A Consummate Car Guy's Fight to Survive a Serious Illness

August 2006

 

 

I know a lot of you are wondering just what happened to me and Kenny Brown Performance last fall. I have been told there are a lot of rumors floating around the internet and at track events, some of which are close but many are pretty fantastic and not true. To paraphrase Mr. Twain – “The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”

 

I promised to give you “The Real Story” on just what happened, so here it is. Besides Cari, my wife and business support, thinks it is good therapy for me to start writing again as part of my recovery process while I build my strength back up. For those with short attention spans, I have trimmed down the story to a few quick “Bullitt” Points.

 

“Bullitt” Points:

  • Four years ago, I caught the “the cold from hell” returning on a plane from my in-law's after Christmas (hummm…) and the cycle started - Got sick, got better, got sick, got better, keep working, got sick, kept working got better, got sick, kept working, etc.
  • In 2004, I became really sick, went into hospital, stayed off the Grim Reaper, was sick for half of ‘04, kept working, became a bit better.
  • Beginning of ‘05, got sick, kept working got better, kept working, got sick, kept working, got better, kept working, got sick, etc.
  • Built some really cool cars, went to SEMA.
  • Got really sick after SEMA, went into the hospital again, got a little better, tried working.
  • Got really, really sick and into the hospital again. Family finally had enough – time to take a break, got a little better, didn't feel much like working.
  • Got really, really, REALLY , sick, hospitalized yet again, stared down at the Grim Reaper one more time, temporarily closed the Company. I couldn't work now and my full-time gig had to be focused on getting well.
  • Spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, part of New Year's Eve and my wedding Anniversary in the hospital – I promised my wife something special for our “5 th ”anniversary and I never break a promise
  • I'm slowly getting better but not all the way there yet, doctors tell me this will take some time, “be patient” (easy for them to say). I'm getting bored, still weak, but I'm designing some killer new suspensions for the '05-on Mustangs on my computer, planning for the CSR-69 concept to be the ultimate track car.
  • What's next when I finally get well – I can't give the big ending away yet…

 

History

 

Well, I guess the best place to start is with a little history to set the stage. Four years ago at Christmas, on a trip from Minneapolis to Indianapolis in a flying Petri dish (commonly referred to as a commercial airliner), I caught “THE cold from hell”. It went on for several months and never really went away. This lead to what seemed to be a relentless cycle of sinus and upper respiratory infections – I'd get sick, then I'd get somewhat better (but never well), then I'd get sick all over again.

 

I think the best example is for those who have seen me at track events or at the shop with what had become my signature cough. Some came to refer to it as “The Kenny Cough”. Not exactly what I want to be known for.

 

But never the less, it was the continual hard coughing that was the constant as the infections came and went. The problem is that I was far too busy to be sick, I didn't have time for it so I tolerated the cough, took lots of pills and ignored the doctor's recommendations that I take some time off to get well.

 

In the Spring of 2004 the coughing became really bad and I felt like crap. I think it was after a NASA track event at Putnam Park I was in so much pain that I went to the ER to have them x-ray my chest to see if I cracked a rib from the violent coughing. Well the good news was no cracked rib – BUT – my lungs looked like there was a blizzard inside. Yikes!!! I was quickly spirited down for a CT Scan for a more detailed look. The ER doc came back gave me a handful of pills for the pain and told me get to your doctor right away.

 

In the couple of days it took to get organized with my pulmonary doc I was getting worse and worse. He took me straight into the hospital for an emergency bronchoscope to get a piece of the stuff (they refer to them as infiltrates) in my lungs for a culture. It's about that time that my lungs decided that they had enough of this crap, and shut down in protest, and just plain stalled, as in I stopped breathing. Apparently this created a bit of a stir with the attending medical staff, as they frantically worked to get me fired back up again, or so I was told when I awoke later in a room upstairs with the commensurate I.V. tubes, oxygen and machines beeping and booping.

 

Apparently, I had contracted an extremely rare fungal pneumonia of which there were only a handful of cases ever recorded. (You know my mother always told me that I was one in a million but this is a hell of a way to prove her right). My pulmonary Doc immediately pulled in a very aggressive Infectious Disease Doc who relying on his experience and gut to shoot from the hip with some brand new, very powerful and stupidly expensive drugs, as this was something he had never seen before. We never let anybody know just how serious this was at the time. After a week or so in the hospital, true to form (and of course, against doctor's orders and wife's wishes) I was back at work on a Monday just two days after busting out of the hospital.

