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Published: Sunday, August 8, 2010, 8:54 p.m.

Darin Speed: collector of vintage Mustangs

  • Darin Speed cruises along in his 1971 Mustang Grande.

    Michael O'Leary / The Herald

    Darin Speed cruises along in his 1971 Mustang Grande.

  • Darin Speed, who owns three Mustangs, most often drives his 1971 Mustang Grande.

    Michael O’Leary/The Herald

    Darin Speed, who owns three Mustangs, most often drives his 1971 Mustang Grande.

Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: It really hasn't because I'm an IT (information technology) guy for Snohomish County, and other than I tell them they will get fairly fast results, my name hasn't directed my career. But directed my hobbies? Absolutely.
I used to do something called freeway ski and ended up with the nickname “Speedo.”
And fast cars, I've always been interested in fast cars from day one. We used to race on the Bremerton raceway and do drag races. And after years of working and owning modern cars, I decided to get something I can work on. And I've always wanted the car from the movie “Diamonds Are Forever.” And I got that car. It's not the exact same car, but it has the same paint job and same engine. It's a red Mustang.
I've actually got three Mustangs. I also have a 1971 Mustang Grande. That's my show car. And I've got a 1969 Mustang, and it needs complete restoration.
The car from the movie is in pretty rough shape, but of the three it's the most exciting to drive because it has a Cobra Jet and a four speed. But the '71 is the show car. I'm going to take the '71 to the Evergreen Fairgrounds this summer to do an eighth-mile drag race. If I win, I get bragging rights.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: There have been times when I would have liked to change my name because of the unusual recognition I get, and at other times the recognition helps. I've had my share of policemen laugh at me and get quite a kick out of my name.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: Well, I do have other hobbies that don't involve speed. Like rock climbing. That's done fairly slowly, except when the sun is starting to go down.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: I get a lot of it at car shows when they walk up and see my name on my car, they will laugh and say that's an appropriate name for a Mustang owner. The funny thing is, owning one of the fastest production cars ever made, the police don't even notice my car. They see a Lexus or a Honda and whatever, and they think they are worth ticketing, not me. It's the age of the car, I guess, and I don't look like I'm raising too much hell.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and hobby? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: I had a city of Everett police officer pull me over once just so he could look at the car, and he gets my license and he laughs when he sees my name. And I wasn't doing anything illegal either at the time, but his official excuse for pulling me over was to “make sure because it was a vintage car, that I was the actual owner.” That was his story. I didn't mind.

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