ALL ABOUT RALPH
My Wedding Day
about Ralph is just what you thought it was, All about me, All about the
great things I love, and love to do.
thing that has happened to me in my life is my beautiful wife Sharleen.
I have known Sharleen since 1986, when we began dating. We married in 1994,
and celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in 2019. She is there for me
all the time, I love her like nothing else. You have probably seen the bumper
sticker you can take my wife, you can take my dog, but not my Mopar. My bumper
sticker reads: You can take my RoadRunner, my Hemicuda, my Hemi GTX, but don't
even think of taking My Wife. Sharleen is the reason I have so many
wonderful toys. She believes in me and my crazy thoughts on why I should have
so many Mopars. She loves the cars and racing them just as much as
I do. Sometimes she scares me with the knowledge that she has about the cars
and drag racing.
Just when we thought we would be
a family of two for the rest of our lives, The Good Lord blessed us with a
beautiful little Girl. Marianna Cynthia, She came to us in the winter of
2011. It's been different ever since. Different in a way that only a parent
can explain. The love and affection Sharleen and I share for this little
girl is second to none. In 2014, I bought Macy her first car, Yes it's a
Road Runner and Yes it's one of only 44 ever built
in FM3 Moulon Rouge AKA "Panther Pink". We've spent the last four years restoring
the Road Runner and in 2019 we plan to show the Road Runner. This isn't Macy's
first restoration, she helped complete the AAR Cuda and has helped me with
many of the other cars in the collection as you will see looking throughout
great Guidance given to me by my mother growing up was priceless. She taught
me right from wrong, she loved me the best way she knew possible while struggling
trying to make ends meet. She never wanted any of us kids to feel like we
missed out on anything because we did not have a father (my father died when
I was 10 months old) and my sister, brother and I never did miss out on
a thing. My Mom passed in 2017. Thanks Mom for everything, I love you and
I was born in Solarino, Sicily in 1968. My Father decided in March of 1969
that the grass was greener in the USA so he packed up my Mom, my brother,
my sister and I and took the boat over to the US. He worked as a mason
for a few months before he was killed in an industrial accident. My mom decided
to stay in the USA with her father and began a life of long days of hard
work to raise us kids, sacrificing her life to give us a better one. I remember
my mom would work 1st shift from 6am. to 4 pm. then go to her second job
from 5 pm. to 12 am. then come home and sew for a local factory till 3am
and go to bed just to start all over the next day.
Every time I think of something that can't be done I just think of my mom
and do as she did, "build a bridge and get over it". If a lady from Sicily
made a great empire by herself, why can't I ? My mom's favorite word is "Economize".
Economize with a Sicilian accent; that she did and boy did we have everything
by doing that one thing.
and Cindy are my in-laws, and it was my father in-law who made me see the
light (Mopar). It was fall of 1987 and I had decided that I wanted a muscle
car. My Merkur and Sharleen's Capri just did not do it when you cruised out
to the Berlin Tpke.
I wanted a 1969 Mustang Mach 1. So, in this quest for a Mustang, I purchased
a local car trader magazine. I remember sitting in front of the TV over
at my in-laws looking for a Mustang when Dalton said, " why don't you get
a Mopar?" I said, " A what?" He responded, " You know a Road Runner, A GTX?"
I asked him why? He said they were less expensive than a Mustang Mach
1, and a lot faster! Well, that was all I had to know, Faster! So, we started
looking for a Roadrunner / GTX in MASS. NH. CT. RI.. Every weekend we were
looking, then we found it, a 1967 GTX 440 4spd. in South Windsor, CT. This
was the beginning of my future in the Mopar muscle car craze.
who own Mopars know, you can't only have one! The more the merrier, and I
took this to the extreme. By 1992 I had 5 Mopars and 2 of GMs. My 1967 440
GTX had more company, A 1966 GTO, a 1967 Hemi GTX, a 1968 400 Firebird conv.,
another 440 GTX, a 1970 Roadrunner, and Sharleen purchased her Demon. My
cars were in various stages. My Roadrunner was a great cruise night car, my
Hemi and 440 GTX, GTO, and Sharleen's Demon were our show cars. And,
the other 440 GTX and Firebird were in limbo, just waiting for something to
happen to them.
By 1995 I
got all my ducks in a row and started thinking about the kind of cars that
I wanted in my garage. First, I preferred Mopars; second, 4 speed
cars. My first love was the B-Bodies, and then in 1998 came the hemicuda,
" O'boy, WOW, what a car!". My favorite line is "A Hemicuda is like
a beautiful woman to be desired by all but only had by few" .
October 9, 2006
My hobby has expanded
even bigger than I thought possible. The price of Mopar muscle cars I have
grown to love have become untouchable. The only problem I have is that to
grow my collection, I have to sell or trade cars that mean so much to me.
I have decided that the way to enjoy my collection is to use the cars
the way they were meant to be used- to enjoy them to the fullest. As Sharleen
says "Drive them hard and use them the way Detroit and Chrysler intended."
In the beginning, I raced my muscle cars occasionally. In 2004, it became
an obsession, and in 2008 I started the racing series SuperCar Races, American
MuscleCar Racing. We've got a great group of guys and gals that race their
muscle cars in this heads up, factory appearing class. I enjoy the friendly
competition. We all have personal goals of how fast we want our muscle cars
to go. We have great rivalries between brands. And, most important, we are
building friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
My collection of Mopar muscle cars
has been refined to specific models that are very important to me. My collection
is mostly Plymouth B-Bodies. I feel that the B-Body Plymouth was the ultimate
muscle car in the late 60's and early 70's. One of the cars in the collection
of B-Bodies that I have is a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere
I HP2. This car was very important because
it was the start of the Plymouth muscle car empire. 1966 saw the birth of
the Street Hemi and the marriage of the B-Body with the Street Hemi. The
1966 Plymouth was a hit and the beginning of 7 great years of muscle cars
from Chrysler's Plymouth Division. The collection is completed with a 1972 Road Runner GTX 440 4 Spd. This model
was the end of the muscle car fight that Plymouth waged on America's
other brands of automobiles. The collection also has a 1970 Hemicuda. 1970 was the peak of the muscle
car era. If you wanted the ultimate, you got the Hemi. If you wanted to beat
a Hemi, Chrysler built you a 440 Six Pack to try. This is the reason for
the A12 Road Runner and the 1970 Hemi Road Runner on the collection.
My Collection will never be completed. It will evolve and change as time
goes on. My goal is to have at least one of every year Plymouth B-Body, from
1962 to 1972. Once that is complete, I am sure I will find a way to make
it grow even more.
My new tow vehicle! 2011 Dodge Ram Mega Cab.
My garage is the work of all my friends and family,
I cannot take credit for it all, but I love to show it off to all.
All about Ralph is not about me, it is about all the great people in my
life. My wife, my family, my friends, and the toys I love to collect.
"Live life to the fullest. You only go around once."