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  1. #136
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    My deepest sympathies go out to his family and to all his friends.
    May gods speed be with him.

  2. #137
    UB2 SLOW
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    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.

  3. #138
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    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.
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

  4. #139
    Member Norseman's Avatar
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    Default Passing

    I never met the man but after reading these posts I wish I had.
    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know. HM1 1st MAR DIV.

  5. #140
    ScatRat
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    I never had the chance to meet Ken. He sounds like a person I would've enjoyed knowing.

    GOD'S SPEED....GOD BLESS.

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

  6. #141
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    I found a great story on Ken's site-


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken
    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.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  7. #142
    WarrenGTS
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    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.

    Warren.

  8. #143
    Member hoosierdaddy's Avatar
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    I was also sad to hear about Ken's passing; may he rest in peace. . . . . .

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

    Bill
    President Abraham Lincoln as stated in the Gettysburg Address
    "From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."
    "Defend Those That Defended Us"

  9. #144
    c4ever
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    RIP my friend. Great memories.
    Carlo

  10. #145
    Corvette Action Center Loses a Valued Member
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    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.

  11. #146
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    Warren,

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

    Welcome to the Corvette Action Center.

    Tom
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

  12. #147
    Member hoosierdaddy's Avatar
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    6 Shoot this is awesome, a fantastic tribute to Ken for sure. . . . . . . . . . . .

    Bill

  13. #148
    awsum98
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    I never had the chance to meet him but may he R.I.P.
    Our best wishes to this family.

  14. #149
    Member Vette_Dreaming's Avatar
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    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?
    It's all right to be crazy, just don't let it drive you nuts. Jimmy Buffett

  15. #150
    Member Toy4Hal's Avatar
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    Default Ken Stapel's Memorial Service and Car Gathering at Ricky & Ronnie's

    Here is the information I received today:

    Thanks to all of you who have been keeping Kenís family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
    Bill and Sandy (Kenís 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-comAmerican</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 oíclock. 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-com[IMG]http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/ /><o:p></o:p>
    <st1:place w:st=[/IMG]<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 & Ronnieís (around 5 oíclock) to have a memorial car gathering for everyone. We will all have a chance to pay our respects to Kenís family and share our numerous stories about Ken at both venues (church and Ricky & Ronnieís).<o:p></o:p>
    The one thing that Bill, Sandy and Alex (Kenís 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 Kenís 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!

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