For any longtime members it is my deepest regret that my wife's grandfather Ben Yumori of Culver City, CA passed away this early morning, after a long battle with Alzheimer's. For those that have ever known him his big heart, love for people, and of course love for the Model T was well known. Most will remember him for his Model T Calliope. I know he has traveled all over the country with Model T clubs please share any memories or thoughts you wish to be passed on to the family and tag anyone else from other chapters. I just thought everyone should know. Thank you.
I only knew Ben through the Vintage Ford Magazine but he was a wonderful character and had a great influence on all of us. My best to his family.
Thank you Eric. RIP Mr Yumori.
Our thoughts go out to the family!
Ben was a long time member of the Towncar Club
I believe my wife and I first met Ben at the first Arizona Shoot Out, which was our first major tour. Ben was a neat guy, the kind you never forget.
Don & Carol Conklin
I always enjoyed my conversations with Ben at Long Beach Model T Club meetings. Would like to have known him better.
My last memory of Ben was Leon Rawdon (in a Centerdoor) chauffeuring him around at the 2006 T Party in Georgetown, TX.
And one of our TL ABQ members grew up across the street from Ben in Culver City.
"Space City T's" model T club of Houston has an annual tour called "Texas T Party". For many years Ben made them all. He always brought gifts and had something to say at the closing banquet.
He will be missed.
Our condolences from the Kingdom of Callaway MTFCA in Fulton Mo, Ben was here for all 3 tours, We've seen him and visited with him on many more. I have lots of goodies in my possession that say Ben Y. on them, he was the T person whom I respected greatly. I've even sold him a few parts on tours
I met Ben on two Catalina Caper tours, and a few other times. I still have the "prizes" I "won" on those tours and cherish them to this day. For those that did not attend these events, Ben bought and donated enough prizes so that every car/driver that attended would win at least one award. Even a close personal friend who maintained that he NEVER ever won anything right up until he won the next-to-last drawing, won one.
Saddening, though not unexpected.
My Sincere condolences to Ben's family. He was a great asset to the Model T hobby. He told many stories at the Long Beach club meetings and events.
Ben was a great guy. I, too still have prizes he brought to Annual Meetings and tours. My deepest sympathies to your family.
Ben had a granddaughter that used to accompany him to these events in his twilight years. I remember she was a real trooper. Was that your wife, Eric?
: ^ (
I first met Ben in 1994 at the "On The Border" tour in San Diego. It was my first National tour. He had the calliope and it played very memorable music at most of the stops along the tour. The last time I saw Ben was at the "Orange Blossom Tour" in Riverside, several years ago. He donated many prizes.
We will miss Ben.
I met Ben in 1988 at the Estes Park Colorado tour. I liked Ben just fine. I must say though, that after a few days the constant background Calliope music can become irritating.
Thank you Eric for letting us know. Please pass along to the rest of your family our condolences at Ben's passing.
I first met Ben on tour in Fulton MO in 1976, a year later in Denver, both times he drove his roadster pickup. In Estes Park he had his calliope, and when we had our tour here in Kansas in 1991.
He will be missed. J
Our condolences to your family. Ben & I had a pleasant chat after the first day of the 2000 National Tour that our club hosted in Olympia,WA.
Our condolences to Ben's family.
Besides the gifts he would bring to the tours, I remember him as being the most long distance T driver on all the tours. He didn't trailer his '26
Roadster Pickup, he always drove it. Later, I think he did trailer the Calliope.
There were three old timers on every tour: Ben, Ted, and Bruce. Now they're all gone.
We enjoyed visiting with Ben during the Texas T Party tours. May he rest in peace, I am sure Alzheimers was not fun.
Such a great loss. My condolences to his family. I know the Vintage Automobile and Model T world will greatly miss him.
Our sincere condolences to Ben's family.
I first met Ben at a 1980 National Tour in Massachusetts. He showed up for the closing banquet in a tuxedo. That is how unique Ben was.
