Ray inherited his love of cars from his father, Ray Mason Senior. Ray’s dad changed his cars on a regular basis and they weren’t always the most roadworthy. Watching his Dad fix a car became a favourite past time. Ray had two or three cars before he bought his AP5 Valiant in 1963. This car is now owned by his grandson, Daniel. This was also the year Ray started work on his very much loved 1928 Dodge tourer, which he bought in pieces for $40.
A born organiser, he loved everybody to be happy and enjoying themselves, hence his involvement organising hot rod shows and Chariot Rod and Custom Car Club events. Who remembers the Chariots’ Stanwell Park Tug-o-War, and the hot rod shows held at Yennora Wool Sheds? His face was familiar at swap meets, local and interstate, and many just stopped to chat. Ray often said he must have built a hundred rods over the years with people stopping to buy bits and pieces. His business, V&R Imports was in operation for over 38 years.
Ray was once accused of not enjoying the sport because he did not take his hot rod out often enough. Nothing could be further from the truth. He loved his sport, photographing cars, reading hot rod magazines from cover to cover and talking to many people. He loved his time as NSW State Director for the ASRF.
After his passing last year, the family held a sale, selling off tools, old car parts, his books and collectables, along with discounted V&R Import parts. Everything was sold cheaply and over 650 people attended, many telling us they will fondly remember Ray every time they use the tools they bought.
Sadly, the family could not give him the farewell he so rightly deserved as Covid got in the way. Only 10 were allowed at a funeral so the family chose to farewell Ray in their own way privately. Ray was no showman and he often said, “There is more about me than just cars.” Our son Donovan is finishing the ‘35 Ford pickup Ray started some 40 years ago. Ray never rushed into anything… “What’s the rush?”
He was a good friend and his family always came first, even before hot rodding.