2021 Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame – John Kearney

John Kearney
My family moved to Modesto, CA in 1949. I attended Thomas Downey High School and graduated in 1961 one year ahead of George Lucas. Upon graduation I joined the United States Air Force and served 4 years in Strategic Air Command as an MP. While I was still in high school I started building model cars. During that time our neighbor had a 1932 black Ford coupe with white tuck and roll upholstery. Every time he started that car up and backed it out of the garage I was right there! I was hooked!

Got my first car, a 1940 Ford pickup at 16 years old. Since then I’ve owned several street rods including a 1958 Corvette that I raced many times at the Kingdon Drag Strip in Stockton. In 1969 my good friend Donny Brazil and I found the body for my 1927 Ford Model T roadster. Donny helped me get the roadster on the road in 1973 and I have been driving it ever since. In 1989 I found our Woodie at the Turlock Swap Meet. Soon after we joined the Santa Cruz Woodie Club and became regulars at their annual event, Woodies on the Wharf. We have been attending this event for over 20 years so I had to learn to surf and oh what fun! The surfboard on top of our woodie is a custom board made specifically for our Santa Cruz Woodie Club which we won in a raffle for members only.

I met my wife Peggy in 1991 where we both worked for Stanislaus County Schools in a program for individuals with severe disabilities at John F Kennedy School. During our careers we acquired degrees, earned two credentials each as well as Masters Degrees in Special Education. We are both retired now living the good life!!

Long story short both cars are still on the road and still showing up at car shows. It’s been a great ride and it’s not over yet!!

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.