Many of our vehicle donations come with touching, personal stories. To these donors, the gift is much more than a transfer of ownership. Such is the case with a recent unique car donation. It’s unique because of the “customized” appearance and the story behind it.

Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic

In 1994, Ken Smith was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer. Mayo Clinic doctors estimated that he had only six months to live. Ken refused to accept this prediction and followed up on a friend’s suggestion to contact the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic. The clinic took on his case immediately.

A New Treatment

The Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic started Ken on a brand new, experimental procedure called immunotherapy. Immunotherapy fights cancer by stimulating certain parts of a person’s immune system to work harder or smarter against cancer cells. It can also give an individual’s immune system components they need such as man-made immune system proteins. Immunotherapy was experimental at the time. In fact, this treatment was so new that Ken was the first person in the United States to ever receive it.

The immunotherapy worked. Twenty years later Ken is alive and cancer-free, all thanks to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic providing treatment and hope for a long life.

Paths Cross

During his time at the clinic, Ken met Bart Starr, Rawhide co-founder and one of his heroes.. Naturally, Ken asked Mr. Starr to sign his car. You read that right, his car. And Bart did.

Ken is such a loyal Green Bay Packers fan that he customized his 1992 Ford Escort GT with green trim, a gold spoiler, Packer stickers on the windows, Packers logos on the hood and doors, and hand painted caricatures of Mike Holmgren, Brett Favre, Chris Jacke, and Reggie White on both sides.

Green Bay Packers Autograph Packer Car

Bart was the first of 39 NFL players to autograph the car. The list includes 18 Super Bowl champions, 11 Packer Hall of Famers, and 4 NFL Hall of Famers. Some of the more notable players that provided their ‘Gold Paint’ signatures for Ken’s car are:

  1. Hall of Fame Quarterback Bart Starr
  2. Hall of Fame Defensive Lineman Reggie White
  3. Hall of Fame Kicker Jan Stenerud
  4. Hall of Fame Receiver James Lofton
  5. Receiver Robert Brooks
  6. Coach Mike Holmgren
  7. Lineman and Radio Announcer Larry McCarren
  8. Receiver Antonio Freeman
  9. Cornerback Willie Buchanon
  10. Linebacker George Koonce
  11. Linebacker John Anderson
  12. Lineman Ken Reuttgers
  13. Linebacker Brian Noble

Packer Car Donation Helps At-Risk Youth

Ken recently donated the 1992 Ford Escort ‘Packer Car’ to Rawhide. While the autographs and customizations are enough to make any Packer or sports fan salivate, the car also has only 52,000 original miles on it! This car and other collectible vehicles are sold on our eBay store. Proceeds fund Rawhide programs that give at-risk youth and families a second chance in life.

If you would like to be part of the solution for helping at-risk youth, we accept many types of vehicle donations including boats, motorcycles, campers, trucks, and RVs.

Or you may make a financial contribution.