Cool cars

The Executive: Spring 2019

Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 08:27 am

1927 Ford Model T Tudor

Eido Walny | Founder and managing partner, Walny Legal Group LLC

Though it was produced in April of 1927, Eido Walny has no problem still driving this Ford Model T Tudor.

This car was produced right before the production of Model Ts ended. As a result, Walny, founder and managing partner of Walny Legal Group LLC in Milwaukee, owns one of the very last of the 15 million Model Ts produced. In 1927, the Model T came standard with wire wheels, but Walny’s has the old, reliable hickory spoked wheels, giving his car a more traditional look, especially coupled with the black paint. This old Ford also features an ahooga horn.

“The wood spokes gives the car the klackety-klack sound people like to hear as it rolls down the street at 25 miles per hour, to be sure no one would confuse this car with a Ferrari or Lamborghini,” Walny joked.

Walny purchased the car in 2016 from a couple in Racine who had inherited the car. According to Walny, the car was assembled in Milwaukee at the old Ford assembly line on the corner of North Prospect Avenue and East Kenilworth Place. Walny is the car’s third owner in its 92 years of existence and plans to pass it along to his son.

With the help of the Greater Milwaukee Model T Ford Club, Walny was able to completely rewire the car, change the carburetor system, reassemble the rear axle, fix the exhaust system, and refresh a few tired parts in the engine. He also got the car with the original 1927 spokes on it, so he sent the wheels to Ohio, where an Amish craftsman hand-carved each individual spoke out of hickory wood.

This summer, he plans to install a new radiator and work on its magneto system, which is the only thing not working properly. Walny said the car is simple to work on.

“The Model T is a car that gives people nostalgic feelings,” he said. “These days, it’s becoming more and more rare, especially in the condition of my car.”

Walny has no plans to sell the car, but says it is most likely worth about $15,000.

“As a lawyer and business owner, life can be stressful. But this car reminds you to focus on what’s ahead of you and to take things slowly,” Walny said. “With everyone waving and smiling at you, it is hard to be angry or stressed out. I also call it my ‘happy car.’ Without a doubt this car brings me great pleasure.”

2008 Chevrolet Corvette  

Michael Berns | The Brickyard Inc.

U.S Route 66 sees travelers from all over the country, but one car definitely turned heads on the Mother Road. Michael Berns, who works in outside sales at masonry distributor The Brickyard Inc. in Milwaukee, drove his 2008 Chevrolet Corvette from Chicago to Santa Monica, California with his wife, Luann, in the passenger seat. The sleek black vehicle had no problem taking on the 19-day trip. Racking up more than 5,000 miles on the journey there and back, Berns was proud to showcase his beloved Corvette.

Berns’ vehicle is loaded with a six-speed transmission, chrome wheels, five-spoke rims, a power top, 436 horsepower, and a top speed of 194 miles per hour. The car also features a white and black two-tone leather interior, making it one out of only 300 corvettes with this unique look.

“My granddaughter dubbed it ‘Pengy’ for penguin for the black and white,” Berns said.

Berns purchased the vehicle in 2016 online. After searching online and at dealerships for a corvette and never being able to find the right one, Berns decided to narrow down the search. He decided to look for a black Corvette after previously owning a black Chevelle and a black Camaro.

When Berns finally found the perfect match, he recalls going home to his Luann and telling her, “I found a new girlfriend” and she responded, “You found a car?”

The problem, however, was the car was in New Jersey. Berns and Luann planned to go on the Woodward Dream Cruise with the new car in a few weeks and didn’t have time to take a trip to go see the car in person. After extensive homework, Berns took a leap a faith and wired the money to the dealership in New Jersey, despite the bank’s warnings. The car was shipped to him in Wisconsin a few days later with show car quality finish and it’s been an affair ever since.

“It isn’t a supercar by any stretch of the imagination,” Berns said. “But it is fantastic. It has enough horsepower for the average car enthusiast.”

Berns was able to debut the car on the 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise, a classic car event that begins in Detroit, Michigan. He returned for the 2017 and 2018 cruises, as well. As for future cruises, Berns and his wife will be taking the Corvette on its first Hot Rod Power Tour in June. It is a seven-day, seven-city journey starting in Concord, North Carolina and ending in Norwalk, Ohio. It is the largest traveling car show in the world, bringing in more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000 spectators.

Berns covers his Corvette during the winter and unwraps it, twine and all, as the warmer season draws near.

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