It happened quite by accident; Ken Reason was driving his ’51 Plymouth through an intersection when someone blew the red and creamed his cruiser. Luckily, the other driver was insured, and Ken, insurance check in hand, paid a visit to the Long Beach High Performance Swap Meet to perhaps find a suitable body to help repair his totaled ’51.

With not a ’51 in sight, Ken was stopped cold by a beauteous ’62 Chrysler sitting on a trailer. The car was in pristine condition, had low mileage, ran like a clock, and was priced right. He made a quick deal and that afternoon, Ken welcomed the Newport to its new home. Ken’s club buddies in the Sultans Car Club of Long Beach, had christened his Plymouth “Mayflower” because of the sailing ship logo that Plymouth employed at the time. When that ship sunk and Ken surfaced with the huge Chrysler, the boys immediately dubbed it Queen Mary.

The name stuck, and the fact that Ken lives in a suburb of Long Beach—home of the real Queen Mary—made it seem apropos. Ken spent four years getting the old girl shipshape and now that she’s “done,” he spends more time going to shows and generally cruising than he does sleeping. He’s not afraid to travel beyond a three-hour tour, either. Last summer, Ken cruised to a four-day car show in Oregon from his Southern California harbor with several of the other Sultans. They made a two-week roadtrip out of it, and the Chrysler got them there and back with no trouble. The lettering on the rear window kinda says it all, with its claim that she’s “Nautical, but nice.”