 

I discovered that fungal infections in the lungs are a real bitch as it took well over six month of intense medication therapy to clear it up, but this never completely eradication my ever faithful and familiar cough. Then the cycle of sinus/respiratory infections began all over again, arg!

 

Fast Forward to ‘05

 

Get sick, take a lot of pills – get better but not well -- get sick all over again, (cough, cough) is pretty much (cough, cough) how my '05 (cough, cough) was going (cough). None the less I gutted it through and never missing a day of work keeping up my typical 60 -70+ hour work week at the shop and track.

 

I will say though, that by mid-summer I noticed that I was slowing down and was gradually getting sicker. It's about then we started having serious discussions of me taking some time off to try and get well once and for all. But Wait! I was just wrapping up six months of intensive track testing for the imminent release of my new products for the 2005 Mustangs, I've got customer cars, '05 Mustangs in the shop to be built and SEMA is just around the corner. Time off be damned - Full speed ahead. After all isn't that what a true hard-core car guy manly man would do? (Pay attention, there are some serious lessons to be learned here.) So I did, working at 95%, then 90% then 85% and so on, I was on a mission so I kept digging deeper. (Cari thinks it was more like 50%, then 45%, then 40%.)

 

As fall and SEMA approached I made all my commitment to my '05 customers and delivered some really hot cars. (click through to '05 Mustangs) The SEMA car though was another story. I was really feeling bad and had dug almost to the bottom on energy and effort. I was actually thinking of maybe, just maybe taking a little time off after SEMA to try to get better.

 

Knowing that the “Pirates of SEMA” make the Pirates of the Caribbean look like rank armatures, I chose to hold back my newest top of the line really trick suspension. You see I didn't want to take some time off only to see cheap copies of my best stuff popping up in magazines and on the internet within weeks of SEMA. Hence the SEMA car only had common components, but did feature drop-dead-gorgeous retro-looking CSR-69 prototype bodywork. ( click through to CSR-69 @ SEMA)

 

Fortunately, while I was busy cranking out some pretty hot '05 Mustangs and putting the finishing touches on the SEMA car, Cari and some of my key advisors were quietly conspiring, working on potential scenarios to get me out of the business for a while to tend to more important matters -- like my health. The problem was that I was the primary resource of information and so in trenched in daily operations and dealing with customers to insure top quality, it was hard to come up with a plan to pull me out of the equation and still maintain the high Kenny Brown standards. They decided the only way to keep me from going to work every day, was if there were no work to go to. That was the reality but it didn't represent a viable option, at the time. (Little did they know.)

 

October came and off to SEMA the car and I went, dragging my ass all the way. To give you an idea of how sick I was, I attended SEMA by day. By night, when I usually enjoy some of the major prerequisite cocktail parties where the food and booze flow freely, I could only manage two beers (premium beers mind you*) in two days and never finished either one, plus I left SEMA a day early. Now that should tell you something!

 

*By the way did I ever tell you why American beer to me is like sex in a row boat? Because they're both f**king near water.

 

The Downhill Slide: er - Make That a Crash

 

Returning from SEMA I was whooped. Coughing like crazy, felling lousy I went to the ER only to be told: Congratulations, you have pneumonia and you're going to stay with us a few days. No weird fungal stuff this time just plain old pneumonia. OK, so there I was in the hospital getting lots of antibiotics, steroids* and other meds. Over the next five days I showed improvement and was released but continued on heavy dose of designer ( read expensive ) antibiotics. As soon as you can drag yourself to the bathroom, the insurance companies want you out, so out I went. Besides I had a lousy roommate and the floor was full so I couldn't move to a private room. I was ready to go as soon as they gave the word – well, at least mentally anyway.

 

*(A little note on steroids – these are not the athletic kind that build you up and turn your belly into a six-pack. These are the medicinal kind that make you eat everything in sight and turns your belly into a keg.)

 

Well, during this time, and un-be-knownst to me, hard decisions were being made. My first trip to the hospital and flirtation with the Grim Reaper should have been a clue. But Nooooooo, I had to keep pushing myself. My family and advisors had decided that enough was enough and the only way to get me better and keep me away from the business was to temporary close KBP so there was no physical way I could go back to work before I was well. They also made arrangements for me to go to back to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in mid-December.

 

When I got out of the hospital I was told just how things were going to be period end of story. By now I was pretty much down on power and the light-bulb was finally flickering on, begrudgingly, but flickering. I guess I really was sick and needed to pay attention to it. Now for the Company, it was only a matter of how quickly can we organize a plan for the temporary shut down, wrap things up and get me off to Mayo. No sooner did we start formulating a plan, and I started getting sicker . . . again.

