The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by j.willford, Jul 28, 2013.
So Long old Buddy. Chris Lytle
Sad day for sure. He was always very friendly and had that great smile on all the time. R.I.P. Tom
This loss will be felt far and wide. When I look up, I will have a big smile for you, my friend. God's speed. Frazier
RIP Tom. I am fortunate to have met you and am proud to say that my Willys pickup cab passed through your ownership on it's way to me.
This is such sad news. Tom is a very good friend of my dads. He currently runs the Ron Bizio 33 Williys originally restored by Tom Wilford. Condolences from us and the gasser gang of wny. He will be missed. Rip Tom.
Sad News I was hope to get up and see him.. RIP Tom
He was always so helpful and exciting about old racing parts. Aaron
I love this shot of Tom, it shows the smile and disposition he would carry through his entire life.
Another one of the good ones gone way to soon - R.I.P. my friend.
Sorry for your loss. RIP Tom, I never got to know you but feel like I do from watching the Gasser Files literally thousands of times. 7 years ago my infant son would mock the Bizio Truck with every toy car he played with.
Sorry for the loss of your friend Marty.
I'll do a burnout in his honor!
Jason, I am very sorry for the loss of your father. Atleast he is not suffering and is in a much better place. I went through the same thing when I lost my wife of 32 years in April of 2012.
All the best to you and your family
A very sad day indeed. R.I.P. Tom. A true legend of the sprort of drag racing, he will be missed by so many friends. My condolences to the family.
God bless you Tom. I'm so sorry for your son and family. R.I.P. may friend. A great loss to the drag racing establishment. Your are missed. I cried when I heard you died.
i got to meet tom threw dave crane. got to talk to him for awhile at the hrr bakersfield. great guy, vast knowledge of the racing past. you are missed tom, glad i got to meet you.
sad to hear,
he was one of the great gasser fans in words and deeds
What a great picture.
I didn't know Tom, but it seems he touched a lot of hearts.
My condolences to all his family and friends.
I only met Tom once.
I was on my way to the 2011 Hot Rod Reunion with my Dad and a mutual friend of Toms.
He welcomed us into his home,let us wonder around on our own and shared a bunch of drag racing stories.It was one of the highlights of our trip.My Dad and I often talk about Tom.
I'm glad to have met him and sad to see him go.
You do not realize how much you miss someone until like today as I am driving down the road between job, when I would call Tom or he would call me and tell me about something he found on Ebay he has been looking for for a long time. Or I would ask him, is there anything on Ebay for my Willys that I just could not live without. That and we used to use each other to vent too. He would tell me about something that sold on Ebay for a lot of money a week or two earlier and now a so called friend just left trying to buy the same part that sold that he has but in a lot better shape for just a few dollars. He always said, "Do they think I am stupid, I seen what it sold for!"
I will miss you Tom!
Tom left a positive impression on everyone he met, always with a smile and never a bad word about anybody. For a man that went thru the hardships as he did he showed us all the rare qualities that he had and the way to handle them. I to will miss him. Rick Nelsen
Going to miss Tom very much.. He always had something good to say and was happy to see you. I cheerish now The Northwest Rod little pages I bought from him, and will never let them go.. Rick, well said above...he was a great guy.
I just heard yesterday. Very sad news. RIP
Shooter, we'll raise our favorite beverage in remembrance of Tom @Billetproof!
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I’ve been away from the racing community for a while and wasn’t aware that Tom was ill. I wish I’d known as I would have gone to see him in the hospital. I first met Tom at Clover Park Vocational school around 1975. He was getting his A&P license and I was in the Parts Counterman’s class. This was before his helicopter accident. None of you will be surprised to know that Tom was exactly the same after his accident as he was before it. He had a big smile, a firm handshake, an infectious laugh and even a larger heart. He genuinely cared for everyone that he met. No-one stayed a stranger to Tom more than a few minutes. Once he found out that I too was a gearhead, we became instant friends in Voc school. After graduating we drifted apart only to become friends again once I started crewing on a series of AA/GS 1933 Willy’s. Once at a race, I told Tom that he should have Velcro added to the bottom of his driving boots so his legs wouldn’t bounce around during a run. He said it was a bit distracting at first but he got used to seeing them move about. If any of you ever tried to keep up with Tom at the Portland Swap Meet, it was a real chore as he could really cover a lot of area in a hurry, especially when he was on the hunt for something. A few years ago I called him to make sure that he was ok when I heard about I-5 flooding, fearing he was flooded out. He answered the phone out of breath and I could imagine him trying to save his collection of parts. I was ready to grab my car keys and blast down to help him only to find out that he was out of breath because I caught him cleaning his shower. We both had a good laugh over than one. Shortly after that, I drove down and spent the day with Tom, just the two of us. The hours flew by talking about aviation and race cars. Then he said how about dinner out? We went to his favorite spot, had a great dinner and even better conversations, then it was back to his place for many more hours of great conversations. I had arrived at 10:00 AM and left well after midnight, but it felt like just a few hours had passed. I bought dinner that night and he said; “I’ll come up and take you to dinner next time!” I’m so sad that the “next time” never came about, which I now greatly regret. He touched so many people’s lives in so many positive ways, as evident by all of the fond and heartfelt messages left here in his honor and for his family. Tom has left a legacy for so many of us to remember him by but even a larger void to his family. Tom will always be on a “very” short list of the most genuine, honest and caring people I have ever had the opportunity and pleasure to meet. R.I.P. my friend!
You have described Tom about as well as anyone could. I am glad I was able to see him in the hospital, before things got real bad. I am not sure if we have met, as I stepped back from Drag Racing in late '89, and some of the crew we assembled, carried on from there. I still think of him every day, when I walk by any piece of speed equipment in my shop, you didn't need an internet search to get an education on parts, just a call to Tom, would solve any mysteries. I haven't talked to Marshall, to see how the collection of donations, to fund a Memorial Bench in "The Grove" at Bakersfield is coming along, as we need to get that put together. Welcome to the HAMB, and thanks for being a good friend to Tom.
Condolences to the family--I didn't know the man. Wish I had. RIP.
My old shop was just down the street from toms house on loganberry street. we met back in the early 90s, huh that sounds like so long ago, I just talked to tom at his house just weeks or days before, he wasn't feeling very well, I had no idea, when he was a no show at the Chehalis swap meet I thought oh no, he was always in the back lot, year after year. those that where lucky enough to know him and where invited to his shop, I loved going to toms shop. nostalgia everywhere . last deal we did, last January in Vancouver NHRA swap meet, I had a old mag swing arm off a potvin Blower, I saved it for him and he was glad to get it. best neighbor ever.
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