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Folks Of Interest Ron Fournier obituary

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mgermca, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. mgermca
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 191

    mgermca
    Member

  2. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  3. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,206

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Quite a craftsman, bought a couple of his books years ago and taught myself to weld with my new Millermatic.
    RIP Ron.
     
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  4. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,843

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First I've heard of it, a loss of a great metal worker. I have both of his books, really alot of knowledge. My condolences to his family and friends.
     
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  5. What a talented man. Condolences.

    Mick
     
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  6. 1961 Poncho
    Joined: Feb 19, 2017
    Posts: 134

    1961 Poncho
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    Well done life Mr Fournier! You launched many people into to their own love affair with metal shaping. RIP


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  7. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 973

    deucemac
    Member

    A master craftsman in EVERY sense of the word. I imagine he and Myron Stevens are sharing secrets as we speak. R.I.P Ron and thank you for the legacy you leave.
     
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  8. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,404

    williebill
    Member

    Sorry to read this. An amazing craftsman, back in the 90s Ron built a clone of one of Dick Kraft's cars for a guy I used to be friends with. Stunning workmanship, absolutely beautiful. My ex friend said he was a really good guy, too.
     
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  9. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Sorry to hear this. Bought one of his books 20 some odd years ago, got me into learning and doing metal shaping. So yeah, I'm one of those guys he inspired. Thanks Ron, RIP.
     
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  10. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 13,367

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,544

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sad day in the metal working world for sure.
    I've got a well worn copy of one of his books on the bookshelf behind my chair. It's been dug out a lot of times over the years and I think my son went though the welding section or the welding book when he was learning to weld.
     
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  12. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,873

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Sorry to read of his passing. Bought his books decades ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. My condolences to family and friends. I guess Ron would be considered a friend of anyone that shares a love of old cars and working metal.
    After reading his obituary, I gather he was as great a Man as he was a Craftsman.
     
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  13. Terrible loss. I have used his books regularly since I bought them many years ago. He was a true craftsman.
    Bob
     
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  14. Stueeee
    Joined: Oct 21, 2015
    Posts: 178

    Stueeee
    Member
    from Kent, UK

    That's sad news. Some years ago I met him at a Pomona car show where he had a booth promoting a metal shaping DVD. He seemed a really nice bloke as well as a hugely talented craftsman.
     
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  15. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,684

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I am truly saddened to learn of Ron's passing. He was an enormously talented man, yet a quiet, modest person who really opened up when teaching.

    It was at the annual EAA Convention in Oshkosh, WI, in 1996 as I recall, where I happened to first encounter Ron. He had a small booth, offering his books and some literature about his classes. Metal shaping had long been an interesting, but seemingly 'magic', skill in my mind.

    In 1997 I attended the first of several classes Ron offered, the last about 2003. It was a genuine privilege to be taught by such a thoroughly decent and skilled man who so obviously enjoyed his life's work.

    He most certainly inspired and motivated a lot of people to learn his trade and enjoyed the admiration and respect of all who had the good fortune to know him.

    Rest In Peace Mr. Fournier....

    Ray
     
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  16. Prayers going out to his family.Bruce.
     
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  17. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,318

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    we are losing the pillars of the hot rodding community, and decades of knowledge. There are many talented younger guys coming up, but the loss of hands on knowledge and tips specific to our era vehicles is irreplaceable.
     
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  18. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,781

    jimdillon
    Member

    When I read this on the HAMB this morning it really hit me. My family was a bunch of lawyers and I too became a lawyer and after spending way too much time in court I burned out and decided I wanted to work on cars, my real passion. This was early in 1982. My first project was a 1935 Packard 12 cylinder convertible sedan that had been retrieved out of a junkyard and the body was an absolute mess. The bodywork was being done by a real butcher and I told the owners to get the car away from that hack and to my delight they chose Ron Fournier to take on the project. I was privileged to work with Ron side by side for 5 months (as he stayed on a bit longer so we could mock the whole body together and massaged every panel to as close to perfect as we could). I cherished every day working with him and the most important thing I learned from him was attention to detail.

    His passion was sheetmetal work but he really had a mind and eye for detail. One day we were working on the Packard and this guy was in the shop starring at us and finally Ron asked if he had a question (or whatever to break the ice). The guy was from GM and liked our work and asked if we would get involved in a small truck project. GM was coming out with a new truck to be called an S10 (and the GMC version was to be called the S15) and they wanted a real fancy hauler for each to take them to auto shows around the country. They pretty much gave us free reign (within reason) and they came out great (IMO) with gold leaf and logos in the carpet etc (with a lot of input from Ron). That led to a slew of other custom paint projects I did for GM, thanks in part to Ron.

    Ron told me many stories (mainly at my urging) about Foyt and Penske and Mark Donohue and others but the one I liked the most I have told before. Foyt was running a roadster on a dirt track and flipped it on the back stretch and even ruined his helmet with rubbing on the track upside down. Ron said he walked over within earshot of where AJ was sitting on the back of the ambulance and was typical AJ with barking out orders and was yelling where is Ron. Ron figured he must have screwed up and something broke or whatever and so was a little hesitant to make his way to AJ. So Ron makes his way up to AJ and says “what’s up” or something similar and AJ says can you have this car repaired and ready to go for tomorrow and Ron felt a sigh of relief and I am sure did his best to get the car back to where AJ would have wanted it.

