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blade and shovel on the front to move horse manure she wanted to sell for fer tilizer. So I went and got a big blade for it and put a winch on the front where all you had to do was crank the handle ... and it’s all electric.” He also has a client who asked him to paint his car t like his brother’s 1970 Chevelle, yellow with black str ipes. He did that, and even tricked it out with chrome exhaust tips. “He took it up nor th with him,” Don said. “Then the guy’s brother called me and asked if I could make him a Kansas City Chief ’s car t ... only it had to be faster than his brother’s. So I did that. The next thing I know, he sent me a picture of him and the car t in front of Arrowhead Stadium. It turns out he wor ks with the Wolf Pack, I didn’t even know.” Another client asked him to create a New Yor k Jets car t. Don got star ted on the plans, got it painted and was about to embroider the seats. “He called me and told me to cancel it,” Don laughed. “The guy said they were playing so bad. He said if they star ted playing better in the next few years, he’d let me know.” He even had a request once from a man who wanted a golf car t that looked like a train. He was an older gentleman who had worked for the railroad. Don got all the measurements and created a draft. “I went through a lot to create that design,” he said. “It was even going to have gears on the outside of the wheels, so as you would turn the wheels it would look like the great big wheels of a tr ain. Then I heard he was in the hospital, and soon after found he had passed away. I never got to make it.” Most of the car ts Don makes are street legal, which means they are registered and have tags. Most are custom, and the bodies are made of either plastic or fiberglass. Tr ue to for m, though, the deuceand a-half is made of aluminum. One of his favor ite features to play with are LED lights. He can hook up remote controls to the driver can change them to any color they choose . They can flash slowly, quickly, and even be synced with the rhythm of the stereo. Almost ever y car t he works on is electric, and while he will repair gas-powered car ts he won’t build them. After a few experiments with them he realizes they’re usually too fast and too dangerous for him to be comfor table with them. It cer tainly doesn’t hinder business in the least. “It’s great to know my clients come almost str ictly from word of mouth,” he said. “Business is better than ever.” January/February 2017 GASPARILLA ISLAND 61 on a lift kit, a custom dashboard, big tires and we color-matched the Jaguar. The Barney went back up nor th and I finished the car t. I sat it outside my shop ever y day and people star ted asking if they could buy it. I would tell them it wasn’t for sale and then they’d ask me to build them one . So I started making more and more of them, I can’t even tell you how many I’ve made. “And it all star ted from Barney’s car t sitting out in front of the shop. That was 16 or 17 years ago.” Don is originally from Califor nia, but in his younger years lived in Kansas City and Cincinnati. In the early 1980s Don and his family came down to Florida for vacation. Three weeks later they moved down for good. He raised five children here, one gir l and four boys. The youngest is 26, the oldest is 32. Don said the mar ket for golf car ts is booming, and this has been his busiest year so far. Requests for custom carts r ange from an eight-passenger street-legal car t with a kayak rack on top to a Rolls Royce. All of them are electric , all of them unique . Almost all of the ideas came to him through word of mouth, too. The car ts at his shop, and the ones on the street, do the selling for him. There’s the “deuce-and-a-half ” mockup he is ver y proud of and for which he is well known. It looks like an M35 2½-ton car go truck, a style you would recognize as soon as you see it. It is authentic right down to the big star on the side, and has a 2,500-pound winch. And yes, it has two motors - one on each axle. He’s made a manure-mover for an elegant equestrian lady in Sar asota as well. “The lady had me custom paint her car t, which I did,” Don said. “About six months later she came to me and asked if it was possible to put a G M Don Ware’s “Deuce-and-a-half ” creation is quite a sensation.


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