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Folks Of Interest Ralph Whitworth

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,399

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Ralph Whitworth


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    patmanta, Stogy, Moriarity and 3 others like this.
  2. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,605


    Wow-class act. Reminds us to treat every one like they were a really nice millionaire.
  3. Well I'll be dipped. I just knew his name from the museum venture that never panned out. Sounds like a super great guy and quite a loss in many walks of life. God speed Ralph!
  4. Now that is great service.

  5. There is optimism in the thought of an average life expectancy of 78 years.
    The truth though is that there are many lives cut short that fuck that average up.
    It makes me sad every time I hear about those that didn't make it.

    Rich Wright, cactus1, NoSurf and 3 others like this.
  6. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,095

    from so-cal

    Would have been nice if he would of said "Thank You" after building him the Ivo car
    51 BIRD likes this.
  7. I met Ralph because of the Auction when he decided not to go forward with the Nevada Museum. We had a few conversations about the auction, about the mis-informed who talked bad about him and how he was losing money (far from the truth), we talked about Hot Rods in general and about Life. We were the same age and had many similar interests, my only regret is not being able to talk more with him. Maybe this will allow some to retract or rethink the silly comments they made about him in the past. Godspeed my freind.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  8. Rockerhead
    Joined: Nov 16, 2006
    Posts: 321

    Member Emeritus

    I was fortunate enough to be able to help Ralph sort out and identify the photos and information that he received in his acquisition of the Tom Cobbs collection (I knew Tom). He had hoped to make that history available to all on the internet. His illness put an end to that project. I found him to be a really nice, down to earth guy who was genuinely interested, and knowledgeable, in the history of hot rodding. Sadly, we have lost a very accomplished man and a real hot rod enthusiast.
    Don Montgomery
    NoSurf, deucemac, Rolleiflex and 3 others like this.
  9. RIP @rodster:

    Ralph Whitworth in Tom Cobbs Roadster.jpg
    Ralph Victor Whitworth
    October 12, 1955 - September 29, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
    burl, Stogy, Rich Wright and 4 others like this.
  10. ruffie tuffshitski
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 28

    ruffie tuffshitski

    I was at work at hot rods and custom stuff in Escondido - walked out of the shop and there was an enclosed trailer sitting in the lot with the side door open. I leaned in to see Cobb's roadster, and the Pierson Bros coupe's small block Chevy (with a front driven blower) sitting inside- I found out later they belonged to Ralph Whitworth, that was pretty cool! Seemed like he was the real deal. RIP
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. WOW! Imagine being able to have Paul McCartney or the Rolling Stones play for your wife's birthday party! Sad loss and all too young. Godspeed.
    lothianwilly71 likes this.
  12. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,145

    Roger O'Dell

    R.I.P. Great Guy will miss him.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Reads like he was the genuine article. A lot of people make a snap judgement about others and a lot of times without ever knowing or meeting the target of their words. There's a lesson in this story. Nice.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  14. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,138

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    Far too young.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  15. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 20,168

    Staff Member

    Ralph and I were pals. from the first time I met him I knew he was a class act. He was hands down the smartest person I have ever known. I helped him gather up an amazing car collection for the museum venture. He was so humble about it that it was going to be called "Americas car collection" rather than have his own name tied to it. He was an amazing man and could do most anything. I honestly thought he was going to be able to put "found a cure for cancer" on his resume... RIP buddy
    drdave, Rich Wright, NoSurf and 3 others like this.
  16. Too young. Most of us only knew of him from those auctions at first.
  17. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,399

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    He was definitely the smartest guy I've ever known. Without doubt.

    He always dropped bombs on me too... like one day he just happened to mention that in his 20s he was a speech writer for Ronald Reagan.

    The dude knew how to live.

    Another story... Our first Hot Rod Revolution he asked if we would like the Cobb roadster there. Of course we answered in the affirmative... he didn't come. He just had the car delivered with a barrel of Nitro and a note that just said, "have fun."

