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Motown Missile owner Kevin Christner

by David Zatz on

Kevin Christner, owner of the Motown Missile, passed away in his sleep last night. Kevin, who was planning a series of match races for charity, had worked in construction until an accident left him unable to work at his occupation or to drive; he purchased the historic Motown Missile with a partner, intending to restore and sell it, but found himself spending 25 hour weeks restoring the car, and in the end wouldn’t think about selling it. Kevin was impressed with the helpfulness and enthusiasm of the Mopar community, and looked forward to meeting more people on tour.

While Kevin knew little about the Motown Missile and Mopar racing history when he acquired the car, he acquired a great deal of knowledge over time and was always eager to share his information and experiences. His (and his partner’s) ideas about selling the car for a million dollars disappeared after he started to match race it, and he ended up buying out his partner and taking the car on the road, re-creating the 1970s’ drag scene in front of thousands of spectators.

Kevin had planned to race the Motown Missile against other contemporary Mopar drag cars throughout the summer, to raise money for charities. 

Numerous people have come forward to express their sorrow and their appreciation of Kevin Christner and his generous spirit.

Note: the Columbus newspaper noted that Kevin Lee Christner was just 43. Born in 1965 in Ohio, he died on January 13, 2009. He is survived by his daughter, fiancée, and step-children. Calling hours will be Saturday January 17, from Noon to 2 p.m. at the Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home, 650 W. Waterloo St., Canal Winchester, Ohio; the funeral service will follow at 2 p.m with internment at Lithopolis Cemetery, Lithopolis.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity International, 121 Habitat St., Americus, Ga. 31709-3498 in his memory.

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