
Adiós Amigo

03-07-07, 10:19 AM
I never had the pleasure of meeting Ken, but I opened any post I saw he was involved in and always enjoyed his input. Godspeed to Ken and I will keep his loved ones in my prayers.

03-07-07, 10:48 AM
I never met Ken either, but he helped out with many questions.

Truly our loss.


03-07-07, 11:10 AM
Well to his family and friends, I am sorry for your loss.

Tough times for us left behind when we lose a friend or relative, I always look to my faith with the understanding that Ken will be in a better place then we are now, and he doesn't have to suffer any more.

Again to his family and friends I am deeply sorry for your loss but know we will all meet again

03-07-07, 11:12 AM
I too never met Ken, but did learn alot from his replies and posts. Rest in Peace Ken

03-07-07, 11:19 AM
RIP, Ken's wit will be truely missed and maybe the clouds will be from Ken doing a burnouts. He will be missed.

03-07-07, 11:40 AM
My most heartfelt condolences to his family...RIP Ken.

Ned Sutton
03-07-07, 11:47 AM
Sadden to hear about Ken's passing. Rest in peace Ken

03-07-07, 12:23 PM
This video clip has Ken talking of his Corvette and his lifelong love of the car hobby.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU6cojaYvmg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU6cojaYvmg)

If you met Ken one time as I did, you felt like you had known him your whole life! He was like a big brother. He’d always return E-mails, have time to talk on the phone. And obviously touched many people with his kindness and gentile manners. I just wish I had spent more time with him at the Redondo Beach Car Show and Ricky and Ronnie’s diner.
<o:p> </o:p>

03-07-07, 12:31 PM
Ken Will be missed, a great help to all. A good Mason.

03-07-07, 12:43 PM
Sadden to hear about Ken's passing. Rest in peace Ken

:Steerwell said

03-07-07, 12:58 PM
:cry :cry there are not a lot of things on my to do list, meeting Ken in person was high on the list. I know now why my e-mail was not returned; Ken is in my thoughts and will be for some time.
Craig sr

03-07-07, 01:00 PM
RIP.......... YOU WILL BE MISSED!!!!!!!!

03-07-07, 01:07 PM
Sad to hear this.
Rest in peace Ken. :w

03-07-07, 01:10 PM
Like many here, I have never met Ken but have enjoyed his posts and his contributions to this community. I will miss him.

Rest in peace, Ken.


03-07-07, 01:18 PM
Rest in Peace, my brother...

03-07-07, 01:35 PM
Even though I never met Ken in person I felt I knew him through his posts while building his silver monster. He will be missed!

May God Bless You!

03-07-07, 01:40 PM
Really sad to hear that Ken is gone. I only got to enjoy his posts for a while.
Rest in peace Ken.

03-07-07, 02:05 PM
Oh my god!!!! This is hard to believe!! It seems as if it were yesterday that Ken Pm'd me about Nancy and a medical scare the we had.... and now to find out that we have lost Ken is very hard to take. God bless you Ken and may you be without pain.

03-07-07, 05:01 PM
He was a good friend and great member of the VETTESET club of So Cal.
He will be missed by all of us.
Goodbye fellow gearhead.

03-07-07, 05:15 PM
You know i have been to his web site several times before,

As a matter of fact I had seen a part on hs car on his web site and contacted him to see where he purchased it from.

Well back to his website.

I just spent some time reading in his website. and I just noticed his mention of drinking and the result of drinking. Never knew the guy except from a couple of contacts but man he sure was honest about his drinking and his site gave me a little more insight as to who Ken Staple was, I sure hope he was able to put that behind him and find peice with it.

Would be real nice if we could figure away to keep the site up and maybee have a close freinds or family give us some information and we can have it updated with that info.

03-07-07, 06:08 PM
RIP Ken We will all miss you.

Sooo Bad
03-07-07, 06:29 PM
God Bless, and Rest in Peace, Ken!

03-07-07, 06:31 PM
Very sad news... :(

Best Vette Yet
03-07-07, 07:05 PM
What a fantastic person. I followed his threads with great interest even though I had a C5 vette. He was always humerous and direct. His opinions were fantastic. There is nothing to say about his leaving CAC. I want to remember him as a great on-line friend.:beer

03-07-07, 07:19 PM
I'm just shocked, I really don't know what else to say. I read the e-mail Rob sent out yesterday and this thread as well. I just couldn't come to say anything until today.

I remember reading his road trip post and knew that he was really close to 69MyWay. I remember seeing the pictures and reading the threads.

I never met Ken but we e-mailed and talked on the phone. This isn't just a case of when someone passes on, everyone shows up and says how great of a person they were even if they weren't. With Ken, he was a great guy. There isn't any exaggerating about what kind of person he was. Ken was that great person that everyone here has said.

You respected and admired Ken because he didn't try to hide stuff. He never pretended to be who he wasn't.

I remember when this forum was a fraction of the size that it is now. Ken was pretty much there from the beginning and he was one of the friendliest towards then-newb's such as myself.

He will be dearly missed.

03-07-07, 09:45 PM
Sad indeed; however, at least he spent his life in pursuit of something he loved - Corvettes!

Ken D
03-07-07, 10:26 PM

My condolences to his family

03-07-07, 10:36 PM
I'm just shocked, I really don't know what else to say. I read the e-mail Rob sent out yesterday and this thread as well. I just couldn't come to say anything until today.

That's kinda how I've felt...just not the slightest idea what to say. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ken in person, but always enjoyed chatting online with him. A class act for sure.

Ken, we'll miss ya bro.


03-07-07, 10:38 PM
I feel that I lost a friend. I stumbled on Ken’s website some time ago. After going through the website, I felt I made a friend. Even though I never met him I felt I new him. That is how much of an impact his website was for me. His love for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/<st1:country-region><st1:place>America</st1:place></st1:country-region>’s best sport car ever made was so obvious. His passion for it was so tremendous. For those of you who knew personally, I am so sorry and feel your lost. When the day comes for me, I hope that I have accomplished as much as Ken did for his life. My condolences to his family and friends.

03-07-07, 11:23 PM
I chatted with Ken more than a couple of times over my old '78s TPI swap.

Great guy. Sad loss to the hobby. I pray for his family.

03-07-07, 11:38 PM
:Steer Well I'm new to the CAC but form reading all the wonderful things being said about KEN I'll add to it. "May you enjoy your time in eternity crusin' in your vette on eagles wings"

03-08-07, 05:06 AM
I'm gonna miss you Ken, my friend..... See ya there!

03-08-07, 02:47 PM
Wow... I am stunned.
Ken will be missed. I always appreciated his involvement, experience and the life he brought to this community. My Prayers are with Friends and Family.

Vanity Plate Bob
03-08-07, 03:50 PM
Ken. Rest in peace. Condolences to the family and friends.

03-08-07, 09:20 PM
I'm pleased to see all the kind words being expressed about Ken on this site. He deserves them all.
I actually initially "met" Ken on the CAC. I signed up when I bought my 62 'Vette. He saw where I live which is only about 10 miles from his place. He introduced me to many car ventures in So. Cal. as well as the local Corvette Clubs of which I continue to be a member. Ken and I went on to become, I feel, close friends. You could often see him at my place on the weekends while I (and of course he) worked on my car. Of course, you could hear him coming from quite a long ways! That is quite a "hot rod"! I think there are still black marks on my street!
I'm happy to say I called Ken this past Sunday afternoon and we had a great talk. Car talk of course, but also about how he felt. He was very tired last week and did not do much. He was encouraged by a conversation with someone from the CAC who recently went through a liver transplant. That helped his demeanor. Through the course of the conversation, he got into a much better mood and was even laughing! Car talk will do that with Ken.
Someone mentioned Ken's apartment and the "wall to wall" automotive material. "Wall to wall" and "floor to ceiling" throughout the place! And even more down in the garage. I remember going "book shopping' one day with Ken. Good thing he was on a tight budget because I suspect he would have bought out the store!
Ken had a tremendous knowledge of Corvettes and the history of Corvettes. But it went beyond Corvettes. He was a strong fan of the muscle car era, and knew a great deal of the history. You could tell he actually read (and absorbed) all that material in his apartment!
I spoke with Ken's brother on Tuesday. He will let me know of whatever plans there are for Ken in terms of a viewing and/or memorial. I have some calls from a few members of the CAC. I will be sure to notify you as soon as I hear the plans.
There have also been questions about Ken's web site. I will ask his brother if there is some way we can keep that alive for some time.
Rest well, Ken.

03-08-07, 10:11 PM
My deepest sympathies go out to his family and to all his friends.
May gods speed be with him.

03-08-07, 10:49 PM
When I first opened this thread I though it had to be a bad joke. Its hard to believe that Ken is gone. RIP Ken.

Tom Bryant
03-09-07, 09:31 AM
Yes, Ken was one of the most knowledgeable car guys I knew. He loved Corvettes, muscles cars, hot rods, drag racing and especially old drag cars; anything that was cool. We spent over 3 hours jabbering the last time we talked on the phone. It was just like we were sitting in the same room. Time flew by and I could tell that all of the car talk was energizing him. We would often send emails when one of us ran across some well known drag car from the past. I could tell when his name was on the email line and the subject was something like "Did you see this?" that it was going to be cool. I'll miss that.

We talked about the Don Garlits museum a few weeks ago just before I went down to Daytona. I planned on stopping on the way down and he was telling me how to get there and what to look for. A lot of the cars are on loan and change so I promised to take a lot of pictures. I took so many that I have been spending a lot of time editing them and sorting them into albums since I got home. I was sure that I would have the Garlits Museum album ready to send to Ken this weekend. I know that he would have enjoyed it.

Ken was a great friend. When I first met him at BG in '02 it was like seeing an old friend again. We had talked on the CAC a lot before and he was just what I expected. I didn't mind having to push his car to start it occasionally that weekend. It was worth it just to ride shotgun. One ride I'll never forget was when we left the NCM on Sunday afternoon. We were pulling onto the ramp for I-65 south back to town and there was a Z06 behind us. Ken was not accelerating too hard so that Z06 went for the left lane and stood on it. Ken also nailed it and that Z06 just disappeared in the mirror. With most of the dash out and the computers and harness on the passenger floor it was hard to tell how fast we were going but I saw 4600 rpm on the tach in 6th gear when he let off of it. That car still had me pushed back into the seat. What a ride.