 

Guess what, less than a week later bang, back to the ER - Same story different day. Congratulations, you have pneumonia only it's much worse than before, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So here we go again I.V. antibiotics, steroids, oxygen, breathing treatments every four hours and a bunch of brightly colored pills three times a day. Up until now, the hospital had been so full; the luxury of getting a private room was out of the question – no matter how hard Cari tried. But wait, alas - I have arrived; I must be on the preferred customer list because I now have a private room, a private room! Unfortunately I felt so bad I could really give a shit and because of the risk of infection (I don't know if it was me infecting people or people infecting me) anyone who came into the room, had to don very fashionable bright yellow gowns and gloves, just like on the TV show House . (I only wish I had Dr. House and his crack team figuring out just what the hell was going on with me.)

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch, er shop – an executive decision needed to be made and was – this is bad, very bad – change of plan – create a new plan to accelerate the temporary closing time-line from months to weeks – Yikes! -- More on that a little later.

 

Well there I was, private room or not this sucks. Even with oxygen I could hardly breathe and had an ugly deep hacking cough that nurses down the hall recognized instantly from my last stay. I had to face the reality that I was really sick and I wasn't going to get better until I took the time to focus just on that. What a bummer, I'm a car guy -- not a sick guy, or am I?

 

My Infectious Disease Doc was on top of it this time and had me up-fitted with a “Pick Line”. A pick line is like being hard-wired for I.V. infusions. It's a tube that goes into a vein in your bicep that ends up some where near your heart. It's pretty cool because the part that sticks out has a quick disconnect, kind of like a plug and play connection for medication. (Which is a hell of a lot better than getting stuck by needles all the time.)

 

OK, so here I am back in the hospital again, sicker than before getting pumped full of drugs, did I mention I feel like crap and this sucks? Now the objective is to get me well enough to go to the Mayo Clinic in a few weeks. Ten days of intense I.V. drug therapy and I improved enough to go home, with a small catch. I need to continue the I.V. antibiotics three times a day for at least another ten days or so. So I leave the hospital, a little wobbly and weak, and go straight to the I.D. doc's office for my “Drugs To Go” box of home infusion supplies which includes my very own I.V. pole to hang the antibiotic bags on. Wow, my own I.V. pole.

 

I named my I.V. pole “Flo”. I mean after all I spend a good part of my day with her (although I made her stand outside when I went to the bathroom) and what's not to like: she's tall, thin, brushed aluminum, mechanically inclined, has great legs and faithfully holds my antibiotics without muttering a word. You know, if I didn't have her to talk to I might have gone a little wacky with nothing to do but sleep, eat, suck-up antibiotics and watch TV. Speaking of TV, did you know that an expert channel surfer with intimate knowledge of the cable channels can watch over 40 episodes of Law & Order a week, 40 episodes! And if you're really good you can watch two shows at the same time. Good thing I had Flo to talk to…

 

You'd think by now things would be looking up, not with my luck. Even though I was out of the hospital I was only feeling marginally better and efforts to execute the hastily organized plan to shut down the business were getting twisted, pulled and turned upside down. Things only got worse from there. Reference “Murphy's Law” Rule #1 – Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!

 

I was scheduled into Mayo on a Monday two weeks after getting out of the hospital and planned on driving up to Minnesota on Sunday since flying with potentially infectious passengers was a bad idea (remember the cold from hell). On the preceding Thursday before the trip to Mayo the nurse at the Infectious doc's office pulled out the pick-line in preparation for my trip and I saw my I.D. doc. From that point on I kept feeling worse and worse.

 

Sunday morning, three days after I was off the I.V. antibiotics, it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and into the shower. When I came out of the shower I literally collapsed. Cari had to help dress me and once again off to the ER. Now here's where you're expecting me to say – Same Story, Different Day -Wrong. It was a different day alright, but this time the story was very, very different.

 

Bong, Bong, Bong (This is the “for who the bell tolls” section)

 

Upon arrival at the info desk at the ER the triage nurse took one look at me and quickly spirited me off to a room, admissions clerk in tow with a clipboard to get basic information. ( I must have frequent patient privileges by now .) I was put to the head of the line, I'm guessing because I may have looked as bad as I felt, kind of like death warmed over.

