At The Wheel: Kelster_ak And 'Eleanor'
My name: kelster_ak
My age: 36
City/town: Anchorage, AK
Relationship status: Single
What is the best thing that you like about your ride?
It's brutal, yet refined, it's beautiful and outrageously powerful, and nobody else has one. Since I fill it up with avgas, it also has this pleasantly sweet and different smell to it when it's running. It's fun and different.
Do you like to take road trips in your car?
Occasionally - road miles in Alaska are harder on a vehicle than in other parts of the country, so I try to limit it. It's hard though, Alaska is a beautiful place and the summers are short, so it's best to enjoy them to the fullest extent.
Describe your favorite road trip -- where did you go? What did you do?
My favorite roadtrip was with my grandfather, who was visiting the state, and we drove from Anchorage to Fairbanks, overnight, then drove back the next day. That's about 700 miles in the hottest muscle car in the state.
Do you like tinkering under the hood, or do you leave repairs and routine maintenance to your mechanic?
I do most everything myself. The big stuff I take to professionals. The car is too special to not be taken care of properly, but even then it's hard to find guys that know their stuff with this type of vehicle.
What special touches have you added to your car that reflect your personality and individuality?
The fuzzy blue dice hanging from the mirror. The car is rock-solid stock.
Do you find yourself more attracted to people with similar car tastes to your own? Or doesn’t it matter?
I've never met anyone that has a car like this. I like chilling with people that understand what it is and have a curiosity about it, but truthfully it's just not something attainable for most individuals and there aren't many around. I was lucky enough to buy the car when I was 19, when it was still affordable.
If you had an unlimited budget and could change anything you wanted on your car, what modifications or accessories would you add?
Absolutely nothing, aside from an incredibly detailed restoration.
Do you think your car has a personality or soul? What kind of sound or behavior does it have that makes it unmistakably your car?
It has a guttural idling that shakes the antenna. I actually set the idle by the whipping of the antenna back and forth. That's a dual-quad 428 Police Interceptor for ya. When you hit the throttle, at first it fires up and winds up, then as the 2nd set of Holley 652cfm carburetors wake up, it growls like a lion. Seriously. It sounds scary. I could easily burn the tires off the car in a night.
Do you have a nickname for your car?
Eleanor. Yeah, I know. But, this one is real and has been a part of my life for quite awhile.
Have you upgraded the car stereo? What is your "dream" sound system?
It's the stock Ford AM radio that was originally installed. It's kinda cool. If I were to build another car, as a replica, the sound system would be McIntosh, as Ford did in their GT40 ("Ford GT") reintroduction program a couple years ago.
What aspect of your ride most attracted you when you decided to own and drive it?
It's sexy as hell, and only 2,048 were built to begin with, which means that there are *very* few around today. The integral rollbar and shoulder harnesses sort of pushed me past the 'I'm interested' stage and made me realize that it was designed and built as a truly high-performance vehicle. I've pinned myself in the seat with the shoulder harnesses before while driving - they work well.
Have you ever pushed your car to its performance limit? What was the fastest speed?
I regularly push it to attain cruise speed, but I've only had it to 110mph. Roads up in this state aren't for cruising at Autobahn speeds. I've done that in Germany in their cars, and this one would probably do excellent in Germany because of it's aerodynamics. Truth is, our roads in Alaska just aren't high enough quality for those speeds. Besides, I like to apex around corners and do road-rallying more than just flooring it as a kid would. It's a car that has an artistic appeal in that way. It handles well, even though it has a huge engine in the front and isn't (theoretically) balanced well.
What was the first car you ever had? Do you ever get nostalgic for it?
My first car was a 1966 Mustang coupe. It was fun, and it turned me on to the ponycar experience.
If you could trade your ride in for any other car, what would it be, regardless of the price?
There's nothing finer in this world than an original 1967 Shelby GT 500. Thank you, but no. This is my car.
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