Volunteer Spotlight: Ron Wigger

Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?

I guess when I was around 12. I remember that there was a 1940-something Buick just down the street from us, and I dreamed of getting it and making it into a “hot rod.” Of course, that never happened and I ended up with a 1956 Chevy as my first car. I’ve loved the classics ever since. Would still like to own a ‘55 Chev or ‘56 Crown Vic — two of my favorites.

Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?

Probably very little. I still like cars and racing, but it’s not a driving force in my life. Family, traveling, and fishing, hunting, and the outdoors, have more influence than anything.

Q: What makes volunteering at World of Speed meaningful to you?

I do still love to learn the stories behind the cars at the museum. Sharing those stories with the people that visit and watching “the light go on” when they make a connection they’ve thought about before is really fun. And running the sims — people really enjoy them, and I enjoy watching and coaching them to do well.

Also, working the special events can sometimes be a real hoot. Talking with people and hearing their stories about cars they have can be very exciting.

Q: What is the most memorable experience of your time volunteering?

I don’t think it’s just one. Getting to meet the people that have made their names known in the industry is priceless. People like Ron Huegli (talk about having stories!), Rolla Volstedt, and Damon Coates — and Dave and Sally are super-special people. I got to meet NASCAR driver Blake Koch earlier this year and talked with him for quite a while. That was pretty cool. The list of people I’ve met in two and a half years just goes on and on. I hope to meet many more.

And working with volunteers like Susan Stone, Gordon Scott (I’ve learned so much about engines from him), Dennis, Squier, Dave, and Mike. So many great people in one place makes volunteering so much fun.

Q: What do you wish other people knew about World of Speed?

That it exists and where it is!  I’d really like to see people spend a little more time here to hear all the stories behind so many special cars. The placards are great for the details of individual cars, but they don’t tell the “other” stories about them — like the radiation story on the Yenko or the Harry Miller engines in the 32 Special, or the how and why of the Ardun engine. Fun stuff.

Q: If you could choose any vehicle to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?

Oh, there are so many. I really like the custom rods and resto-mods, and the list of those is endless. I guess if I had to pick it would be from someone like Foose, Kendig, or some other high-profile builder. Dave’s ‘63 Galaxie remains my favorite that’s been in the museum so far. That car is just perfect.

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