Interview with Bob Nash; President of Kingsmen Car Club
I’m really excited today because we are here with Bob Nash, who is the president of Kingsman Car Club, a Santa Cruz Classic Car Club! I met Bob when a client of mine needed to sell her 1964 Chrysler 300, which was a really cool car. And what Kingsmen Car Club does, is take a portion of the proceeds for the sale of classic cars and put it towards a scholarship program for Santa Cruz High School Students.
And if you are interested in getting involved with the Kingsmen Car Club, they meet up at the Capitola Mall, every Saturday morning from 7-9am, and a variety of cars attend! All are welcome to join! And they will be holding their 15th annual “Hot Rods on the Green” event at Twin Lakes Church on July 9th! Last year they had over 160 classic cars in attendance!!
I hope that you enjoy hearing about Kingsmen Car Club from President Bob Nash as much as I did! I love how this club prioritizes giving back to the youth and the Santa Cruz Community!
Bob: I hate being in front of the camera.
Shemeika: I mean, I can barely get anybody to agree to do any of this. I’m really excited today because we are here with Bob Nash, who is the president of KCC.
Bob: Kingsman Car Club.
Shemeika: Thank you, Kingsman Car Club, which I’m gonna want you to tell us what it’s about cause you know about it more than me. So what is Kingsman Car Club about?
Bob: So originally the Kingsman Car Club was just an apprenticeship program, helping boys and girls of high school age to learn about car maintenance, car restoration, all things cars. The interest in that actually waned a few years ago. So we have transitioned into a scholarship program to help young men and women further their skills in what’s called the industrial arts which would be automotive mechanics, welding, automotive restoration, things of that like. I think the biggest takeaway that a student might get from our group is more along the lines of helping others. We’re there to help students reach their goals, so as they become full members of our club they learn about helping others achieve their goals, helping others, you know, get where they want to be and life either through the, the learning of skills or through just the momentary monetary assistance along the way. Santa Cruz high school has ended up being the only automotive shop program in the county.
Shemeika: Wow. How does the scholarship program work?
Bob: So basically students, graduating students, would apply with you know, their high school transcripts and the industrial trade school program that they’re interested in. And we would sift through the few scholarships that we get and award two students with $1,000 scholarships towards their costs of attending that school. Any second year scholarship awardee gets a follow up scholarship of $500 or half the original scholarship award.
Shemeika: How do you get the money to give the scholarships? Which is how I met Bob.
Bob: Most money is received through the sale of donated vehicles to the club.
Shemeika: And we just, one of my clients donated a vehicle. What was it? It was a…
Bob: It was a 1964 Chrysler 300.
Shemeika: Yep, that’s what it was. Very cool car. And now they’ll, have you guys sold it yet?
Bob: We have not sold it yet. Okay. We’ve had a couple people interested, but no.
Shemeika: But once they sell it, then they’ll donate the proceeds to the scholarship program.
Shemeika: That’s so cool. And what is, I know you guys have like a big event coming up, like a car show event. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Bob: So, Hot Rods on the Green Car Show is our this is our 15th annual car show. And last year was our second largest show with over 160 cars in attendance. And somewhere between 1200 and 1500 Spectators on site.
Shemeika: Dang. And where do you, where do you do this?
Bob: The show itself is held on the, or in the parking lot of Twin Lakes Church in Aptos.
Shemeika: Okay, cool. Right here. You wouldn’t know it. How’d you get involved with it?
Bob: I got involved… I’m an attendee of Twin Lakes church, but I got involved after one of the car shows back in 2013. They were really trying to get more people into the club who were active. I applied, they said yes. And I’m now in my eighth year on the board of the club.
Shemeika: That’s cool. And you love it?
Bob: I do.
Shemeika: What’s your favorite thing about being involved in KCC?
Bob: Meeting new people. Every Saturday, there is a car meet up at the Capitola Mall parking lot. We recently moved there a couple years ago basically by Starbucks. At the corner of 41st and Clares.
Shemeika: Okay. And is anybody welcome to come and join you?
Bob: Absolutely. We get all sorts of cars. Typically starts around 7:00 AM and ends around 9:00 AM, but we’ll get everything from a 1912 Cadillac to a 2021 Corvette.
Shemeika: Whoa. Eclectic.
Bob: Very eclectic. So everybody’s welcome. Everybody.
Shemeika: Whatever kind of car you have, we can show up in our minivan.
Bob: Sure. I show up in my Jetta and sell t-shirts. So the car club was originally founded as the King’s Men back in 1957, when a few high school boys went over to Mike Whitman’s garage, his personal garage, to try and learn how to work on their own cars. The club was formed, you know, a few months later after Mike petitioned the church to have it be an official church affiliated club. And it lasted for a few years, probably till the mid sixties. It was recently revived in about 2006 by a couple of local guys who had heard that there had once been a car club. Some of the notable people that have been in the club, an original member is Dan Kraft of Kraft’s Auto Body. Oh yeah. Another more recent member after the club reformed would be Jim Phillips, who is well known as the artist of the Santa Cruz skateboards screaming hand.
Shemeika: Oh yeah. I know that well. That’s cool. What’s the coolest car you’ve ever seen come to the car show?
Bob: Coolest car I’ve ever seen would be a hand built one off car that the gentleman named the Daedalus after I believe that is a Greek hero. It looked very much like an old Jaguar XJE from the late sixties, but it was hand built and he had it appraised at over a million dollars.
Shemeika: Holy cow.
Bob: And then it got wrecked.
Shemeika: Because he drove it?
Bob: He drove it up to Pleasanton to show it off at the Goodguy’s show and then he rebuilt it.
Shemeika: Okay. So that’s the coolest car. What’s the most expensive car that’s ever?
Bob: Most expensive car.. As far as a normal everyday car, I think our last year’s Best in Show vehicle which was a 1924 Packard Sportster deluxe, fully restored.
Shemeika: That has a lot of meaning to me.
Bob: Having to be the Secretary and then the Vice President, And now the President of the club. It has taught me to be comfortable in speaking with others specifically people I don’t know. Which happens almost every Saturday at the little car meet up.
Shemeika: Would you consider yourself an introvert?
Bob: Very much so. Yeah. The reason I took on such a high profile role was I wanted to see the club continue. Because I knew the club had a positive impact. If, if not in the entire community at least in a few individual’s lives. We just had a petition from a former club president who lives in Vancouver, Washington to start another chapter of the Kingsman Car Club, which the members in attendance of our last meeting, monthly meeting, approved unanimously. So at this point, we see spreading Kingsman chapters at least across three or four states, hopefully further.
Shemeika: That’s awesome.
Bob: You have to start somewhere. Yeah. And moreover, if you have it, drive it.