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Meet the Drivers: Richard Trask and his ’56 Ford Parklane Sports Station Wagon

Photo by Claire Leaden | Richard Trask and his ’56 Ford Parklane Sports Station Wagon

Meet the Drivers: Richard Trask and his ’56 Ford Parklane Sports Station Wagon

Every Thursday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. car lovers head down to the Peconic Riverfront in Riverhead for the Classic Car Cruise to witness vintage roadsters, classic models, and enjoy live music as they walk around and admire each auto enthusiast’s pride and joy.

This week’s Meet the Driver Q&A is with Richard Trask from Hampton Bays who brought out his one-of-a-kind Ford Parklane Station Wagon.

When did you get the car and why?

I had been looking for this car for over 10 years, because it’s very rare, and I finally found one three years ago. I had a racecar I wanted to tow to the races and the shows and since this was a cool car, I thought it’d be great to tow the racecar with and blow everyone away. Unfortunately I had to sell the racecar but I fell in love with the Parklane so I kept it for a few more years. Now I’m selling this one too. [If interested call: 516-551-8518]

What shape was it in?

Everything was broken. The windshield, the side windows, there were four flats and different tires that were wrong tires, wrong wheels, wrong seats, wrong engine…so it a while to fix it up. Plus it’s a very rare car so there isn’t much information on it—Ford almost denies they even did it. They made it to fight the Chevy Nomad, and it didn’t do very well. I got it from a private owner—it was in a barn in the backyard…I just saw the name on the back and I went ape. I had to have it.

What was the biggest challenge in restoring it?

Restraint, because I wanted to go crazy and do a custom job and then I said, now what would they have done in my day? And the guys would’ve just changed the tail lights, put some little stuff around it…I had to restrain myself from doing the hubcaps—I just put the stock hubcaps on. And I did the interior exactly the way it was back then. Other than that I just tried to express myself. That’s what this whole sport is about, it’s about expressing yourself and your individuality.

What’s your favorite feature on the car?

The fact that nobody has ever seen one. Even the guys in the Ford club say they’ve heard about it but they never saw one. The paint job is very bad but I wasn’t going to mess with that until I had everything else done. Cars are the kind of thing that you have to drive and then every week something new is wrong. I mean the car had nothing—the floors were bare. Everyone did a great job that worked on it. It’s just that paint jobs are so expensive nowadays, so I said I could live with this. It’s called a 20 foot car—from 20 feet away it looks fine.

What was your first car?

The ones I stole from my mother and father on Saturday nights, or my real first car? Well my mother had a super car, a 1960 Ford Interceptor race car. I don’t know why…she went in and she said she had to have this red car. And it became mine—she didn’t know it but it became mine. Then five years later I bought a Jaguar for $300, and then it cost $2,000 more to fix it up. I learned a big lesson very early.

For more photos, check out the slideshow below: