The T hobby has lost one of the great ones. Ron Brown passed away yesterday at 96 years. Ron touched the lives of a great many people in those years as a teacher of wood and metal shop in high school, also as school administrator, father, friend, advisor, and mentor. Ron was an exceptional craftsman who could work with anything. A machinist, woodworker, foundryman, lapidary craftsman, blacksmith, gardener beyond compare, and a legendary Koi fish keeper. There is other stuff he excelled at that I have forgotten.
Ron for many years made top irons, sockets, and bows for model T's and a great many other cars. He sold that business years ago to his friend who continues to supply first rate products in Ron's tradition at John's Enterprises.
Ron also tooled up and made many unavailable parts such as one piece early pans, square hole trans covers, brass era hood formers, and other specialty items. He sold many of these processes and tooling to others, so his influence on the hobby continues through the products that are available now through the parts vendors. Ron could make anything he could not find or afford. A man of great integrity, he always made it very clear that the parts he made were his own work, not original, even though very few people could tell the difference. There are probably more T's running Ron's one piece pans than originals. He told me he made around sixty or so. I did the straightening on many of them.
Some years ago I began to help Ron with some of his projects. I did all his babbit work and machine work. It was one of the greatest honors I have had to work for a guy who'd forgotten more about T's than I had yet learned. His dedication to model T's and helping those who love them resulted in his being given the Rosenthal award, one of three in the Mother Lode chapter so honored. He told me it was one his proudest moments. Given his many achievements, this says a lot about his love of all things model T. I am proud that we called each other friends.
Rest in peace, Ron.
Erik, I am very saddened to hear of Ron's passing. He was the best of the best. I always enjoyed visiting him and listening to him recount the past. I was looking forward to pulling up a chair with him at the up coming Mother lode Club swap meet. I just don't know how any other human beings could be more Model T Then Ron was. Ron was an exceptional person and will live on in the hearts of the many people whose lives he touched. May he rest in peace.
Ron was an Ikon of the hobby. I find it hard to believe that others that knew him have nothing to say here.
Here is Ron Brown's 1913 Touring that came to the Detroit area a year or two ago.
Ron was a real asset to the hobby producing many hard to find items, helping wherever he could and just being a good friend. We will all miss him
I always enjoyed talking with Ron, very friendly and willing to share and help. We will all miss him. Ron was one of the five founding fathers of the Mother Lode Model T Club in Auburn, Ca.
His memorial will be Friday May 17, 10 am, at New Auburn Cemetery, 1040 Collins Drive, Auburn. A reception will follow at the Canyon View Community Center, 471 Maidu Dr. Auburn, CA 95603. His obit can be read at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/auburnjournal/obituary-browse.aspx?recentdate=4 &type=1 Its the third on on the list. - John
Ron Brown was a real gentleman. The top sockets were swollen and split on a Stanley touring I restored and drove for years. I lugged the entire top assembly up to him and he assured me all would be well.
Ron restored them flawlessly and, when I drove up to Auburn to get them, he proudly handed them over in that trademark gray primer and tightly bound by the orange jute twine he always used. They were just beautiful. We settled up and I was ready to go and I asked if he would just tell me where the original wood bows were, I would grab them and be on my way.
Instantly his eyes took on a far away look and he answered, "Uhhh, I think the bows went for a ride through the wood stove!"
Hundreds of cars are driving around with his beautiful top sockets on them.
I picked up a set of top sockets at Bakersfield this year for my 15 roadster. They were from John who is now operating Ron's socket business. They are still in that trademark primer and still bound by the orange jute twine! AND they still look great.