The Norman Transcript

Local news

April 6, 2013

Bart Conner’s Coupe de Ville racks up style points

NORMAN — Bart Conner is a certified gear head. As a child he was the kind of kid who would tear down the family lawn mower engine and put it back together for fun.

Conner’s dad was an engineer and they share a passion for interesting and unusual automotive technology. The family never had a new car; they paid cash for used Lincolns with suicide doors and other distinctive used rides. Conner’s first street legal vehicle, after a succession of mini-bikes and go-carts, was a 1948 Willys Jeep.

“There were three boys in our family and we all pitched in $200 and bought a $600 Jeep,” Conner said. “We loved it; six-volt battery, four banger flathead engine that would go about 48 mph flat out.”

His dad started a photo album called “Bart’s Toys” to chronicle the various cars he’s had over the years. There’s a snapshot of Bart with the Willy in the suburban Chicago neighborhood where he grew up.

“It had a canvas roof and doors flapping in the wind,” Conner said. “It’s 20 below zero and I’m driving it wearing a ski jacket, just as happy as can be.”

Admitted to Oklahoma University on a gymnastics scholarship, his first two years of study were in the aerospace, nuclear and mechanical engineering program. Because of opportunities to work as a commentator for NBC television sports and stints on promotional campaigns, it appeared his academics should be headed in a different direction. Conner graduated from OU in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He is probably best known for being an Olympic gymnastics gold medalist.

Conner has gone on to build a sports training, philanthropy, media and motivational speaking conglomeration in Norman with Olympic gold medalist spouse Nadia Comaneci and former OU coach Paul Ziert.

Through all the various experiences, occupations and interests, Conner has never lost his love for interesting automobiles. He has attended performance driving schools and done some racing in 5/8-scale replicas of cars from the 1930s on the Legends circuit. Conner digs going 80 mph sideways.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police arrest man connected to homicide

    Norman Police have arrested Abid Sandhu, 37 years old, of Norman, on a complaint of Murder in the First Degree. Formal charges have yet to be filed. At approximately 3:35 a.m. Saturday, the Norman Police Communications Center received a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Cody’s Run raises $14,000

    Cody Ponder’s positive attitude was infectious even while he struggled with esophageal cancer. He always worked to help others and his giving spirit inspired a 5k race to benefit struggling patients. Last year Cody’s family organized a run ...

    April 20, 2014

  • movieposter Movie about Moore tornado survivors premieres May 16

    MOORE — Exploring ideas of faith and hope, an Oklahoma faith-based documentary on the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16....

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former mayor files for county office

    Local physician and former Norman Mayor Harold Haralson recently filed his candidacy for the Cleveland County Commission District 3 seat....

    April 20, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Chamber welcomes new members

    The Norman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our sales volunteers and welcome our new Chamber members from our recent spring membership drive.  Suzanne McAuley was this year’s membership drive chair....

    April 20, 2014

  • It’s easier than ever to be your own movie producer

    Things have certainly come a long way since 1988, when the first stand-alone audio CD recorders outside of CD manufacturing plants started showing up. At that time, do-it-yourself CDs were the province of the rich and famous, as the ...

    April 20, 2014