Dick East, a car restorer, a friend and much more.
By Victor Nasol
I joined Mustang Owners Club of California not so long after I purchased my first classic Ford Mustang in 1999. I did not know much about classic cars but I liked my car. I attended my first meeting early 2000. I sat though the meeting at Bakers Square knowing no one. Upon leaving the meeting I was starting my 1965 springtime yellow mustang and was immediately told by a former club member how wrong and incorrect it was. I had already done many things to the car and felt why I am joining a club with members like this?
Dick East at ”Yesterday Once More.” Richard Carpenter’s car collection
After receiving a harsh critique of my car by the former member I consider not coming back to club meetings. A tall man walked towards me and asked if this was my car. I told him yes it was “I was just going to be told my baby was junk again” went through my head. Imagine my surprise when the man told me my car was neat. He told me that my mustang had many nice touches and presented nicely. He complimented me on my new paint job and nice sounding engine. My unwelcome was replaced by a warm handshake and a wish from Dick East that I become a valuable member in the club. Dick East was the Vice President of the club at the time.
Dick East’s Car at MOCC’s Event at “AutoBooks”
Over the years I got to know Dick East well. He was a parent, grandparent, US veteran, police officer, car mentor and a friend to all. Dick helped me create one the club’s memorable trophies ( gas pump) I was a one man band putting it together by myself. Dick found out I was struggling and was willing to help me assembling them. With his help I drilled the bottom of the diecast pumps. They were not ment to be trophy toppers originally. Dick told me stories of how he rebuilt his early 1964.5 convertible and how he always ordered Mustangs at his workplace. How he liked the people in the club and the car shows.
Gas Pump Trophy which Dick helped build
Dick’s car did not just go to car shows. His car was in “Modern Marvels 60s tech” and “Ford v. Ferrari”. His car is fantastic and represents his good work. But for me it is not just the car but the man behind the car. I will miss Dick. I hope others in the club can be a person who will welcome you and give you a hand when you need it.
Thank you Dick East, you will be missed.