** Ricky has retired from touring **
Effective May 1, 2006
 

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The Classic Car Collector

Ricky Van Shelton has always had a deep love for old cars. As a young boy, his close friend and mentor, Jack Clay, would let Ricky drive his 1960 Corvette. He was too small to reach the clutch and the steering wheel was almost bigger than he could handle; but the thrill and excitement of driving such a powerful vehicle was unforgettable!

When Ricky was 14 years old, his brother Ronnie tried to persuade him to sing with his band. But Ricky was into Rock 'n Roll and Ronnie was into country... Ricky just wasn't interested. But then Ronnie made an offer Ricky could not refuse. "If you'll sing with us, I'll let you drive my 1964 Fairlane." It was more than the teenage boy could resist ... a beautiful 2-door, 4-speed, 289 engine. He loved the car and quickly fell in love with the music. That same car is featured in Ricky's video, "Keep It Between The Lines" and is now owned by Ronnie's son, Jeremy Shelton.

Fairlane1.jpg (6388 bytes)Fairlane2.jpg (5963 bytes)
Original photos of  the1964 Fairlane that swayed  Ricky's interest to Country Music.


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The same 1964 Fairlane as it looks today.

In the late 1960's, Ricky's brother Don owned a couple of Chevelle's. Occasionally, he let his younger brother borrow his car. Unfortunately, Ricky's heavy foot and love of speed-shifting hung up the transmissions more than once. Still today, he has had to rework transmissions of his own. Ricky is quick to admit, "I don't like to drive fast, but I love to snatch those gears when I take off."

Ricky purchased his first classic car in 1973. He paid $150 for a 1941 Hudson. That was the beginning of his "wheeling and dealing"... never paying more than $500 for a vehicle, working on it constantly and trading it for something hopefully better. He laughs as he remembers pulling up to a filling station in those days and asking the attendant to "check the gas and fill it up with oil."

When Ricky moved to Nashville in December, 1984, he traveled in style in a 1974 Chevrolet van. He still has the van parked with his other "classics". In those days, he could afford only one vehicle at a time.

Since his success in the music business, Ricky has fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams. "I've always wanted to own my own junkyard; so when I bought my 150-acre farm near Nashville I started collecting some old cars that needed fixing up. I'll never forget the day my business manager, Chuck Flood, visited the new property. I was driving him around through the fields when he asked me when I was going to haul off the junk cars. I replied, "haul them off !!? I just had them hauled in here !!!' I'll never forget the look on Chuck's face!"

During the past 7 years, Ricky has restored several classic cars, including:

     1965 2-door convertible Mustang
     1956 2-door Buick Special
     1958 Chevrolet impala
     1958 Corvette
     1953 Ford Victoria Coupe
     1971 Chevrolet pickup

His treasures also include:

     1956 El Dorado Barritz Cadillac convertible
     1964 Thunderbird
     1967 Corvette
     1974 TR-6
     1976 & 1977 MGB's
     1972 Chevrolet pickup

The collection totals almost 50 vehicles... some new, some old and some classic.