My wife couldn’t go on the 2001 Kentucky Tour so I had Ben along as a passenger for the week. He was a lot of laughs. Ben was in charge of the tour directions for me. I remember going up this huge mountain, a lot of it in low gear. Finally made the top, it was a nice sail down the other side of the mountain, started worrying as I didn’t see any other T’s. Turns out we were suppose to turn at the top of the mountain. So back up the mountain we went in low pedal, and then found the turn at the top. From that point on I did the driving and shared the navigating. He wasn't at a loss for good stories though the whole week. It was fun having him along.
Sorry to hear of Ben's passing .My condolences to his family.
R.I.P. Mr. Yumori.
I met Ben on my first tour At Fulton Mo., At Berea Kentucky, The last tour was In Texas Ben rode one afternoon with Me. Ben was a big influence on Me and My love to travel with My T
My condolences to his Family.
Rest in peace Ben.
I am very sad to here about Ben's passing.
I first met Ben in Fulton Mo. He had a flat tire
on his Calliope. I helped him change it.
I saw him on the Mass.tour and the Berea Kentucky
My condolences to his family
I met Ben a long time ago on one of the Texas T Party tours. To say that he was a unique individual would be a understatement. Somewhere in my attic I still have one of the waving hands that he gave out to stick in the window of your T. My condolences to his family. RIP.
Ben was one of a kind, like Bruce McCalley. There isn't anything Ben wouldn't do for you. He was humerous, generous and everyones friend. The hobby will not be the same without him but he will be fondly remembered.
Yes Keith Townsend that was my wife:?)
To add to what Glen said, "Ben was one of a kind, like Bruce McCalley". Despite the usual negative from a post above I would love to hear Ben's Calliope one last time!
Our family first met Ben at the MTFCA 1969 Rainier Roundup in Olympia, WA. As young lads, we were totally impressed with this diminutive man that drove his 1926 Roadster Pickup all the way from Culver City, CA to Olympia. He ran 3:1's out back and told stories of 70mph in the venerable Ford. We could listen all day to his tales of the road where stickers from each state he visited filled his lower windshield glass. My father had a 1926 Roadster Pickup at the same time, so a kinship developed between them, so my father publicly adopted Ben at a later National Tour, renaming him Ben U. Murray. At the 1969 Rainier Roundup, Ben brought quite a few nicely made award plaques for various tour leaders and committee persons. But, what really tickled my 2 brothers and I, was the plaque we received for "Most Improved" for our 1922 Depot Hack that the 3 of us built together. We were just young teenagers at the time eager to learn his speed secrets. He inspired us to continue our restorations on own T's and driving long distances. So much so that my brother and I, drove our T's to the San Diego National from Seattle and back in 1975. Ben was a great leader and while it is sad to know that he has passed, he joins my father, Bruce and the rest of the founders in another parking lot sharing their stories. Rest in Peace Ben !! Our prayers are with your family at this time of their loss. Wayne & Adrienne
I am sorry that I never had the opportunity to meet Ben. I have been aware of him for many years, but our paths never crossed. The Model T community has lost a major player.
My condolences to his family.
Thank you for your kind words. This is Jennifer. My grandfather, was a sweet, loving and kind man. They don't make men like him. He spent many long hours working on all his cars. The calliope was his pride and joy. I LOVED listening to the music it played and echoed. Ben will be deeply missed by all. I was fortunate to see him two days before he passed. I'm sure Ben is looking down on all of us and smiling.
If anyone has any pictures they would like to share with me, I would greatly appreciate it my email address: email@example.com
I always wanted to meet him. I live 1 block away from Culver City and had hoped to see him driving around.
George n L.A.
My Dad will be sad to hear of Bens passing. His friendship extended Internationally. Dad first met Ben on an Arizona Shootout Tour. The 'Hi from Ben Yumori" orange waving hand spent many tours on the windshield of Dads Touring waving happily. I have a 'longest distance travelled' award which Ben gave my Dad and I when we returned for a second Shootout Tour. His generosity and enthusiasm for the Model T hobby will be remembered for a long time.
Paul Mikeska - amen to EVERYTHING you said.
People like Mr. Yumori are what makes this hobby fun. May God bless him for the warmth, smiles and kindness he bestowed upon others. My condolences to you and your family Jennifer.
