Richard Gwin drove to Pratt for this 50th class reunion in his recently restored, and considered very rare, 1948 English Ford Anglia car. The Pratt native is a retired journalist from Lawrence, Kansas.
Richard Gwin is hard- pressed to put an actual number to the value of his 1948 English Ford Anglia. Not only it is a rare-mod- el car, with only 2,000 shipped to New York, the United States in 1948, he just spent eight years restoring it. Even if he could total up all his re- ceipts for parts, there is no way to put a price value on time.
"Once you start trying to figure your labor, you might as well stop," Gwin said. "This is probably a $20-30,000 car, but to me it is priceless."
Gwin, a Pratt native and Pratt High graduate of 1968, was in town this past week visiting friends and driving around in his bright red Anglia. He drove it all the way from his cur- rent home in Lawrence, Kansas with plans to at- tend his 50th Pratt High School class reunion on May 11 next week.
"It's a nice little car to drive," he said. "It handled perfect the whole trip out. The wind wasn't even a problem."
Luckily for Gwin, he has good friends with garages in Pratt and he made him- self at home when high winds, rain and pea-sized hail hit on Thursday, May 3.
"I knew what the weather could be like out here at this time of year. I made sure to pick a guy with a garage," he said. "Phil Farmer let me park my car in his garage and we just watched it hail. My car was okay."
A professional photographer and journalist, Gwin spent 40 years with the Lawrence-Journal World newspaper. He formerly worked for The Pratt Tribune. Now retired, he has also made 23 to 24 trips to Cuba, taking pictures, looking at cars, learning to know and love the people and communities there.
"I've always found Cuba to be a lot like Pratt," he said. "After 5 p.m. people actually come out of their houses and talk to one another. It's great to be a part of a small community where people care about one another. That's what Cuba is really like."
Gwin made a business of turning photos into postcards in Cuba and sold more than 1 million copies in the past years. He will be sharing some of his work at the Vernon Filley Art Museum as part of a display he plans to set up there this week.
Though many of the 1948 English Ford Anglia cars were originally tricked out for drag racing, Gwin plans to take it a little slower as he makes his way around town visiting his many long-time friends in the area. He is also a graduate of Pratt Community College and the University of Kansas Journalism School.
For those who want to know more about his car, just wave him down on the street. He is glad to talk shop with anyone. He will be in Pratt for an- other week, and he is hard to miss in that bright red car.