I see from my weekly scan of “The Paper” that Jesse Ruffalo left us. Although I ran into Jesse a lot, I didn’t know the man well and you probably didn’t know him either. However, you may have seen his fantastic car collection on Dennis the Mustache’s TV show. The one impression you got about Jesse is that he loved his hobby and he was great about sharing his cars with other people. It was really something to see his wonderful family help him move 25-30 cars from his home in Plainfield, Wis., to the Iola Old Car Show. Like a precision drill team, they would all drive a car up, hop in a van for the ride home, and then drive another car up. One time, years ago, I was teaching a car-collecting class and we all went to visit Jesse’s collection in a large building with a relatively low roof. There were probably 90 vehicles. I remember a couple of Shelbys and a mix of different cars. Later, he got heavily into collecting GM. And his last focus was on Mopar. During a show, Jesse and his family would sit by the cars and tell people about them. I’m sure he brought many new people, young and old, into the car-collecting fold. Jesse was a true hobbyist and a real asset to our sport.I will miss seeing him at the shows.
(You need “The Paper” to keep up with what’s going on in the old-car hobby each week. Monthly magazines are great, but their one shortcoming is fresh news. For info about “The Paper” visit www.oldcarsweekly.com).