One of the best inspirations that any young guy can have is a terrific grandfather. Here is the young man whom I would grow to know many decades later as “Grandfather” — while all his life his friends and fellow auto buffs all knew him as “Ransom”. In this photo he’s at the wheel (left) driving one of the cars that drew him into the hobby of “wheels.” Over the course of his life he had a passion for his numerous cars collected over a lifetime.

During the impressionable childhood years in my world, when I actually was just taller than a hubcap, hearing my grandfather’s stories about “motoring,” “engines and transmissions” and the industry and racing legends whom he admired in the auto world, I gained the foundation to also become an auto enthusiast like he was. I was fortunate to know my grandfather until he passed away in 1989 at a “full-journeyed” 92 years of age.

The fact that he saw me enter the automotive industry as a career gave him joy — and me the satisfaction of demonstrating to him how positive his “roll” model influence was on my life. We are all lucky for those shared moments with the folks known as “grandparents.”

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