~ Byron's Gasser Madness! ~

~ Rest in Peace ~

~ Ron Mandella ~

Most of you probably didn't know him, but Ron Mandella passed away April 2nd, 2007 at age 67 from a very aggressive form of brain cancer discovered only last August. 
I first met Ron when he was working in his parent's florist shop in Temple City, CA.  He occasionally even made deliveries in his 426 Max Wedge powered 63 Plymouth Wagon (prominently sponsored by Reynold's Auto Supply, also of Temple City.)  He was runner-up in A/SA at the Nationals in 1963 and with a new sponsor and the car no longer street-driven, managed to win the class at Indy in 1964.  He was later involved with the Shores & Hess A/GS Anglia; in fact, when S&H put first the blown Rat Motor in their Anglia, it was actually from Ron's sand dragster while their engine was being built by Jack Bayer. Ron was a few years older than me and it wasn't like we were close buddies, but I do remember him well and he was a good guy...at least he always treated me well.  Ron also occasionally drove the Anglia.  In 1967, when S & H split and Jim Shores took the car east, Ron went with him and handled the driving duties while they were on tour.
Ron and his wife Debbie were together 40 years until his death.
You were a good man, Ron, and you'll be missed.

Gasser Madness

Ron and his new (at the time) wife Debbie busy polishing the Anglia for a 1967 race.

That's Ron and Debbie in front of the Anglia.

That's Ron at the helm, sometime in 1967 or 1968.  Don't you love the firesuit?

Ron at the wheel again, probably Puyallup(?) in 1966.