A Car with ���Pez���azz

Pez Collector Gary Plunkett’s Driving Obsession
Some men buy a car for what’s under the hood, but Gary Plunkett from Edmond bought a car because of what was on top of the hood, on top of the trunk, in the cabin and on both side panels.

Plunkett owns a large collection of Pez candy dispensers and considers himself a “PezHead.” In 2004 he took his Pez craze to a new level by acquiring a car from a fellow Pez collector and art car enthusiast from Houston. The 1976 Dodge Aspen already had scores of Pez dispensers adhered to it. Plunkett bought the car because he wanted to use it for charity work and in community events.

“Actually, the theme of the car is ‘Spreading Smiles,’” Plunkett said. He’s hoping to take it to schools and children’s hospitals, and he has already used it in a local fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina relief agencies like the American Red Cross and the ASPCA. So far, he has raised about $600 for Katrina relief by selling special Pez dispensers. Many other Pez collectors from across the United States have used dispensers to raise thousands of dollars for charities, he said.

“Most PezHeads are a very giving group of people who do more than just collect little plastic toys,” he said. “It’s much more than a hobby for us.”

Plunkett’s PezCar is complete with design detail. Two bumper stickers add to the theme. One reads “Save the Pez” with a Pez website (www.pezamania.com) and the other is “Got Pez?” Even his license tag has “PezCar” on it. Pez candy wrappers and Pez fabric from pajamas line the dash board, and the front bucket seats in the car feature Pez T-shirts. Dangling Pez heads are strung from the headliner.

About 1,600 dispensers have been applied to the PezCar with household caulk. Plunkett said the dispensers occasionally fall off but they’re easily reapplied. He stores the car in his home garage and keeps it under a car cover for protection. He said he washes it with a regular spray hose to keep it clean and presentable.

Plunkett drove the car in Edmond’s 2005 Fourth of July parade and included it in the car show during Liberty Fest. Currently, he is not able to drive it very far because of the poor condition of the engine and front end. He’s a CPA, not a mechanic, he said, but hopes to one day have it in better condition.

He also showed his PezCar in the 2004 Edmond Elks Car Club show, a fundraiser for kids with cancer, and gave away more than 200 dispensers and candy to young and old alike.

Plunkett is a fan of the actual Pez candy as well. He said he particularly enjoys the fizzing cola and foreign peppermint flavors.

To learn more about the PezCar, go online to www.pezcar.com. To arrange for the PezCar at an event or charity fundraiser, call Plunkett at 340-6979.

The largest Pez collector convention in the world will be held this July in Cleveland, Ohio. The nearest convention to Oklahoma is June 21-24 in St. Louis, Mo.

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