|Member Profile: Hennie Lek |
1960 Starliner - Dekwakel, HollandMy name is Hennie Lek. Iím 54 years old (1999) married to Greet (52) and we have 3 children, 2 daughters (25 and 29 years old) and one son, he is 30 years old.
We are collecting several kinds of Fords for the past 15 years, to be specific, Galaxies from 60 to 64 and early and late Mustangs. The American Ford disease started when I was 12 years old. My father bought a 1939 Ford V8, after the Ford he made a small mistake, he bought a Pontiac Starchief but this was soon corrected and the Pontiac was replaced by a 1954 Customline.
As soon as I turned 18, I got my drivers license and we bought a 1961 Starliner. After a lot of problems such as leaking head gaskets and rust all over the car, the Starliner had to be sold, and this was the point where it all went wrong (in terms of the Galaxie disease).
After driving some European Fords like the Cortina, Capri and Taurus, we bought our first American Ford again in 1980, a Mustang Cobra.
We drove the Mustang till 1989 and replaced it for an 87 Mustang with a five-speed manual, as we didnít like the manual transmission we sold this one again and tried an 88 GT, with automatic transmission.
When the GT was destroyed in a traffic accident we decided to buy something better looking and rare (at least here in Holland) and we got ourselves an 88 Saleen Mustang with automatic transmission.
If they made a good transmission for the Mustang it would be a real good car, after 60K we just bolted the 5th transmission behind the 265 hp 5.0.
In 1984 we finally found a Galaxie again, it was a nice original 1963 4 door with only 80,000 km on the odometer which is about 50k miles we left the car as we found it, standard 352, cruise o matic and dark green paint.
Now that we had found this one, the next one had to be a Starliner or a convertible, the convertible was found first.
Itís a 1963 convertible standard 500 and it came with a 352 with cruise o matic. The car was owned by a Dutch man with a second home at the France Riviera. This was where he kept the car for his holidays.
Therefore, it was an even bigger surprise when we found out that the engine block was frozen. We only had to make a few phone calls to locate a new engine, and we were lucky it was a 428 police interceptor. We did a rebuild on the engine, new paint job, new upholstery and a new top and we were ready to go again.
Our 3rd one started its life as 2 cars, 2 parts cars. We bought these cars during a winter sport holiday in Kitzbuhel, Austria, where we met a friend who told us that he knew of a Starliner and a Crown Victoria for sale. To get the Starliner in good condition again we had to use the parts from the Crown Victoria. They were both extremely rusty but after 2 years of body work it all looked like steel again.
One of the main things that was missing was a good engine, we only had one 6 cyl and a 3 speed in the Victoria, and it was in need of some surgery. As we donít like the 6 cyl engines at all we equipped this one with a 390 and cruise o matic, painted the exterior silver metallic (just like the one I used to own) and left the interior red /white.
What makes the Starliner even more special is that it was built in Antwerp Belgium (see photo). After the Starliner our eye fell on a 64 coupe, so we bought a nice rusted and worn out car. To restore this car we had a better idea, letís buy a parts car in the states and use the best parts from both cars.
This means we used the US sheet metal, engine and interior (nice XL) but the European suspension as this was stiffer and came with the all Dutch Koni shocks. The car was then painted original green metallic and a white soft top to match nicely with the white XL interior.
The last one was finished only recently, just in time for my daughterís wedding, a 1960 Starliner. We had the car for about 6 years but this one was in even worse condition than all the others.
Until last year someone advertised with a 1960 Starliner, so we went over to have a look but it wasnít a Starliner it was a 2-door sedan. We offered the guy a few thousand $ but he refused then. After a few months he called and asked if he could bring the car for the offered amount and guess?
The 2 door sedan was a California ďblack plateĒ in very good condition, but we were looking for some nice sheet metal. The easiest way to go was to cut off both roofs and put the Starliner roof on the 2 door sedan body. Now we know what youíre thinking (yea, I was thinking of Russ Owens! Mark) and youíre right, it isnít easy to change a car so dramatically but we did and it worked out really good even for an experienced eye itís hard to see this one is made out of two cars. (see photo)
The car was painted orchid gray, with a white top, matching interior, 352 4 barrel, cruise o matic and p.s and p.b and again the stiffer suspension from the Dutch car with, believe it or not the original Koniís it came with in January 1960 .
Do you know that early 1960ís (production September 1959) have different vacuum boosters and electrical wiring than the later February production?
All together these are all the cars we own right now:
1960 Starliner - 352 4 v and AT - orchid gray
So far from the Netherlands. We hope to see you all once at a meeting. If anyone comes to Holland please feel free to visit us.
1961 Starliner - 390 4v and AT.- silver metallic
1963 4 door sedan - unrestored - 352 2 v and AT dark green
1963 Convertible - 428 PI and AT - chestnut
1964 XL Coupe - 390 2 v and AT - green metallic
1966 Mustang coupe - 289 4 v 4 speed - Night mist blue
1966 Mustang Convertible - 289 4 v and A.T.-green metallic
1970 Mustang Fastback - 302 2 v and A.T. - grabber orange
1980 Mustang Cobra - 255 2 V all options brown metallic
1988 Mustang Saleen - 5.0L dark blue metallic
1996 Econoline E-350 - 5.8L - oxford white
The Lek family.
Phone: 31 297-563-715
(It sure looks like the Lek family has FORD BLUE blood running through their veins! Thanks for all the insight you have given us into your awesome classic Ford collection! This member profile was featured in the January-February 2000 Volume 16 issue 1 of the Galaxie Gazette. Congratulations! Mark)