Earlier we tried to fix the starter again (see first picture) but it only lasted one start. When we got out to Beech Bend we found an appropriate hill to park the car on so we could do a roll start. We just got into the car to leave when a very nice looking young lady cruised by in a yellow C5 with a black hood stripe. She stopped briefly and told Ken how much she liked his car. After she pulled away Ken said "That could have been embarrassing if she would have seen us rolling the car down hill to start it".

Ken was always optimistic that he would get moved up the list for his transplant. I can remember how positive he was after spending a long day with the transplant team. It gave him hope and encouragement. I just wish his name would have reached the top in time.

If anyone else has a Ken story they would like to share please chime it. There must be some good ones that we would like to hear. I only got to spend just that one weekend in BG enjoying his company but I made a lifetime friend.

See you later my friend.

03-09-07, 02:58 PM
I never met the man but after reading these posts I wish I had.

03-09-07, 08:07 PM
I never had the chance to meet Ken. He sounds like a person I would've enjoyed knowing.


Very Respectfully,
Scat Rat
a.k.a. Rob

03-09-07, 09:48 PM
I found a great story on Ken's site-

As a matter of fact, I got myself kicked out of Harbor Chevrolet's parking lot because of all that horsepower. I knew as I was going there that I would do a burnout or two for the guys - gotta show off, right?

Anyhow, I laid down about twenty feet of black stripes, and then I parked it and opened the hood while we stood around talking about it.

Next thing I knew I see the service manager heading our way...

"Who just did that?"

Me: "C'mon now, you know I did it."

Him: "Leave the lot." Turns and starts walking away.

Me: "Are you serious? No harm done."

Him: "You have to leave the lot, now." Starts walking away again.

Me: "Okay. What's your name?"

Him: "John So-and-so, service manager of Harbor Chevrolet."

Me: "Okay John. Have a nice day."

Someone was on a power trip this morning, and mustn't have liked my Corvette's power intimidating his. So I laid down a couple of more sets (twice) as I pulled out of the lot.

Seriously though, he had to have been on some kind of power trip. We don't do that often in that lot, and anybody else would have come up and said something to the effect that we shouldn't do that on the lot due to insurance reasons (or something), and warn us that if we did it again we would be forced to leave. What's wrong with that approach?

Boys will be boys when it comes to their toys.

I think it covers how he lived life-

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!! What a ride!"

Ken's story illustrates this nicely.

03-10-07, 03:22 AM
This is going to be difficult to write as this is my first post, but I felt I had to say a few words about Ken Stapel even though I only knew him for a short while, so I hope you all forgive me.

Ken was a great guy to know and a real car guy. I first met him a few years ago at Ruby's in Redondo Beach. He was always there every Friday night during the summer cruise-in that he was like a usual fixture there. He had this great passion for all muscle cars, hot rods and of course, Corvettes. He knew a lot of automotive history, cold point out every year make and model, like a walking automotive encyclopedia. I've never heard him put down another car, nor any person for that matter, that's what made him such a great guy...very friendly, open and honest.

His silver '87 was a beauty too, lots of mods, 417 ci, and sounded very loud and mean. I'm going to miss seeing him drive that car and hearing him blast down the street. My stock '03 Z06 doesn't compare to his beast, but he did get a few kicks in mine tearing it up and down Van Ness in Torrance, that was last year (2006) when I just got the car, my very first Corvette.

Ken had fought long and hard during his illness, toughed it out and stayed optimistic about getting his liver transplant. We only wish this would have come through for him. I can't say enough about Ken, but only that I wish I could have gotten to know him longer...We will miss you Ken.


03-10-07, 07:47 AM
I was also sad to hear about Ken's passing; may he rest in peace. . . . . .

A nice piece Rob; well said. . . . . . . .


03-10-07, 09:41 AM
RIP my friend. Great memories.

03-10-07, 03:18 PM
Sad indeed, I only knew Ken from this forum. I enjoyed the chat forums on sunday nights several years ago.

Rest in Corvette heaven my friend.

Tom Bryant
03-10-07, 04:19 PM

It sounds like you had some good times with Ken. He will be missed.

Welcome to the Corvette Action Center.


03-11-07, 11:28 AM
http://i19.tinypic.com/2rh9xsh.jpg (http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/files/Ricky_Ronnies/IMG_0914.JPG)

Ken Stapel's Corvette Obsession (http://corvetteobsession.com/kenstapelscorvetteobsession.html)

Bowling Green Road Trip 2001 (http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/BowlingGreenRoadTrip.html)

Road Trip 2002 (http://corvetteobsession.homestead.com/CorvetteObsession_RoadTrip2002.html)

6 Shoot this is awesome, a fantastic tribute to Ken for sure. . . . . . . . . . . . :upthumbs

Bill :w

03-12-07, 05:05 PM
I never had the chance to meet him but may he R.I.P.
Our best wishes to this family.

03-12-07, 05:35 PM
I never got the chance to meet Ken but I did read many of his posts. I think a fitting tribute to this incredible car guy would be for all of us that haven't already done so, to become organ donors. It is too late for Ken but we can maybe help others. There are too many people on waiting lists for vital organs and when we are done using them we should pass them on. RIP, Ken and maybe this way you will help others, as it sounds that you always done. I am already signed up as a donor, so how about the rest of you?