 

From all the way down the hall, the ER doc knew it was me back again from the distinctively loud hacking cough. They started an I.V., put me on oxygen, hooked up a bunch of beeping and booping stuff as the ER doc paged my Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Docs. As luck would have it they were both in the hospital on rounds and when they heard I was back, and not at Mayo, they were there in a matter of minutes.

 

Before the other docs arrived the ER doc started me on an I.V. antibiotic which after about five minutes triggered an allergic reaction that manifested itself in an extremely severe asthma attack, I was gasping for air and couldn't breathe. Now that's an interesting sensation to experience; your own body trying to strangle itself. They quickly stopped that antibiotic and gave me a couple of shot of something that settled down the asthma attack. Wheew! Also around this time they decided that the little oxygen tube thingies that go in your nose weren't up to the task, so out came the “Big Bore” kit. Yeah, that's right, the big-tube, high-flow, big-bore oxygen thingies.

 

In reality this was not the time for levity as things were not good and getting worse by the minute. I was too sick to go to x-ray so x-ray came to me. The three docs listened to my chest and pawed over the x-rays out in the hall, all the time muttering a lot of big doctor words and medical sounding stuff. So there the three docs were, talking and writing, talking and writing. I knew right then and there that I wasn't going anywhere for a while.

 

When I went to the ER, I was just hoping for was a quick shot of magic feel-good stuff so I could make it to Mayo. Unfortunately, my next trip wasn't driving to Mayo, but a little detour via the fourth floor at St. V's Hospital. Although, it was in a chauffeur driven gurney with three-way adjustable bed, manual-hydraulic ride height control and choice of either 4-wheel or 2-wheel steering. No cup holders though but it did have an IV pole. (It wasn't nearly as nice as Flo.)

 

"Dressed for the Occasion" at the hospital with Kenny sporting his diabolical oxygen mask.

It's about this time that they decided that the Big-Bore oxygen unit was maxed out and not gett'n-r-done, so out came a diabolical contraption called the “universal fits-all but really doesn't fit anybody very well” oxygen mask. A little piece of kit I came to loath and despise over the next week, but it did keep me alive by allow them to crank up the oxygen to full throttle. I guess its one of those love hate things.

 

While the Docs are still conferencing a different batch of IV antibiotics arrived, with a couple more shots (like in the arm) of something. I was struggling to tolerate the antibiotics and my body was reacting in weird ways. The Infectious Doc said it doesn't matter how they get them in, they have to go in , so they tried slowing down the drips to a semi-tolerable point on one and diluting the other. It wasn't pretty, nice or pleasant but it was working, but just barely.

 

 

 

This is another of those - un-be-knownst to me moments, as un-be-knownst to me at the time the Infectious Doc took Cari aside and outlined a pretty bleak prognosis. This was the third hospitalization in a matter weeks for pneumonia, each time was worse than before and this time it was really bad. My lungs were completely full of infiltrates, my O2 was barely at minimum and I was having severe reactions to the antibiotics. He told her that he would do everything he could but he was seriously concerned if I would survive this time. Big pause - I'm glad I didn't find out until later as that is a pretty sobering reality that you really don't want to hear.

 

I was a sick puppy. I was so sick that for the first five days I had a remote at my finger tips and never turned on the TV, no Law & Order, not even for the Speed Channel! I was bombarded with IV antibiotics, massive doses of steroids, breathing treatments and a bunch of other stuff round the clock. Sixteen hours a day I was hooked up to a beeping measured I.V. dose machine hung around the waist of my newest I.V. pole friend. I still like Flo better, this one is a bit big at the hips and it talks too much, although she has five casters and can turn on a dime.

 

The first couple of days were literally touch and go. At the time I couldn't understand why Cari was so emotional when she was there. Knowing what I know now, I'm amazed that she was as strong as she was. Around the third day I showed a very slight improvement which was good news as any deterioration in my condition and it would be off the ICU on a ventilator and then probably the morgue.

 

The next day I was just a tiny bit better. Another good sign and you're probably thinking – OK good, he's out of the woods and on the mend. Here's where I will invoke “Murphy's Law” Rule #1 again.

 

As you know, the heart and lungs live in the same hood and hang out together, kinda like blood brothers only closer. When one's happy, the other is happy and so on. After all the pneumonia, my lungs are trashed and have crashed into the fence so what's a heart buddy to do? Step it up to help out of course. Unfortunately heart buddy got a little over enthusiastic and got stuck at wide-open-throttle pushing 180 bpm's with spikes in the 190 bpm range. – Which was waaaaaay over the rev-limiter.

