My Wedding Day
All about Ralph is just what you thought it was, All about me, All about
the great things I love, and love to do.
The best thing that has happened to me in my life is my beautiful wife Sharleen. I have known Sharleen for 23 yrs. and we have been married for 15 years. 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 love the cars and racing them just as much as I do. She can sit on Brice Rd. with me for hours and tell me what year and model the Mopar that just went by was. Sometimes she scares me with the knowledge that she has about the cars and drag racing.
The 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 9 months old) and my sister, brother and I never did miss out on a thing. Thanks Mom, I love you.
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.
Dalton 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 alot 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 muscle car craze.
For those 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 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. The first car 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.
Ralphs Rapid Transit 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. Then it may be time to look at E-bodies, A-bodies or even newer muscle. Yes, I have started that collection already, and who knows what will happen there...Stay tuned.
MuscleCars to be added to
My garage is the work of
all my friends and family, I can not take credit for it all, but I love
to show it off to all.
"Live life to the fullest. You only go around once."
July 2007, York Reunion @ Beaver Springs Dragstrip in PA
Skip Barber Racing School 1997
Check out my 80's Muscle Collection