03-15-07, 09:08 PM
Here is the information I received today:

Thanks to all of you who have been keeping Ken’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Bill and Sandy (Ken’s brother and sister) have decided to have memorial services for Ken on Saturday March 31<SUP>st</SUP> in the afternoon. The church services will begin at Martyrs <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/ /><st1:PlaceName w:st=American</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st=" /><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Church</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Manhattan Beach</st1:place></st1:City> in the afternoon around 2 o’clock. The address to the church is:
American <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Martyrs</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Church</st1:PlaceType><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/ /><o:p></o:p>
<st1:place w:st=<st1:PlaceName w:st=" /><o:p></o:p>
<st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address style="BACKGROUND-POSITION: left bottom; BACKGROUND-IMAGE: url(res://ietag.dll/#34/#1001); BACKGROUND-REPEAT: repeat-x" tabIndex=0 w:st="on">624 15th Street</st1:address></st1:Street>
<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Manhattan Beach</st1:place></st1:City>, CA90266
(310) 545-5651<o:p></o:p>
After the church service, we will all go down to Ricky & Ronnie’s (around 5 o’clock) to have a memorial car gathering for everyone. We will all have a chance to pay our respects to Ken’s family and share our numerous stories about Ken at both venues (church and Ricky & Ronnie’s).<o:p></o:p>
The one thing that Bill, Sandy and Alex (Ken’s nephew) wanted to make sure that we shared with all of you was their deepest thanks for your spiritual support during these challenging times. They also want to make sure that we do not come to this event heavy hearted and that we come to celebrate Ken’s life and how he touched all of us over the years. Ken was a true car guy, evangelist of the lifestyle & passion and lover of all cars.
I know many of you live too far away to join us. But know that all your comments and caring will be shared with Ken's family.

There was also some questions about sending flowers or cards. Ken's brother Bill has suggested that, in lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the charity of the Paramedics who came so often to help Ken in his last months. Bill said these people were just awesome in taking care of Ken. I will post the details shortly so you can consider that as an option.

From Ken's family, thank you for caring!

03-16-07, 07:18 AM
Thank you for posting this. Please let us know when his family releases details on making donations to the Paramedics.

Tom Bryant
03-17-07, 02:23 AM
Thanks Hal. Wish I could be there.

03-17-07, 03:03 PM
I'm sooooo sorry. I've been busy with moving to Utah (haven't changed forum info yet either) from SoCal, fixing up the house, new job, sold my 82ce, blah blah blah, etc.... No excuse, but this came as a shock to me. Great guy.

Yes, please let us know about who to make a donation to, since I can't be there in person. If I could, I'd be there in the C5 since I sold my 82ce a week before Christmas. Blessings to his family and friends. I think Ken is in a better place and is watching over all us car freaks, waiting for us to get to heaven to see him again.

Godspeed Ken, you made an impression in my life and many others. Thank you!

03-17-07, 11:35 PM
There was also some questions about sending flowers or cards. Ken's brother Bill has suggested that, in lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the charity of the Paramedics who came so often to help Ken in his last months

Please do keep us posted on when and how we can send a donation in Ken's honor, our prayers and thoughts are with his family.

God Bless And Keep You All; Ken is in a place we can't even begin to imagine.

Bill :w For Ken

03-20-07, 09:19 PM
Thanks to all of you for your continued comments about Ken. Ken's brother Bill has been on the site and is very touched by all the caring from the Corvette community.

There have been a number of inquiries about where to send flowers and cards to Ken's family. Ken's brother and sister have suggested for those who chose to do so, they ask that you make a charitable donation to Ken's memory. Here is the message from Bill Stapel:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___

Hi Hal ….Per our discussion today lets ask all of the Corvette people and other friends of Ken who have expressed an interest to send their charitable contributions to the HERMOSA BEACH FIREFIGHTER’S ASSOCIATION (HBFA). The paramedics here at the local firehouse responded with help for Ken on numerous occasions over the last 8 or 9 months and he often talked of doing something for them to note his gratitude. I spoke with Paul Hawkins at the station on Monday and he assured me that all contributions are dedicated to people in need within their organization and without. A tax payer id is available if needed.

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">HERMOSA</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">BEACH</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> FIREFIGHTER’S ASSOCIATION
<FONT]<FONT color="#0000ff"><st1:place w:st="on">PO </st1:place>BOX 638
[COLOR=#0000ff][COLOR=#0000ff]<st1:place w:st="][SIZE=2"><st1:place][COLOR=#0000ff><st1:City w:st="on">HERMOSA BEACH</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">CALIFORNIA</st1:State> <st1:PostalCode w:st="on">90254</st1:PostalCode><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[IMG]http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/ /><o:p></o:p><font color=" /><o:p></o:p>
<FONT face=Arial color=#0000ff><FONT face=Arial size=2>310-379-0885

<FONT face=Arial><FONT color=#0000ff><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2>I hope this helps.
<FONT color=#0000ff><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2>__________________________________________________________________________________________

<FONT color=#0000ff><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2>To keep all the data in one place, the following is the information about the memorial service and gathering for Ken:

<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>Bill and Sandy (Ken’s brother and sister) have decided to have memorial services for Ken on Saturday March 31<SUP>st</SUP> in the afternoon. The church services will begin at <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">American</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Martyrs</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Church</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Manhattan Beach</st1:place></st1:City> in the afternoon around 2 o’clock. The address to the church is:

