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Ken Johnston at Springfest 2011

story and photos by Ray Alexander • main Springfest 2011 page


I first met Ken when I was already retired but had a business conference commitment in San Jose. I had corresponded with Ken and swung by his house on my way home. He was working on the car. I had never seen someone so meticulous. He had towels and blankets placed in such a manner that he was working through a small opening. A surgeon only has the part of the body exposed that he is going to cut on so I guess that makes Ken a car surgeon.


Ken wanted a Magnum but his wife convinced him to get a Charger. He got a black SRT8.

I was going to ask him several questions about the build of the car but he told me a hair-raising tale. Nitrous oxide is now illegal for street cars in California. He was stopped some weeks back and the officer sent him to a referee who told him all of the nitrous system must come off the car. Then they challenged his supercharger and accused him of changing a pulley. The referee measured a pulley and Ken called the manufacturer. The manufacturing representative talked to the referee and told him he measured the wrong pulley.


Ken went back for another meeting with a referee. This guy took off the cover under the hood near the windshield wipers and found some switches that were part of the nitrous system. He failed, where would he like his next meeting to be? Ken replied, "Fullerton." He was not going to miss Spring Fest and the only time you are allowed to drive the car is to visit a referee. That meeting never happened, the state couldn't get a referee there.


I am sorry that Ken or anyone for that matter is a whipping boy for the state. We have a state that is bankrupt, the nitrous should be taxed and bring in revenue instead of spending money to make sure the entire system is removed, not just disabled.



Also at Springfest: Chrysler 300 SJay LightnerDrifting and Other PhotosSpringfest Coverage
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