You all may or may not know, this site came about a few months after I found out about Ben passing on to whatever sort of afterlife you or I believe in?
I kind of like to think Ben is right here with me in some sort of surreal form, laughing his ass off at me for being such a smart ass, and going through some sort of mid-life crisis running around like I am still twenty instead of fifty something! I also wonder what Ben would think about all this Internet nonsense...
There aren't too many pictures of Ben around because he was for the most part the one behind the lens. Some of the pictures on this site were taken by him but unfortunately most of his photos which had to number in the 600+ range are, I am afraid to admit ... lost forever.
It's all a moot point anyway. The memories are tucked away in the old gray matter of those of us who were fortunate enough to have called him a friend.
Just like Aaron and Wayne Hay who went before you, we all miss you and at the same time realize our names will in fact have yellow numbers giving the years we were around on that list also...if only you were still around to make mince meat out of some of these dumb asses we are still dealing with now...I've already said too much!
Rest in peace old friend!
From all of SK young and old!
In the very same way not many pictures exist of Aarons cars the same goes for Ben, this is the list as far as I can remember. (If any one would like to add to this list please let me know as I'm sure I have forgotten more than one!)
'70 Charger '59 Cadillac '58 Chevrolet Impala 348 car '66 Olds 442 '75 Cosworth Vega
'68 GTO 400 c.i.d. '74 Pontiac GTO '73 Plymouth Duster '69 Buick Lasabre '28 Ford roadster 354 HEMI '91 Fiero.......
By Martin Blaney April 2007
This is Ben’s old Goat in June ’84
Car is parked inside my dad’s barn. A couple of cam lobes were worn-off and #8 cylinder pumped oil. I installed a ’69 RAM Air III in its place.
Raggety old muscle cars always intrigued me. Is that wrong?
I worked on it a little at a time, getting it into shape.
Here it is, after Jerry Admire painted it.
Ben’s Goat sits in its new landing spot.
It has a good home again. Remind me not to use the flash in broad daylight!
Here is the story of Ben's GTO.
So how did I end up with Ben Frier’s GTO? (by Roy Clark April 2010)
Ben’s GTO was parked in front of OTASCO/Coast to Coast on Okla. St. the first time I remember seeing it. Not sure what year it was – maybe ’79. I’m sure it had been around town before that but this was the first time I actually got an up-close view. The top was down and it looked ready to roll with that low-slung carriage. I thought it was about the coolest car I’d ever seen! I approached Ben, asking him to let me know if he ever wanted to sell it. The funny thing is that although I never knew Ben very well, I always held a good impression of him. When people mentioned his name, it was always in a positive light. In some way, he made people around him feel good.
Then one day, the car changed hands. I’d missed my chance. You guys know more about the owners before and after Ben. All I know is that the car disappeared for a while. I would see it now and then – one time in Bradley Miller’s yard and much later on the Westside of Guthrie. Each time, it looked a little more used-up. I eventually relinquished hope of ever owning it.
In June ‘84, I was at the stop sign of hwy77 and S. Division, waiting to turn. Ben’s goat passed by in all its deteriorated glory with Brian Smith at the wheel. The top was down and I caught a glimpse of a neon orange FOR SALE sign in the front window. Linda Ronstadt came on my radio at that moment singing “Just One Look”. I followed Ben’s goat as it bounced and smoked down the road to Brian’s apartment. Yes sir, it was automotive romance and I was head over heels for that car. I bought it that evening for $800. Was that too much? I would have paid any price, I think. To me, it was almost a piece of history – a time capsule of a period in our lives. It died as I turned in my parent’s driveway but I was on top of the world. The car was a wreck yet it was beautiful, all the same. The top was shredded, with its levers bent and broke. The windshield was cracked; the hood was bent, too. It had no hood hinges or front valance. The fenders kind of flopped in the breeze. The transmission had only three bolts holding it to the engine and they were really loose. The best thing was that it still had the Offenhauser dual quad intake that I remembered from way back. It had some interesting modifications too, such as the front wheel wells removed and the battery located in the trunk. Surprisingly, it still had most of the original interior. I only replaced the carpet and had one seat repaired. I spent the next several years tinkering with it to make it drivable and fairly reliable. I actually entered it in the Darryl Starbird show in ’91. After that, I put it in storage across the street from Raymond Roberts’ house while I lived in Edmond. Later, I moved to Florida, still renting storage space from my dad. I only saw it once every couple of years when I would return home for a visit. Later, Raymond bought Dad’s barn so the car had to go. Dad shipped Ben’s goat to my house in Florida. It was kind of surreal, seeing it pulled in our driveway on a trailer. I couldn't believe it was really here!
I haven’t altered it much in the past twenty years. Heck, it’s been in storage most of the time. One change I did make was to install header mufflers with turn-downs. That’s all it runs. It’s got no tubing or mufflers, so it’s wonderfully loud. I fitted it with electronic ignition, too. My current project on Ben’s old Goat is installation of a gear reduction starter. It’s currently running a ’69 Ram Air III engine. The old YS engine with #16 heads is still sitting in my garage begging for attention. I have been amassing parts from here and there for a complete rebuild. Don’t know when I’ll get around to it but I would like to return it to something similar to what it was years ago. I plan to lower the front suspension height about 1 ½ to 2”, add some Cragar S/S wheels with really big fat, fat, fat tires in the back and maybe re-finish it in a candy brandywine color. Some flames would look cool, too. There’s nothing quite like a flamed-out Goat! Who knows, maybe I’ll even put one of those chrome chain steering wheels on it. But for now, I’m doing mainly just maintenance stuff. This economy is troubling, so toys will have to wait awhile…
Good to know Ben's GTO is in good hands! Kudos to Roy Clark for sharing!