The black with blue competition stripes 2019 Ford GT turned more than a few heads while it was parked outside The Barn Restaurant while its owner, Michael Murray, was inside telling Rotarians stories about his life and a few of the experiences that he has had over 78 years.
Many of those stories are included in his recent book — “Biker Tales…and we don’t eat our young.” It’s a collection of 82 short stories (most are one or two pages long) that he wrote in 82 days. It’s available online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Growing up in a lower middle-class neighborhood in Toledo with seven other brothers and sisters, Michael worked any job he could find as a kid to have a little spending money.
He explained that in school he loved art class and eventually learned to paint racing stripes on his friends’ bicycles.
Eventually, he became a sign painter and moved briefly to California to paint motorcycles and designs on racing cars.
He said he even painted stripes on the oldest Ford Motor car in existence, a 1903 #30 that is showcased in Ford’s world headquarters.
Later, that paint striping job opened up numerous experiences and opportunities with the Ford family.
It included invitations to auto races as part of the official Ford entourage as well as his interest in owning Ford GT autos.
He also became interested in motorcycles and founded the first Harley Owners Group chapter in Toledo in 1993.
He also told about the time he attended his own “funeral.” Friends and colleagues planned the event to celebrate his 50th birthday.
(PRESS RELEASE / THE VILLAGE REPORTER)