 

At 3:30 AM I was moved down to the third floor (cardiac floor) with an array of nasty sticky things with wires for heart monitoring all locked in mortal combat with the hair on my chest. Injections of medicine to try and “chip” the revs down to normal weren't working, it was still stuck on WOT. Here's where it gets scary again. So here I am, still feeling crummy, heart pounding like crazy already and the heart doc comes in around six am and tells me I'm going downstairs, where they will knock me out, take a look inside for any sighs of clots in the heart, if no clots they were going to give me a “Jump-Start”, shock me back into rhythm with a gazillion volts. You know the old – rub, rub, rub – CLEAR – zap, thud.. . .beep. . .beep. . .beep. . .beep. I'm glad I was a sleep for that one, but it worked - heart back to normal and of course three new pills to take.

Picture of Kenny's brutal treatment of his oxygen mask was deemed to graphic for younger viewers.

It seems like that was the point in time where I finally began to show and feel slight improvement and concerns of, well you know, began to temper. By the end of the week I was off the diabolical oxygen mask and on to the Big-Bore model again. That was a red letter day, I took the stupid mask I absolutely loathed, tied it up in a noose with its own hose and hung it in effigy under my TV, which I was actually watching a few hours a day by now.

 

Christmas dinner at the hospital with family and Kenny looking better???

I had turned the corner as each day was just a little better than the last. A few more days and I was down to the standard oxygen thingies and walking about 25 feet down the hall and back. And five days later I was oxygenating on my own without help and the I.V. antibiotic load was down to a scant eight hours a day. It was New Years Eve day and when the docs checked up on me they decided that seeing as I had already spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital, it might be good therapy for me to be home for New Years.

 

So home I went, weak and wobbly barely tipping the scales at 160#, 32 pounds down from what I was after SEMA. It's a weight reduction program I really don't recommend as I needed two hands just to hold a full cup of coffee. I also received my “Drugs To Go” box and had to continue I.V. antibiotics three times a day plus some pretty potent oral antibiotics. Home infusions, that means that Flo and I were back together again. It's nice to have company.

 

Because of the Holidays and doctor's vacations I couldn't get scheduled back into Mayo until mid-January. When I finally arrived there they found that the super aggressive therapy of steroids and antibiotics had cleaned up most of the infection and there wasn't enough for them to get a lung biopsy at this point. So their solution was to reduce then stop the antibiotics, leave the steroids and do a panel of blood tests in a month. A month later I was improving so we started reducing the steroids. Things were going pretty well then all of a sudden in March - I started getting sick again. Arrg!

 

This is where I finally had some good luck for a change. A good doctor friend of mine from northern Indiana very concerned insisted that I see one of the top Pulmonary Docs in the country who he knew personally and called on my case, who just happened to be at the IU Medical Center in downtown Indy. Gee, that's a bit handier than Rochester, Minnesota and IU is where Lance Armstrong was treated for cancer, so I went.

 

He told me at that time, pulmonary functions were down but acceptable. And that there were still scattered infiltrates and scaring in my lungs but nothing large enough or solid enough to go in and grab a piece for biopsy. He did however want me to see another doc in the IU Med Center who was a leading edge Hematology/Immunology Doc –I went in the nick of time.

 

Remember I said that I was getting sick again. Well I was but this time armed with previous knowledge, rapid reaction and the fact that my only job right now was focusing on my health – I did get sick but not as sick as before and NO hospital this time. That's the good news, the bad news is when I get sick, its 8 - 12 weeks of lots of antibiotics and huge steroids doses to get better, but at least they're oral antibiotics -- sorry Flo.

 

The IU Docs are fairly confident that they will eventually get to the bottom of all this and get me back to normal. The only hang up is they say I need to be patient as this may take a while. Great, but what else do have to do. It's the “be patient” part and slowly recovering that's killing me. Come on, it's been over eight months now. Green flag! It's time to go – boogity boogity, boogity. (It must be those damn speed-genes in my DNA.)

 

Kenny starting to gain some strength and feeling better

But wait, isn't it all the go-go-going that has hampered me getting well in the first place. It might be time to throw a NASCAR yellow flag for “debris” on the track - I think I'll just keep running under the yellow, slowly (I hate that word) but steadily building up my speed. Sometimes life really sucks. When I could do extra things I couldn't find the time, now that I have the time I can't do much – at least until my strength gets back, which it will.