The one and only time I met Ben Yumori was on a Kentucky tour in about 1985, when I interviewed him for an article I was writing about the tour for Old Cars Weekly. In Model T circles, he was a legend then, as now. Although I can only wish I could say I actually knew him, it's a privilege and honor just to have met him. We should all aspire to make contributions like his -- to the hobby, and to our fellow man.
I first met Ben on my first National Tour held in MA in the early 1980s. Not having a trailer,I drove my 1924 Fordor to the meet with my son, then about 8 years old. Later, I often read about Ben also driving to many tours, and once falling asleep and running into a ditch. He was a true icon of the Model-T touring crowd and he will be missed. RIP Ben.
In Bens later years, he rode along with me on a couple of tours. Never could get him to stop talking! RIP.
I first met Ben at the Auburn Natl. Tour.
When he came to our Natl. Meeting in San Jose he gave a certificate to everyone that had anything to do with the meet. They said at the time that he always did that.
We have met Ben many times at Texas T Parties. In fact he road with us in 2003 out of Seguin. Here is a photo of him then.
It was a pleasure to have known him and it was fun to go on tour with him. He had many interesting stories to tell and kept us fascinated.
I am really sorry to hear that That Ben passed away. I ran into Ben at a lot of the National Tours. He rode with me at a combined MTFCA/MTFCI National tour in the Dakotas. My fondest memory of Ben was on the Estes Park National Tour in 1989. I was wagon boss and got permission from the City to let Ben drive up the sidewalk in the City Park and play the Calliope. Not only did the tour member enjoy the music but the tourists did also. I was on a Tour with Ben at Leavenworth Washington. One day of the tour was up to a small town in mountains near Blewett Pass. The tour pictures were taken at the town. It was the town that a TV show on living in Alaska was taken. After the Tour Ben sent me a large picture which I have hanging in my shop of his calliope in front of one the buildings with a scene from the TV painted on the side of the building.
All and All Ben was a really nice guy.
To The Yumori Family,
It is with very fond memories of all the great kindnesses and excursions that Ben and I have been involved in past 50 or so years. It is such a pleasure to recall the many, many ”incidents” created by Ben with his huge sense of adventure and especially generosity.
Just last week on the Model T tour in Southern Arizona we were remembering his givlng us the neat waving hands you could stick on with a vacuum cup. This is just a small moment in all the wonderful things that Ben brought to our “community”
Thank you Ben for bringing so richness to the great Model T experience.
Howard D. Genrich aka Lucky # 7
Remembering Ben fondly from the 89 tour where the sounds from the Calliope could be heard throughout the canyons of Colorado, to the aforementioned waving hand that is still in my "tour treasures".Always enjoyed and appreciated his gifts and certificates presented at the Texas T Party (and other tours). As we say in Texas: "Ben was "good people". My condolences to his family. RIP Ben.
The family thanks you for all the kind words and memories. My wife and I intend to carry his tradition and love for the T on with each other as well with our children. We look forward to creating new wonderful memories such as the ones Ben has left with many, to leave with our daughters and hopefully one day their children. God Bless Eric and Jennifer
Update, after the National Tour in San Diego, CA this year I found a 1924 Speedster same color as his well-known Calliope, as we work on this car it is our intention to make it a living memorial to him and will be known as The Yumori Special. This is Jennifer and I's first T, together and even though we had wanted to get a touring to start with, this sparked our interest. It is with great passion and respect for him, that we carry on his love for the T and the Model T Ford Club as a whole. Happy T-ing and thank you Tony Bowker for everything:?)
I never had the pleasure of meeting Ben, but his example has inspired Model T enthusiasm in me and many others. I hope someday I can make some long Model T trips too.
Good Luck to You and Jennifer and your two cute girls and keep us Posted on your progress with the Yumori Special! I can't wait to see it on some runs down there in SoCal. I hope you can stretch out your legs a bit behind the seat! hee hee
Ya, Eric, sorry for being such a bad teacher and remember it's clutch out to stop. Next time I see you guys I want to see Jennifer driving.