    Ron was really good at metal work. He always impressed me. When he was building his track nose roadster in 1982, I painted the chassis for it (he reminded me of that a few years ago which made me smile that he remembered). The day I delivered the chassis to his house, I was able to meet his wife Sue, who he had a special relationship with. This was during the period that Sue had put in so much work on his first book and he appreciated all of her great effort as well. I stayed to chew the fat and watched him that day work some of his magic and it never got old. He had the panels covered with a mylar type substance and would work his magic and then cover them back up.

    He also was a contributing author to the short lived magazine Carrozeria (I think I have the spelling correct-would have to dig out my old copies). My shop in So Cal was in San Marcos and Tom Creed had a shop a few streets over where he was building 540 Mercedes bodies. Cass Nawrocki was doing the metal work and it was astounding. When I got back to my shop I called Ron and told him he had to see this guy’s work. Ron ended up coming out and doing an interview for the magazine (although the actual interview I seem to remember took place in Arizona) but Ron still made time to visit. Ron thanked me a few years ago at Autorama for that and said he was still great friends with Cass. As great a metal man as Ron was he was humble as well and was always complimentary with others talents.

    I bought a number of sheet metal tools off of or through Ron over the years but will treasure my memories of working with him the most. He was really a super talented craftsman. Probably my most memorable advice I got from him was one time he made a mistake (a really minor one) and jokingly I kidded him that he had made a mistake and how was that possible. Ron had a serious side but really had a pretty good sense of humor and we had a little laugh and I do not remember his exact words but the gist was that even the best of us can make a mistake but the sign of true professional, is that a professional knows the proper way to correct the mistake.

    When I have screwed up (and there have been more than a few times) I often think of Ron and instead of getting down on myself I try to figure the best way to correct it. Sad when we lose so many people that we look up to but many of are getting to that age. Ron left a mark for sure and anyone that reads his books and implements his ideas and hints are all the better for it. Ron was really a good guy, he will be missed.

    I have included a before and after pic of the Packard we did.

    File0064r.jpg File0068.jpg
     
  19. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 774

    buffaloracer
    Member
    from kansas

    Very sorry to hear this. He will truly be missed.
    Pete
     
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  20. This sad news.

    For my 50th birthday (2010), as a surprise, my wife organized a one day, one on one metalworking session for me with Ron. I was very surprised by the thoughtful gift, and further I had a great time with Ron, beating on and shaping metal, going for lunch and talking one on one with him, looking over and talking about his various projects in the shop. I very much enjoyed my day with Ron, he indeed had much knowledge and talent and most importantly was willing to share it.

    He will be missed.
     
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  21. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,273

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Sad to hear of his passing. Thanks for sharing stories about him. Sincere sympathy goes out to his Family, and friends and fans.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  22. Ron's passing is akin to the loss of a world scholar or a renown artist,he was a master in his field and fortunately he generously shared his love of his craft.

    His heir apparents will continue to teach the next generation for years to come.

    God Speed Mr. Fournier. HRP
     
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  23. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,446

    john worden
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from iowa

  24. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,781

    jimdillon
    Member

    After seeing that some of the HAMBers have read and appreciate Ron's books I thought I would add a few articles he wrote for Carrozzeria back in the 80s. This was a magazine for metal fabricator nuts such as myself. It lasted I believe only 8 editions which was a bit sad I suppose. They may be basic but are instructive towards doing quality work as opposed to just getting the job done. I will scan a couple more a bit later and post them if appropriate.


    RF 1-1.jpg RF 1-2.jpg RF 1-3.jpg RF 2-1.jpg RF 2-2.jpg RF 2-3.jpg
     
  25. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

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  26. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,678

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    RIP, Ron. Thanks for the books and all the knowledge shared.
     
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  27. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,858

    OLDSMAN
    Member

    RIP Ron you will be missed
     
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  28. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,781

    jimdillon
    Member

    To complete what I uploaded above, Ron wrote four articles for the Magazine Carrozzeria (although by the second to last issue they changed the name to Classic Car Digest-which did nothing to save the publication), I am uploading the last two articles. The last is on Cass Nawrocki, which may not have a lot to do with Ron but thought you guys may like to read the article anyways. Today I watch shows where they seem to apply body filler with a snow shovel and on the other side of the equation we have masters of metalworking such as Ron and Cass that metal finish to near perfection. That to me is craftsmanship that simply blows me away.

    Also in the article on Cass, Ron spoke of being in Arizona with a GM project. During the 80s when I spoke with Ron he was working with GM on some of the Indy Pace cars, the ones that would pace the race, not the scores of look alikes built for general sales. I am not sure if Ron was there working on the Indy Fiero project (I am quite sure he had a big hand in that engine for the race) but he also was working around that time on getting more performance on the engines (I thought with intake systems-turbo or whatever-don't remember all the details). He once showed me an intake manifold he made I believe for an Oldsmobile pace car (not sure if it was ever used) but he fabricated the runners and tig welded them and you had to look close to see his tig welds. You could photograph it and most would never believe it was tig weld.

    I bet you could fill another book with all of the cool stuff that Ron achieved.
    RF 3-1.jpg RF 3-2.jpg RF 3-3.jpg RF 4-1.jpg RF 4-2.jpg RF 4-3.jpg RF 4-4.jpg RF 4-5.jpg RF 4-6.jpg
     
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  29. els
    Joined: Sep 11, 2016
    Posts: 361

    els
    Member

    Sad times, Someone must of needed his great knowledge up there too.
     
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  30. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,651

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Very sad, he was a huge influence on me, as well. Read his books over and over, and bought some of his tools, too. Had the privilege to meet him at Autorama.
     
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