Management Department's Mike Yankey Loves His Cars
Mike Yankey, lecturer in the management department, has a passion for vintage cars that goes back to his childhood. His dad was a “car guy,” so he was exposed to all kinds of cars when he was young. His dad owned a 1950 Ford and a 1964 Corvair.
Mike has owned numerous cars over the years. Today, his collection includes a 1966 Mustang, midnight blue, with a hardtop; a 1963 Thunderbird, white; and a 1966 Mercury Monterey convertible, battleship gray with a white top.
He explains that a classic has to be 50 years old, and an antique has to be 25 years old, so his cars are considered antique. He says, “I drive them once a week when the weather is decent, especially in summer. Cars go downhill if they aren’t used.”
Mike’s goal is to keep his cars original, not souped up in any way.
He loves to haggle, buying and selling his cars every few years. Mike belongs to a local antique car club, and subscribes to lots of antique car monthly magazines. His local club sponsors one or two rallies a year. They typically meet at the Bar-B-Q Ranch north of Harrisonburg, eat lunch, and tour the countryside.
When he’s in the market for a car, he says he doesn’t have a particular model in mind. “When I see one, it speaks to me,” he says. He travels to Carlisle, Pa., several times a year for the car shows, which attract buyers and sellers from all over the East Coast.
When asked why he was so interested in antique cars he says, “I tend to be a history buff. I like history, and cars are a tangible way to keep your finger on history. My mom looks at my cars and says I remember when they were on the road. It’s a good way to keep in touch with the way it used to be.”
His favorite car is his ‘66 Mustang, with 110,000 miles on it, and completely original. He says, “I bought it the summer I was 15. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When I bought it, it was a used car; I drove it every day. Then I realized I shouldn’t drive it so much, and I should keep it garaged.”
Mike is from Timberville. He graduated from Broadway High School, and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from James Madison University. He tried his hand at managing a convenience store in Broadway before deciding to go back to school, then teach at JMU. He spends most of his free time on his cars, and he also likes to read fiction.