<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p>American Martyrs Church</o:p>
<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p>624 15th Str<FONT face=Arial><FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>eet</o:p>

<FONT face=Arial><FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p>Manhattan Beach, CA 90266</o:p><FONT face=Arial>
<FONT face=Arial><FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p>(310) 545-5651</o:p>

<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p></o:p>
<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>After the church service, we will all go down to Ricky & Ronnie’s (around 5 o’clock) to have a memorial car gathering for everyone, where thanks to <st1:PersonName w:st="on">Chef Robert Polk</st1:PersonName>, food will be served. We will all have a chance to pay our respects to Ken’s family and share our numerous stories about Ken at both venues (church and Ricky & Ronnie’s).
<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p>______________________________________________________________________________________________</o:p>

<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p></o:p>
<FONT color=black><o:p><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>Lastly, Ken's nephew is going to try and get into Ken's web site (<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>www.corvetteobsession.com (http://www.corvetteobsession.com/)<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>) and change the "home" page to dedicate the site to Ken. We are then looking for ways to keep the site "alive" for some time.</o:p>
<FONT color=black><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>

<FONT color=black><o:p><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>That's all the news for now. If you have questions, feel free to email me directly at <FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>hal@vatcher.com (hal@vatcher.com)<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff>.</o:p>

<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p></o:p>
<FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=#0000ff><o:p>"Save the Wave"!</o:p></st1:place]

03-22-07, 05:09 PM
Thanks very much for posting this information, it is appreicated. . . . . . and may Ken rest now in peace

Bill B.

03-24-07, 11:28 PM

Thanks for putting the info up. It was good seeing you again, even in these circumstances.

It's incredible how much the Corvette world meant to Ken. He was the true representation of the term "gearhead". While helping to clean out his garage today, I was amazed at the level of organization in everything in there--from his toolbox to his workbench, everything had it's place. He had things dealing with cars and bikes of all kinds, posters, signs, pictures, you name it... ...if it had wheels, he had an interest in it.

I keep thinking how much I'm gonna miss him--he always seemed to be there, saving a spot for me. Whenever we would go out to Ruby's, his smiling face was almost always there to greet me. I guess it's really going to leave a void when summer rolls around and he's not there. At least his brother, Bill, sounds like he'd like to come on out with Ken's car and keep his memory alive...


03-25-07, 04:21 AM
With the upcoming Corvette Museum expansion, I wonder if a donation of his library should be seriously considered.

03-25-07, 04:27 AM
With the upcoming Corvette Museum expansion, I wonder if a donation of his library should be seriously considered.
:upthumbs100% YES:upthumbs

03-25-07, 08:21 AM
With the upcoming Corvette Museum expansion, I wonder if a donation of his library should be seriously considered.

It sure would be a nice tribute to Ken; and I think he would be honored.

Bill B.

03-25-07, 08:54 AM
S-TEE (Scott) was referring to he, Brad Chang, and I spending the day Saturday help Bill Stapel "sort out" Ken's garage area. At first it looked like an insurmountable task. Ken shared a 2 car garage with a neighbor. But the neighbor only had room for his car. The rest was occupied by Ken's "stuff".
"Stuff" everywhere. Yet, once we got into it we saw how well organized Ken was. He had a system with a "home' for everything. Of course, first we had to figure out Ken's "system". We did and got things spread out and identifiable for Bill

We moved Ken's Corvette outside so we could have room to work. It did not start (low battery) but of course Ken had an industrial strength battery charger/starter so we put it on charge and went on with our work. Later in the day, Bill actually started the 'Vette (perhaps to the dismay of some neighbors who never did like the "sound"). Actually no issue with that yesterday, although one of neighbors on hearing Bill would keep the 'Vette said he would help get some mufflers on her! She is loud!

Ken had a personal computer in the garage area. On it we found a lot of pictures of various phases of Ken's life with cars, bikes, etc. We will attempt to capture these for a "photo collage" at the memorial on Saturday. If I can figure out how, I will post a few on here.

As Scott alluded to, Bill Stapel's current thought is to keep the 'Vette. Of course, he will want to try and get it more "streetable", thus, reliable so he can do the cruises. Plus he will need to get her more "presentable". Some of you know Ken was chasing down some electrical issue(s) when he took ill. He had the whole dash area wide open as well as the shifter console area. We had to "search" among the wires near the shifter to find the window switches! There will be an attempt to get her "packaged up" for presentation at the memorial. The car will be there no matter what!

I saw reference to Ken's collection of printed Corvette material. He did have a lot of books on 'Vettes. But he was not limited to 'Vettes. As Scott indicated, if it moved, with a motor, Ken was all over it. So, his "collection" goes way beyond Corvettes.

Ken has a 16 year old nephew who is a "budding gearhead", albeit with his first car being a BMW! Ken's nephew will get "first dibs" on all the stuff. He certainly wants the tools. He may want the books.

Beyond books, I brought home about 30 boxes of car magazines. I offered to sort them out for Bill and see if they had any value. Of course, anal Ken had them all in special magazine boxes, with indicators of what was in each box, so sorting it out will not be tough.

Like Scott, many of us will miss Ken this summer as the cruises start up (yes, even we So Cal people stay in for the winter!). Ruby's has lost it's "Corvette Anchor".

