(Words and photos by Doug Gregory) – Third time trying to write up this event. This event popped up on my facebook feed and seemed interesting. It was at a place I hadn’t been before and as an added plus was near a cousin I hadn’t seen in 30 years. I also figured the fall colors would be in full force up through new countryside I had yet to see. This cruise hadn’t been a long time in the making. Family and friends of Paul Simpson put it together to raise his spirits and try raising a little money to help with a pile of medical bills.
Lets back up a bit and see how motorheads pull together and help each other. Paul Simpson is the patriarch of a gearhead family. As a young man he’d done everything from kart racing to drag racing. At age 56 he fulfilled a life-long ambition to go dirt track racing. The kids all have memories of riding in the family ’55 Nomad to races and shows. Parenting done right. Along his path he made a lot of friends, helped plenty of folks, and built up a treasure chest of memories. That same ’55 Nomad has been in the family for decades and you can see that car pictured below now painted blue nearing completion in its first rebuild in over 25 years.
Paul decided at age 74 to finally undergo a long put-off knee-replacement surgery. The surgery went fine, but a few weeks after complications from therapy set in and soon and infection took hold. After another 14 months of surgeries, hospital stays, and doctors’ visits he is on the road to recovery. His health setback not only kept him from tooling around in the garage, but also kept him from getting out to be part of gearhead gatherings.
So, as stated above, family and friends began sending out invitations, cleaning up and making some progress on the Nomad, and generally organizing the event to bring the community that he has missed out to see him. The whole deal was kept a secret from Paul and on a quiet Sunday morning after he’d left for church everything was put in place. I didn’t make it in time to see his expression as they pulled into the drive to see his ’55 outside surrounded by a decent-size collection of many other gleaming pieces of machinery. Folks, this is gearhead activism I can definitely support.
In this album I will highlight some of the family vehicles and showcase their pitiful attempts to gain traction. First off is son P.J.’s satin-black ’57 Chevy truck. We’ve had in pictured in our coverage of the Cynthiana Rod Run a few times sitting out in front of the fire station where he works.. Next is Paul’s ’55 Nomad that is now nearing completion and should be out and about in 2017. Following that is son Nick’s late 2nd-gen Camaro. Lastly is son Mike’s ’55 Delivery. Tunnel rams and dual carbs seem popular around these parts.