Del Semmen


My love for auto's started when I was very young and putting model cars together. Growing up on a farm, I started driving when I was 10, around the farm and had my license to drive when I was 14. My folks usually purchased sporty, fast cars. For example, "57" Ford Fairlane with the 312 C.I. Dad took out the ford-o-matic and put in a 3-speed manual with a Drag Fast floor shift. For a couple years, this is what I drove to school in Douglas. The shifter was tested a time or two against other friends. It held it's own, but lost on top end. My older brothers were in the Navy and left their cars at the farm. Dean, who was a twin, had a "55" Chevy Belair, Torquiose and White-2-door hardtop. This one I drove regular to school (but I didn't dare race this one). Dale, the other twin had a "58" Chevy Impala, Red and White 2-door hardtop and occasionally drove this one to school, but drove very nice.

My own cars started with a "56" Chevy Belair 4-door hardtop, red & white, 265-CI, with 3-speed overdrive. I wish I still had this one. Then I had a "62" Buick Lasabre, Maroon-2-door hardtop. Then I went to a "63" Chevy Impala SS, white, 2-door hardtop. It had a 327-CI, 4-on the floor Muncie. It was a mover, but did need repairs occasionally. My next car was a "66" Chevy Caprice, an orangey color, with the great "396" CI, with Automatic on the floor. Drove this till 1970, when I was married, I needed a car that would do better than 6-mile-per-gallon, although at that time, it would hold 26-gallons and only cost $7.50 to fill it. But, at that time, even $7.50 didn't come that easy. I then went to a "70" Ford Maverick Grabber, 6-cylinder, Automatic, yellow with black striping. It was OK. From there, I went to a "77" Olds. Cutlass, with a v-6, Buick engine, 2-door, bronze color. From here, the family started growing and went to more family cars.

As you can see, I have always loved good looking, fast cars. Now that the family has grown up, it was time to start looking again for that car. It came as I was driving down broadway. There it was, a red Corvette, but I thought, no way and kept on driving, but turned around 3-blocks later to look at it. It had everything I wanted and took it for a test drive. I called my wife and told her I was test driving a car, but wouldn't tell her what it was. She guessed it down to the color before I even drove in the driveway. She said, "you better buy it, while you can still get in & out of it". The rest is history. In 2003, we are taking it to the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Corvette in Bowling Green where they are all made.

I heard about the Dakota Cruisers thru a friend, and joined after a couple of meeting. Although I don't have a classic like some of the members, we still share one thing and that is the love for American Made Automobiles and their unique style. I am glad to be part of this active car club.