"Save the Wave".

03-25-07, 09:10 AM
We moved Ken's Corvette outside so we could have room to work.

Sounds like a major task but a trip back in history to say the least. Got any pictures of Ken's Vette you can post?


03-25-07, 03:46 PM
There will be an attempt to get her "packaged up" for presentation at the memorial. The car will be there no matter what!

I mean no disrespect here but I think it should be kept the way it is for the memorial instead of anyone else trying to envision where Ken envisioned it going.

I think it should be left that way also because it will really show the spirit of the man who loved that car and worked on it until his health would not permit.

Maybe to some who aren't into cars, they won't understand what a car can mean to those who do like cars. But when they see how Ken fiddled with that car for years, they'll see a piece of him.

03-25-07, 03:49 PM
Sounds like a major task but a trip back in history to say the least. Got any pictures of Ken's Vette you can post?


There was one in my post above... ...here's another....


03-25-07, 07:25 PM
Ken has a 16 year old nephew who is a "budding gearhead", albeit with his first car being a BMW! I certainly understand that, as I consider my 7 a 5-seater Vette!

Ken's nephew will get "first dibs" on all the stuff. He may want the books.Surely, and I never meant to interfere. I just suggested it as 1) some may not know of the museum's new expansion, 2) it would be a way for Ken to continue giving to the community, as he did so well and often, and 3) I knew nothing off Ken's family.

I hope to meet more off the SoCal Vette guys who knew Ken better than I did, as things warm up and as my beast gets fixed, after the 'professionals' screwed it up. :w

03-26-07, 09:28 PM
Sadly my wife and I won't be able to attend Ken's memorial. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family. Ricky & Ronnie's will never seem quite the same either.
Bruce & Tracy

Viper 10
03-27-07, 02:19 AM
Hi Friends,

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring from this site. I thank you for your thoughts & prayers for the Stapel family members and friends who Ken leaves behind.

It is also heartwarming to see that Ken's friends never forgot him and were there for him in spirit. It is an amazing test that he had to go through in his final months where he couldn't drive or hang out with car friends (it was really a stretch for him just to get on his computer and pay his bills). I know that Ken did visit this site to read some of the wonderful well wishes that you guys sent to him while he was battling his health problems. It truly meant alot to him.

To add to what Scott & Hal have said is hard to top. Let me say that as Ken went through his trials in his final months, he realized that as important as his cars might have been; that his faith, friends and family were far more important. Seeing Ken's evolution from a person who had quite a bit of pride to being transformed into someone who developed a real relationship with his Lord & Savior was amazing to witness. I realize now that only God can transform a persons heart and that is exactly what God did to Ken.

I have no doubt that Ken is in Heaven smiling down on all of us. The best thing that we can do as his friends is to keep his legacy alive and do our best to try to emmulate his acts of generosity and kindness on the remainder of our journey.

Here is an invite for an early morning cruise that I sent out earlier this evening to some of Ken's friends:

Hi Friends:

We are having a memorial service and cruise for one of my car buddies Ken Stapel on Saturday. As a promise that I made to my good friend (just before he passed away) I am bringing his nephew Alex on a cruise down to Cars & Coffee. He is a real car nut just like his uncle. It is my goal to feed Alex’s thirst for cars by taking him to these wonderful car gatherings and track events so that he will be equipped to carry on his uncle’s legacy.<o:p></o:p>

Ken was a tremendous evangelist of the car lifestyle and was always helping people in need of advice or a strong back to get them back on the road. Unfortunately, after a long wait for a liver transplant, his tired body gave out. The good news is that he solidified his relationship with his Lord & Savior and also realized that there was nothing to fear about dying. He made the best of his last 6 months and went with dignity and grace. I have attached of my favorite photo of Ken and his C4 Corvette beast.<o:p></o:p>

If you would like to join us on a cruise down this coming Saturday, please come along and meet Alex. As much as all car nuts enjoy the cars, those of us who are “the hardcore regulars” enjoy the company of car folks even more. If you see me hanging out on Saturday, please say hi to Alex.<o:p></o:p>

For those of you who are interested, we are having a memorial gathering at Ricky & Ronnie’s at 5 o’clock in the afternoon (after a 2 o’clock mass at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach) to reflect and celebrate Ken’s life and passion for cars. Please feel free to join us and bring your rides… Ken wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know that he is smiling down from Heaven (especially after he realized that Heaven is filled with hot rods, muscle and exotics for him to tinker with).<o:p></o:p>

I am departing at 6:15 AM from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Manhattan Beach</st1:City></st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>

Have a blessed week.<o:p></o:p>
Take care,<o:p></o:p>

I hope that some of you who live in Southern Cal can join us in this celebration.


03-27-07, 09:21 AM
I had always wanted to meet Ken in person but never had the opportunity. I will be there in spirit though.
Enjoy the celebration of Ken's life at Ricky and Ronnies take many pictures to add to his site so we all can feel a part of it.

04-01-07, 10:12 AM
Yesterday was the day for Ken Stapel’s memorial events. First, a ceremony of his life at the American Martyr’s Church in Manhattan Beach, CA. This was followed by a trip down “<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/ /><st1:place w:st=<st1:City w:st=" /><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Memory Lane</st1:address></st1:Street>” at Ricky & Ronnie’s Cruise-In Diner in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Torrance</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">CA</st1:State></st1:place>.

