Mike Jackson 1943 - 2004
Today 12/28/2004 at 5:15am devoted husband, father and good friend Mike Jackson lost the battle for his life due to complications with cancer. It seems strange that we were just filming the latest restoration project of his1963 Galaxie just a mere 3 weeks ago. Mike was a true legend, people all over the United States and the world knew him as the best Ford FE block tuner in the world. I had affectionately named him "Mr. Cammer" as he was probably one of the only men who knew how to really tune one of these animals.
When I first met Mike he took me into his shop where he literally had about 20 FE engines and other high performance Ford engines in his shop as the secret of this talented man had gotten out to a select few. With Mike passing on so does a piece of automotive history, not just an engine builder but an artist, a pure craftsman. Mike knew Ford engines and racing probably better than anyone else I've ever met, and I've met a few. I was just starting to really get into Mikes world as I thought this kind of talent and knowledge should be made aware to the public. Now only the lucky few who had a chance to befriend this man will truly know what he was capable of.
I have mixed emotions as I am very happy for the time I did get to spend with this man but also saddened that I was not able to document in more detail the knowledge and great personality Mike had. I can tell you that Mike died doing what he loved best. The day we just spent with him we had the chance to have lunch and film a whole afternoon with Mike. The whole day was full of automotive happenings. Our filming was often interrupted with people were showing up and calling from all over the United States wanting a piece of Mikes time, wisdom and car parts!
I will miss Mike, we had planned on following the complete restoration of his car and doing a feature on his 1962 Cammer Galaxie via video but it just wasn't meant to be. I'm sure a lot of you will read this, look at the picture and just see an older distinguished gentleman that has a nice car. What you'll never see is the hard work, knowledge and fantastic personality behind the picture and for that I feel very sorry for everyone as there was so much more to this great man than just a hot car.
Rest in peace Mr. Jackson, I'm sure God decided he wanted the best muscle car builder in the world and brought you up so you could build him one!
To see Mike's feature click HERE
To see another Mike feature click HERE
To go into musclecarcalendar click HERE
Here's a letter from a friend of Mikes.
Approx. six years ago I meet Mike at the Pomona swap meet. I was looking at a set of FE Hi-PO valve covers, as we talked I found myself talking to a man who could have been a friend for 20 years. Telling him I was building a clone 401 62 Galaxie as it had been my first new car at age 20, Mike mentioned that he had a Chestnut 406, that I could be driving and not building, I had to see this car. So a trip to his Home (Ford Palace) would start our ongoing friendship.
I now own his other 62, a car that for very few exceptions is the car I drove and raced in 62, it even has the American Mags from the original car.
I raced with Mike at the Fab. Ford week end at LACR Nov. 2003. He raced the Gray Ghost, a day of fun but an engine failure for me would leave me talking more with Mike during his illness. My calls were to find out how he was doing, his concerns were always of how he was going to get my 406 back together.
The Non Clone will be back together soon and as I again drive this car from my early man hood, it will have new meaning and memories of a Man that I, m glad I had the chance to know no matter how short it was.
I know that we all can rest assured that Mike is tuning the Lords 427 for a record low ET and a top speed never achieved before. Just watch for results in National Dragster!
I as many will miss you Mike not for what you did but for who you are.