WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – When it comes to cars, everyone has their preferences. Some love the classics or foreign cars, while others say trucks are tops. The only thing every car lover agrees on is that it is more than just a vehicle that gets you from point A to B-it is about the driving experience. Credit Union Times spoke to a few self-admitted auto aficionados/credit union CEOs to find out what type of cars they enjoy. Take a look: Chartway Federal Credit Union President/CEO Ron Burniske’s garage is temperature controlled for his frame up restored cars. Everything from the bodywork, interior and paint to the chrome, glass and engine was either repaired or replaced by Burniske. At one point he was housing five of his classic cars, a 1971 silver Oldsmobile 442; 1970 silver Oldsmobile Cutlass SS; 1968 RS 396 Camaro; 1966 baby blue Pontiac GTO; and 1964 Bonneville Convertible. “My wife only allows so many cars so I’ve been reducing my inventory to start buying others. I’m down to the ’66 Pontiac and the ’64 Bonneville,” said Burniske. “I’m now on the lookout for a 1967 or 1968 Shelby GT 500 Red Convertible.” Look around Tyler, Texas and you may spot Kelly Tyler Federal Credit Union President/CEO Scott Rose riding around town in his Jeep Wrangler Sport. “I like to drive around with the top off on the weekends. It is a fun ride,” said Rose. “I love that it is casual yet sporty. Sometimes if members see you driving around in a high end car they might not like it but when it comes to a Jeep there is never anything negative to say.” The Jeep also gave Rose a chance to personalize his license plates to JeepX2, which stands for “jeep-jeep”. “In the old Popeye cartoons there was a character named Jeep that always said that and I thought it was funny,” said Rose. While there may be a total of nine cars at his house State Employees Credit Union of Michigan President/CEO Stephan Winninger has poured his heart into just four of them-his classic MINI Coopers. Winninger says the others belong to his kids and wife. Three of his MINIs hit the road and one is in the process of being restored. “I have loved these British cars since college and I do the restoration work on them,” said Winninger. “It is great. I bought some books and taught myself. It’s easy to do it since it is not my only car-I’ve been working on one for months since I don’t have much time but I’m still not walking so I must be doing something right.” Norbel Credit Union President/General Manager Ed Bigby has been restoring classic cars since his pre-credit union days. “I used to buy cars that were repossessed cheap, fix them up and sell them,” said Bigby. “I always thought of them as mechanical toys.” The only car Bigby says he has bought new is his 1969 Shelby Cobra GT 500. He worked on the others, which include a 1971 Detamoso Pantera and a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger and drives them around town. “I refer to them as my `rolling IRA’,” said Bigby. “I’ve always liked cars and have a good time with them. My stance has been if I have them as an investment then I’m going to enjoy and drive them. And sometimes I go terrorize the teens that think their new cars are quick.” Alaska USA Federal Credit Union President/CEO Bill Eckhardt not only owns an award winning classic 1972 Stingray Corvette but he also enjoys riding around in his Ford F350 truck. “The Corvette now just sits in my garage,” said Eckhardt “I have a family with two boys so if we’re ever in a car accident I wanted to be the biggest car in the wreck. Besides since I am up so high I can see everything and I like that other drivers usually steer clear of the truck.”

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