There were 50 – 75 of Ken’s family and friends at the church service. Also a nice display of Corvettes in the parking lot. The priest recognized Ken as a “gear head” and asked what that might be. After a few explanations from the group, he finally understood. The service was a nice send off for Ken.

The crowd at Ricky & Ronnie’s was much larger. I would guess 30-40 Corvettes and about 100 people. We had brought Ken’s ‘Vette over in the morning. To be sure it was there, we actually loaded her onto a trailer to get to the event. However, the car did run.

Before I go any further, a big thanks to the owners and operators of Ricky & Ronnie’s. They hosted this event, including all food and drinks, at no cost to any of us! What and awesome tribute to Ken and his impact on this car gathering establishment. I urge all of you who are in the LA area to patronize this fine restaurant. These are car people who appreciate the special cars and the people who own and drive them. There is a separate parking lot for our cars and a “club house” for hosting car club events or or other such car gathering events. Take your car club, take your friends. But go enjoy a meal and the car people at one of the many car gatherings each week. Call in advance to book your club for a group event.

Ken’s family had put together a slide show of Ken’s life. This was running on the big screen in R & R's clubhouse while people milled about, ate some food, and spoke of their experiences and adventures with Ken. There were a number of casual speakers, talking of how they met Ken (many through the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Corvette</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Action</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Center</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>) and the influence he had on them. It was clear that Ken had a lot of friends. Perhaps a lot more than even he realized.

The day came to a close as Bill Stapel started up Ken’s car “one more time” for the group. A fine ending for the life of good friend.

Bill Stapel had decided he would drive the ‘Vette home. I would follow with the trailer in case there were some issues. After a trip to the gas station to add some fuel, off we went. Well, what could be a more fitting end to the day than for a number of us, to once more, push Ken’s car! Yes, she broke down on the drive home. We were able to call back to R & R’s to get some help. 4 cars showed up, people pushed the ‘Vette into a parking lot, where we loaded her onto the trailer.

Ken’s car has had issues many times. You don’t put together a combination race car/street car as he did and expect a “turn the key and go” operation. He was in fact chasing down some electrical problem when he took ill. Now Bill Stapel (who plans to keep the car) will begin down the road to making this car stable and reliable. Look for posts on here from Bill Stapel in the future looking for help.

I have attempted to post a few photos from Saturday. Other people have far more pictures and I expect you will see them shortly.

“Save the Wave”.

04-01-07, 11:02 AM
Yesterday was the day for Ken Stapel’s memorial events. First, a ceremony of his life at the American Martyr’s Church in Manhattan Beach, CA. This was followed by a trip down “Memory Lane” at Ricky & Ronnie’s Cruise-In Diner in Torrance, CA.

Just awesome, what a tribute to Ken. Never met the guy but communicated with him here on CAC, sounded like a true gear head for sure. I really enjoyed the tribute and the pictures you posted. Really looking forward to communicating with his brother in the not too distanct future and hearing how he is getting along with Ken's passion, his C-4.

Thanks again for sharing this awesome day with us. This is for Ken :beer ; may he rest in peace, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and his memories, he touched a lot of people. :w

Bill :w

Tom Bryant
04-01-07, 10:41 PM
Thanks for posting the recap and photos of Ken's memorial. I really wish I could have been there. Please say thanks to the kind folks at Rick & Ronnies from all of Ken's CAC friends that couldn't make the trip out there. I know that there are members here that will try to help Bill in any way that they can to get Ken's car sorted out.


04-04-07, 01:21 AM
It was a wonderful church service, and a great gathering later at Ricky & Ronnies to pay tribute to Ken this past Saturday. Great to see and hear his silver '87 beast once again. Mucho thanks to Hal for bringing Ken's car and the trailer, Brad, Scott, Ken's nephew Alex who set up the picture/video, Robert Polk the GM at Ricky & Ronnies, and Bill Stapel, his family and all the friends there.

Will keep Ken Stapel's spirit alive.:pat

That's Ken giving the wave to everyone and me sitting on the right at the 2006 Long Beach Grand Prix. Photo courtesy by Brad Chang.

Viper 10
04-04-07, 02:40 PM
Hi Friends:

Ken's service was a memorable one to say the least. It was great to see so many car friends gather to pay their respects and share wonderful memories. I need to point out that the funniest part about the service was when we asking people to come up and share some memories and the usually talkative members of teh Vette Set Club went completely silent...:L No worries though because I know that Ken was smiling down on that perfect day.

Here is a link to the photos that I took on that day (http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2094036605&code=27319097&mode=invite&DCMP=isc-email-AlbumInvite)


04-04-07, 07:08 PM
Hi Friends:

Ken's service was a memorable one to say the least. It was great to see so many car friends gather to pay their respects and share wonderful memories. I need to point out that the funniest part about the service was when we asking people to come up and share some memories and the usually talkative members of teh Vette Set Club went completely silent...:L No worries though because I know that Ken was smiling down on that perfect day.

Here is a link to the photos that I took on that day (http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2094036605&code=27319097&mode=invite&DCMP=isc-email-AlbumInvite)


Thank you for sharing the pics Brad...

This is what it's all about...

