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Corky Coker - seller of tires, collector of cars

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Corky Coker, 58, leans on a custom built 1932 Ford Highboy at Coker Tire on the Southside. Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press Corky Coker, 58, leans on a custom built 1932 Ford Highboy at Coker Tire on the Southside. Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press

CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Walk into Corky Coker's world — the global headquarters of Coker Tire on a downtown Chattanooga back street — and you'll enter a world of metal and engines and grease monkeys.

It's a place where nostalgia is found and built to the tune of a pretty penny and old men's teenage dreams come back to life with a little spit and shine.

Coker Tire is the world's largest provider of collector car tires, but to Coker, finding, fixing and selling vintage cars and vintage car parts is also a way of life, a kind of frontier that needs a cowboy hero.

He certainly tries to play the part. His uniform is simple: high-waisted, tight blue jeans, ostrich-skin boots and a cowboy-style, blond-gray mustache that he says he's been growing for nearly 40 years. His everyday iron horse is a new Ford F-150 King Ranch "cowboy truck," as he calls it.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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