Bill Ray: Vintage Car Collection

A few of his favorite things: The Duke, the old Willy, Kemo Sabe, and a few Nyuck-Nyucks
A few of his favorite things: The Duke, the old Willy, Kemo Sabe, and a few Nyuck-Nyucks

“I owe it to the cars,” muses Bill Ray. “These old cars have their own personality. Today, most of the cars you see look like every other car on the road. Nothing distinctive. But with the classics, they kind of bring out the stories in people. They’ll see one of these cars and say, ‘You know, my old man had a Model A Ford.’ ”

We ask, anyone famous ever own one of these cars? “Oh yes,” Quiroz answers for his boss and friend, “someone famous owns them now.” Ray just smiles. One of the easiest things he does.

Someone, Ray recalls—he thinks it was “some big business tycoon from L.A.”—once offered him 10 million dollars for the entire contents of the museum. Ray turned him down.

Clearly, the lines have fallen in pleasant places for Bill Ray. There must be some advice he has for young people who are as ambitious now as he was then, back in 1944 in old Fresno when gas was 15 cents a gallon and war cast its shadows over Europe and the Pacific?

“Advice?” He considers the request, obviously amused that he would be anyone’s source for sage counsel. “Hmm. I would say, find something you love, stick with it, even when things get difficult, and something will always turn up for you.”

To paraphrase Curly Howard, “Hey! He resembles that remark.”

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