The Ronn Ives Photo Collection
Ronn Ives and his family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1963, when Ronn was 13 years old. In 2018 Ronn told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he has been following car design since he was 10 years old; "I read about it all the time, watched for cars, and began building models as my early way to get involved in it. Denver is a large city with good weather. The car scene was huge, with most cars being modest in their outcomes - who of us had much money? I knew no one! Haha," Ronn chuckled. "Yes, there were very special cars, but they were usually only seen at shows." At age 14, Ronn bought a 1950 Ford that he began customizing. The year was 1965, and he paid $40 for the Shoebox Ford, his ticket to finally owning a custom car. It was a Flathead V-8 powered two-door, and Ronn began by shaving the body and raising the front; "My plans were for a fine shaved clean 1950 Ford. Nice inside and out. I was cleaning and de-rusting the undercarriage - painting it safety yellow! I knew people that were at the drag strips, and they offered to help me build the Flathead up, and, it was the fashion in Denver at the time NOT to LOWER it, but to RAISE it all the way around. I probably would've chopped the top also, but as a boy, I never reached that level of money." A black and blue interior was installed, and Ronn had plans for the exterior being blue.
According to Ronn, the trends in Denver were mainly affected by the influence of California. "By the middle to late 1960s, everyone interested in cars began switching to new muscle cars and left the older cars to die. At this time, you could have purchased just about any older car you wanted for under $100. And, in Colorado, with its dry environment, the cars were still in good condition decades later." The Ford ended up sitting undriven for years, so Ronn eventually decided to sell it to a friend who wanted to do more to it. "My tastes had changed. I wanted smaller, lightweight, good handling sports cars. I bought the VERY FIRST 1970 Datsun 240Z to be delivered to Colorado. I had it about 25 years, sold it to a friend." Ronn has owned a lot of cars over the years, including a 1949 Buick Super convertible that he sold to Oslo, Norway.
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