04-04-07, 09:47 PM
When I read something in print, like here, I have a lot to say in my mind, as feeble and unimportant as it may be and I'm sure IS to a lot of people "smarter" than I. When I see a picture, especially one with REAL meaning for me, I sometimes have nothing to say but a thousand words. The time I spend with people, the minutes without pictures in front of me, be it on a screen or in print, will live in my mind until it ceases to function.

04-06-07, 10:12 AM
Ken's service was a memorable one to say the least.

Just awesome pictures and an outstanding memorial :upthumbs for Ken, he will be missed by friends and family but a little bit of him will be with all of us through out this life time.

Bill :w

04-06-07, 11:53 AM
Thanks to all of you who were able to be there for representing the CAC family.

Thank you for sharing and thank you for being there for Ken's family. Ken deserved our best.

04-12-07, 08:46 PM
At one point in this thread I mentioned Ken's collection of automobile books and magazines. I believe the Corvette books went to Ken's nephew. I offered to get the magazines out of Ken's apartment and do an inventory.
I have attached pictures of the stuff. (Good thing I'm single - I can't image any wife or GF putting up with this on the living room floor. Of course, it's now off the dining room table!!!)
I have done an inventory of these magazines. It totals 832. That may not be much to some of you but to someone like me who discards such items ASAP, this is "a lot".
Now I'm looking for ideas of what to do with these. I had one referral from this site to a person who sells magazines as an eBay business. I really don't want someone to profit from this unless it was to support Ken's memorial fund.
I have also attached a list of the inventory so you can get a feel for what is there.


Viper 10
04-13-07, 12:21 AM
It was a wonderful church service, and a great gathering later at Ricky & Ronnies to pay tribute to Ken this past Saturday. Great to see and hear his silver '87 beast once again. Mucho thanks to Hal for bringing Ken's car and the trailer, Brad, Scott, Ken's nephew Alex who set up the picture/video, Robert Polk the GM at Ricky & Ronnies, and Bill Stapel, his family and all the friends there.

Will keep Ken Stapel's spirit alive.:pat

That's Ken giving the wave to everyone and me sitting on the right at the 2006 Long Beach Grand Prix. Photo courtesy by Brad Chang.

Hey Warren,

That picture was taken a year ago this week at the Long Beach Grand Prix. I might have to go on Friday as a tribute to Ken... and see the C6R's try to chase down the Audi R10 LMP car or see the Ferrari's pretend to be Nascar racers and bump Porsche's off the track. :L


04-14-07, 11:02 AM
Pretty awesome collection. If they could be sold and the profit given to some type of museum in Ken's honor that would be cool. There is a lot of Ken's life in this collection I'm sure. The thought of you thinking about what is the right thing to do is a special tribute to him already. To some they may just be magizines and to others they are a big share of Ken's life, something he no doubt enjoyed.

Good luck on doing the right thing with them,


Tom Bryant
04-16-07, 12:02 PM
That sounds like something that Ken would have done. I wouldn't split up the titles though. It would be a real job to sell individual issues and get them sent out.


08-31-07, 11:26 AM
Just came back to Corvette Action Center and was deeply saddened about Ken's passing.

Me and Ken had spoken many times of the Phone about our Projects and also about each others Health Issues, but hadn't spoke with Him in quite a while.

Ken had even named my Project "Outlaw's Project 84" and it stuck pretty good and now I even have more incentive to get started back on the Corvette and finish it not just for my own reasons, but now for Ken's because He keep nagging at Me to hurry up and get it finished.

A true Friend in every way as many here are and I will sure miss our conversations.

Ned Sutton
08-31-07, 12:33 PM
Ken was a great guy, sorry to hear

04-06-13, 11:56 AM
Remembering a past Administrator and good friend..


04-06-13, 10:34 PM
Remembering a past Administrator and good friend..


I remember the chat room in here on Sunday night was fun, wasn't it...:chuckle

04-07-13, 10:24 AM
I remember the chat room in here on Sunday night was fun, wasn't it...:chuckle

What's ya been up to Rowdy been a while . . . . Hope all is right as rain on your end :happyanim:

Bill :w

Tom Bryant
04-08-13, 01:34 AM
The chat room was fun. I remember my dial up would drop me several times a night. Others had the same problem. You never knew when someone would just disappear then come back on unexpectedly. Ken was a great guy to talk to. I still haven't deleted his email address yet. I doubt he would get an email but maybe I should try.


04-08-13, 07:18 AM
I agree with most all the sentiments here.

Regardless of anything, his love of the technical aspect always came from within, not some trumped up wanna be who just wants to be a know it all. He studied and worked so very hard at everything he did. While we always would challenge each other with "WHAT IF?", we always shook hands at the end and enjoyed our few minutes sparring about how much fun it was jabbin each other.

I learned alot from him and will never forget his unyielding passion for Corvette!

You will be missed, Ken.


Full Bull
10-02-14, 03:05 AM
Ken was one of the very first to welcome me when I signed on this board back when. As has been said several times, he was a fountain of knowledge on just about everything Corvette. And I really enjoyed the chat room activity when Ken was on board. The man had no fear. None. I haven't been as active as I once was due to my own health reasons (which necessitated my selling my vette), so I was not aware of Ken's passing. Though it's been a while since that took place, I did want to give my respects and say how much he will be missed by all here. Thanks, Ken ....