Cam Clark opened his Ford dealership in Airdrie, just north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, just before the end of 1987. From that start, the Cam Clark Ford Auto Group grew into a premier sales network in western Canada, serving customers with a string of stores stretching all the way to North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Meanwhile, down in Oklahoma, John Mullen left college but remembered words of advice from a professor who suggested one key to building a brand was to give it a name that wouldn’t be forgotten. Thus Mullen built a group of marinas and boat dealerships, as well as restaurants and bars, all of which carried the name “Ugly John.”
Mullen also was racing boats; he set three national speed records and won drag- and offshore-racing championships.
Both Clark and Mullen built personal car collections, Clark naturally favoring Ford products and Mullen focused primarily on Chevrolets. Come mid-March, vehicles from the Cam Clark and Ugly John collections will be among those featured at Mecum Auctions’ inaugural Phoenix sale of collector cars.
Clark’s consignment includes 15 cars — 13 Fords and two Mercurys — as well as 22 vintage gasoline pumps and several Ford dealership signs.
Mullen is sending 43 vehicles, primarily Chevys, though also included are five Pontiacs, a few Fords — including a ’32 hot rod — an Oldsmobile, an AMC AMX and a Top Fuel dragster raced in the late 1960s by Tom McEwen.
By the way, Mullen told Mecum that the Ugly John wasn’t something he created, but the response of a friend’s wife to a haircut he got one day in the 1960s. The “Flat Top Boogie” style didn’t meet with the friend’s wife’s approval. “Oh John,” she exclaimed, “you’re ugly.”
We’ll not comment on Mullen’s appearance, but his cars are not ugly. Among those headed to State Farm Insurance Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, are a 5,900-mile 1961 Chevrolet Impala “bubble top;” a 1960 Impala with a 348cid V8; an unrestored, 11,610-mile 1962 “bubble top” Bel Air; a 4,762-mile, unrestored 1967 Chevelle convertible; a ’67 Chevelle L78 SS 4-speed; and a ’65 Chevelle Z16, one of only 201 produced.
Clark’s consignment includes a 1967 Mustang with one-year GTA trim, a ’65 Mustang convertible with aftermarket tweaks, a ’67 fastback with a supercharged 427cid crate engine, a ’68 Shelby GT500KR convertible, a 2014 Shelby GT500 Super Snake convertible, a 1964 Galaxie 500XL convertible with 427cid V8 and a 33-mile 2002 Thunderbird.
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