 

Oh, by the way, I think I have seen almost every episode of Law & Order including Special Victims and Criminal Intent. Flo and I have broken up. I'm getting bored and still struggling with coming to grips with this slowly thing

 

What Happened to Kenny Brown Performance

 

If any of you have ever been unfortunate enough to be in a life crisis situation you know that things get mixed up pretty fast, chaos and panic set in. Up is down, right is left and black and white no longer exist, perspective becomes blurred and orderly process abandoned. In retrospect the right decision was made to temporarily close KBP to focus on my health. The mistake, is that we (I mean I) should have come to that conclusion much, much earlier. The hastily developed closure plan was to sell the company (assets) to a third party, and move everything into storage. This would reduce fixed overhead and other liabilities while I was recovering. Then when I was better and ready - we would re-fire it all back up again. What's that old saying about best laid plans? Reference “Murphy's Law” Rule #1.

 

In the business world, just like in nature, there are scavengers and “bottom-feeders” that prey on the sick and weak. With me in and out of the hospital sick as a dog and slowly deteriorating, the weight of the world (our world) was squarely on Cari and it was crumbling all around her. With the Alfa male wounded, lame and dying some very unscrupulous individuals assisted by their trained land sharks (Lawyers) and jackals engaged in a series of very questionable and unethical legal maneuverings and filings. Their objective was to quasi-legally steal the assets of KBP. To achieve their objective they created confusion, distraction, misdirection and havoc. There was now a very black and white decision to be made – fight and save the assets of KBP, or fight to save the life of me, they couldn't do both. I'm kind of glad they chose the latter.

 

By the time I was well enough to even understand what was going on, it was so late in the game and the price of admission (ie legal fees and time) would be staggering, plus I was in no shape for a fight and didn't know how long it would be until I could. So we had no choice but to just walk away. It was a very difficult and heart wrenching decision to make. However, they may have gotten all the KBP stuff - But what good is it without the KB magic , and I still have that. At the end of the day - We can replace KBP, and will – but we can't replace KB.

 

What's Next?

 

That's a very good question. As my health continues to improve we expand our discussions of potential direction and opportunities. If nothing else there is a pretty strong “Lessons Learned” here to pay attention to. I've just survived a pretty serious life crisis and thwarted the Grim Reaper twice now; I don't want or need a third try. My health has to take precedence over business and pleasure.

 

On the other hand I'm just dying (no pun intended) to start building cars again and get to the track. I've have some really cool new stuff rolling around in my head that needs to get out. “So many cars, So little time”

 

Like I said earlier I'm going to run under the caution flag for a bit, steadily picking up power and speed. Initially I will focus on the non-physical stuff – designing and engineering parts, creating custom car packages for customers, consulting on special projects, marketing, track set-up, driver coaching, appearances, those sort of things and of course try to do more writing.

 

As crappy as my life has been over the last several years, its not often a person has the opportunity to step back away from it all and take a serious look at the past and present to try and shape the future. If there is a silver lining to all this I think that may be it. I have been afforded a golden opportunity to stop, look and listen to my life with minimal pressure or stress to see what I really want to do with the rest of my career.

 

First off, I am a car guy and always will be a car guy. The only thing I like better than building the best fast cars is driving them. To try and bring a perspective to all this, we set up a chart with all the things I love and do (in KBP) extremely well on one side and the things that I have do but am not as proficient at on the other. If I really am focusing on regaining and maintaining my health, I will need to reduce my work load and stress. The easiest way to do that is to focus primarily on doing what I love and do best and that's building fast cars and motorsports.

 

It's a bit premature to offer up any more information than that but one tentative plan (and remember things can and typically do change) could be for me to focus solely on special customer cars; custom top of the line performance mostly to dominate track-days but super- street capable as well as R&D, new product development and motorsports. This would of course require a new state-of-the-art Tech Center. We're looking but details and potential location are not available at this time.

 

Another thought to support the pent-up and growing demand for Genuine Kenny Brown products is for the near term to look at partnering, JV's or other business relationships with reputable quality focused companies. In our original plan (that was blown up) we thought that we could have a portion of parts manufacturing back up and running by early to mid summer. Unfortunately the jackals have scuttled that – So New Plan, I just don't know exactly what it is right now, but we are working on several options as well as monitoring other new interesting opportunities - so hang in there.

 

So what really is in the future for me? Cars, Cool Cars, Fast Cars, Fun Cars. Over the past 30 odd years I've built a lot of really cool, really fast cars but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart – my best work is yet to come!

 

To Be Continued. . .