    I didn't know him at all at the time. Now that I think about it, maybe he wasn't all that smart! :)

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  18. I've still got a copy of the auction catalog ( over 260 full color pages) from when he sold his collection. A lot of nice iron went under the gavel for great prices. I feel I better understand the whole story now.
    Tman likes this.
  19. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 18,245


    Life is short enjoy it. I'm doing that. Thanks Ryan for sharing this fellows story and thanks Hemi for the face to the name. As others have eluded much to early...Condolences to the Whitworth family and friends on the passing of Ralph. He had good taste in Hotrods and obviously so many other things...thats a beauty.
    I use HP products and they're a force to be dealt with no doubt because of people like him...the company has some high caliber shoes to fill. It won't be easy either. Rest in peace Ralph...
    lothiandon1940 and Moriarity like this.
  20. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,399

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    He saved HP. Literally... Even more impressive, there might not be a Home Depot today if it weren't for the work he did there as well... He was a business minded genius that took very complicated processes and broke them down into simple chunks in order to make things more efficient. He actually helped me from a business perspective multiple times as well.

    He grew up working in mines.
    HEMI32, Rich Wright, patmanta and 4 others like this.
  21. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,546


    RIP Ralph.
  22. wow.....and he was a car guy.....ride with us Ralph !
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  23. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 20,168

    Staff Member

    It was truly an honor when Ralph asked me to write the forward for the catalog. I am not much of a writer, and believe me when I say that I had a wastebasket full of rejects before I came up with what was printed.

    And thanks @Ryan for posting this. I sent a copy to Ralphs widow Fe, She is having a tough time losing such an incredible strong man......
  24. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 4,950

    from Kansas

    Godspeed..........and taken way too soon.
  25. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    I knew of him through some friends on my mothers side of the family,but I never knew he was a car guy,at least not a HAMB type guy.RIP,Mr. Whitworth,you will be missed.
  26. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,597


    Thank you for sharing this about "Ralph". Up til now I knew of him, since your post I know about him. He was of strong moral fiber,said a friend. This is one of the many things that set him apart from others. Prayers and sympathies to his family and friends.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  27. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,136


    Godspeed sir. I wish I had got a chance to chat with him.

    That's the kind of laugh/chuckle I hope we all can get when it is our time. thank you Ryan.
  28. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,922

    Rich Wright

    I never got the chance to meet Ralph Whitworth and I'm sorry for not having had that privilege.
    I was very aware of who he was and his passion for cars but now I know much more about him and I'm thankful for that, Ryan.
    I've been to the museum many times when it was active and, knowing Dave, Patchie, and Ken, I managed to gain access to the back building a couple times and have a much closer look at the cars that were not typically available to the public.
    Pure heaven for me.
    During those couple of quiet visits as I walked around literally speechless a single thought permeated my mind. This guy has gathered up nearly every single hot rod and custom that I dreamed about as a little kid in the '50s and '60s. Back then, a big part of those dreams generated by pursuing the pages of HRM, R/C, Car Craft, etc, had at their root a desire to see those cars up close...just to be in the same space.
    Ralph made that possible. 50 years later I got to do just that.... walk around and stare in total wonderment at those very cars.
    Might sound a bit hokey but it gave me a wonderful feeling, as if I had been given the gift of reliving a small part of my youth.
    Money can't buy that......
    I might not have have known him personally but I sure as hell respected and admired him for his efforts at preserving our collective history.

    Thank you, sir.
    NoSurf, Sancho, HEMI32 and 2 others like this.
  29. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,734


    Through his sidekick Dave Bengochea, Ralph bought my '36 3W at the Russo & Steele auction in '06. He sold it when he auctioned off his stuff several years later. Mine was one of the few cars that he nearly got back what he had invested. I met him once or twice, but never got to know him. Too bad.
    Rich Wright likes this.
  30. From what I have read, he led an amazingly successful and still somehow humble life which seems to be difficult for 99.99% of people to do. Obviously a great loss to multiple communities. RIP

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