Ronnie Kaplan, 87, of Park Ridge, IL took his final checkered flag on March 1st 2014 surrounded by his loving family.
Ronnie served his country in the Coast Guard during WW II; was a devoted husband and best friend of Lynne (nee Hildebrandt), for 52 years; beloved father of Greg (Susan), Kairn Pawlikowsky (Jon), Jill, Kris (Laura), and Melani; beloved grandpa to Charlie, Tim, Mason, Liam, Ronnie, and Emme. Preceeded in death by his mother, Faye Wilczek, and brother, Robert Kaplan. One of the last surviving members of 1960 Indianapolis 500 winning crew, Ronnie’s innovative work on Indy Cars, Trans Ams, Corvettes, and other cars has been restored and preserved at the Indianapolis Hall of Fame Museum and private collections throughout the U.S. A dear friend and mentor to many, Ronnie’s thirst for knowledge and adventure took him, his family and friends through exciting projects and quests. A mischievous sense of humor and warmth kept him always young. Ronnie will be forever remembered for his artisan craftsmanship. Visitation will be on Monday, March 3, 3:00 – 9:00 at Cooney Funeral Home, 625 Busse Hwy, Park Ridge. The funeral is to take place Tuesday at 9:30 am at Cooney and 10:00 am mass at St. Paul of the Cross at 320 S. Washington, Park Ridge. Interment All Saints Cemetery. Info 847-685-1002 www.cooneyfuneralhome.com – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=ronnie-kaplan&pid=169938298&fhid=16216#sthash.ruJPTc8q.dpuf
Former racers at Meadowdale inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America include: Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Roger Penske, Carl Haas, Fred Lorenzen, Peter Revson, Curtis Turner, Lloyd Ruby, Jim Jeffors, Roger Ward, Paul Goldsmith, Gary Nixon, and George Follmer.
We are pleased to report that despite numerous roadblocks, the Meadowdale International Raceway Preservation Association (MIRPA) car show on Saturday, September 19, was a huge success. Thanks to the vision of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County over two hundred cars were on display and thousands of track fans crowded the main straight during the run of the show.
The theme for the event was the 50th Anniversary reunion celebration of the Meister Brauser Racing Team, the dominant competitor at the track during the 1950s and ’60s. Honored guests included Harry Heuer, leader of the team, Don Devine team driver, and many other members and fans of the historic team. On display was the Meister Brauser Chaparral built by Troutman & Barnes.
While the original Meister Brauser Scarabs were committed elsewhere the Scarab continuation car currently in production at Scarab Motorsports was on display. The Scarab was commissioned by Lance Reventlow and built by Troutman & Barnes in 1957. Lead wrench “back in the day” was Chuck Daigh. He and Reventlow easily vanquished the field at the very first Meadowdale race in 1958, with Daigh first and Reventlow second by large margins.
An original factory race team Cobra that actually raced at Meadowdale in 1963, was joined by other sports cars that had the thrill of thundering down the main straight back in the tracks heyday. Many of the other cars on display were racers, sports cars, hot rods, customs, motorcycles, and even a go kart from that era.
Fans of Meadowdale International Raceway Preservation Association can meet at Coffee and Cars the First Saturday of each month at Driveable Dreams (300 Jandus #109, Cary, IL). Share a story or two with racing engineer Ronnie Kaplan (Nickey Chevrolet and AMC Javelin team just to name two) and also Corvette Racing Legend Tony DeLorenzo. You never know who will be stopping in to Bench Race! Hope to see you there – 8 am until noon!
Advertise your business or show your support with an ad in the Annual Meadowdale, Motorsports & Memories Sept. , 2014 Car Show & evening Banquet program.
This will be a full program with articles and photos highlighting the history of the raceway. Covers will be full color – Inside pages will be black and white with color available at an additional charge - program page will be 8 1/2 x 11. We will happiily assist with the layout of your advertisement.
Contact Linda for assistance at (847) 421-2891
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