Roger Wilson RIP
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Thread: Roger Wilson RIP

  1. #1
    Opeler
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    Roger Wilson RIP

    It is with great sadness that I am reporting the death of my good friend Rodger Wilson. After a long battle with cancer he has left the Opel world. Even though I got him a computer he never became computer literate. His last appearance was the Opel 50 in Las Vegas.
    He has left behind a ton of Opel racing parts. He asked me to help his family sell them because he didn't want to leave a mess without a reward. There are port and polished big valve heads, roller rocker sets, Isky cams, side draft carb sets, to complete 1.9 race motors. I have not been able to take an inventory but these are just a small part of his over 40 years of collecting and building engines. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.
    Thanks,
    Ralph Coates

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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by californiagting View Post
    It is with great sadness that I am reporting the death of my good friend Rodger Wilson. After a long battle with cancer he has left the Opel world. Even though I got him a computer he never became computer literate. His last appearance was the Opel 50 in Las Vegas.
    He has left behind a ton of Opel racing parts. He asked me to help his family sell them because he didn't want to leave a mess without a reward. There are port and polished big valve heads, roller rocker sets, Isky cams, side draft carb sets, to complete 1.9 race motors. I have not been able to take an inventory but these are just a small part of his over 40 years of collecting and building engines. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.
    Thanks,
    Ralph Coates
    This is very sad. God Bless Rodger and his family.

    PM sent on a ported head, roller rocker set and clearanced valve cover.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    I am saddened to hear of Roger's passing. I met him at the OMC Picnic in Huntington Beach back in 2003. I have wished many times that I spent more time with him then, as it was clear that he was a pretty special guy.

    The photo below is from that event, and Roger is on the left. I don't recall the other fellow's name

    Opel-on, Roger.
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    Last edited by kwilford; 08-06-2019 at 01:03 PM.
    opelgtguy and Gordy like this.
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT; next up is my 28,000 mile Garage Find GT, stored since 1975, which needs a LOT of love...

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    Opeler jmbinjax's Avatar
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    Very Sad News! I didn't know Roger personally but heard his name numerous times over the years and I know we owe him a lot when it comes to the performance development of our Opels. RIP Roger

  7. #5
    Senior Member GTRoy's Avatar
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    That is John Curzi from Concord CA. ( Reference to photo posted by K.W. )
    John was a long time Manta owner and is a professional German car mechanic.
    kwilford likes this.

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    Senior Member The Cub's Avatar
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    Roger was a good man, my wife & I remember him from the old OMC meetings and picnics, driving an engine block up to him from a GT I had previously owned and other conversations we had over the phone. One of the good guys who must have lived a good long life. It seemed he was old to me 25 years ago. I hope he passed peacefully.
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  9. #7
    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter RallyBob's Avatar
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    Well, damn. I was wondering why he hadn’t replied to my phone calls recently. I was hoping to fly out to see him one last time.

    RIP my friend.
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    My Flickr photos.
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    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Never met the man, but, heard a lot about him, go in peace Roger
    Gordy likes this.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    1000 Post Club Vincent's Avatar
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    RIP Opel legend....
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    R.I.P. Roger. He will be missed.

    I had the opportunity to meet him and see his shop during one of the OMC meets. One of the reasons I bought my Senator sight unseen was the fact that Roger rebuilt its motor.

  13. #11
    GT Owner opelgt722002's Avatar
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    I will miss Roger but will think of him every time I start one of his engines.
    Bob

  14. #12
    Your Noble Friend ;-) G.v.Mainberg's Avatar
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    Rest in Peace, Roger! Put some tire skid marks in these clouds up there!

    Dieter

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    Senior Member crliwa's Avatar
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    Rip

    Quote Originally Posted by kwilford View Post
    I am saddened to hear of Roger's passing. I met him at the OMC Picnic in Huntington Beach back in 2003. I have wished many times that I spent more time with him then, as it was clear that he was a pretty special guy.

    The photo below is from that event, and Roger is on the left. I don't recall the other fellow's name

    Opel-on, Roger.
    I too met Roger at the Opel Nationals in California... I real loss to his friends and Family
    Craig Roberts

  16. #14
    Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer GoinManta's Avatar
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    RIP Roger.. Was glad to have known you..
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '92 Senator B - "Professor"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"

    In the past owned:
    '04, '05, '06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many many other Opels

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    RIP Roger.


    Pete
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    Gordy likes this.
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Pete Anastopoulos
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    [email protected]* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  18. #16
    Senior Contributor GoldGT's Avatar
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    RIP Roger, it's easy not to forget Roger as every time I start my car it's his work that makes it run the way it does.
    Jeff

    '73 GT,5spd,Recaro,EDIS4 2.2 EFI MegaSqrt, Ali Flywhl w/S10 Clutch, Elec Fan, Roller Rockers, Venolia Pistons, 6 Cyl Intake w/ Custom Injection, 15" Wheels,F&R Sway Bars,2" Exhaust,1" Sport Spring,Koni Reds,Wilwood Brks,3:90 Gears & Gripper LSD,Rear Disks,Ali Radiator,Hse of Colors - Kandy Pagan Gold.
    123 WHP @ 6800 RPM

    www.markandson.net

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    '64 VW Ghia '09 S35i BMW Z4
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    While I've never had the honor of meeting Roger, he blessed my street project and spoke with me hours upon end by phone. Even when he was feeling crappy, he made sure I understood not only what I was getting, but why and how he developed the ideas behind them. One inevitable truth is that 99.9% of auto racing competitors will never share their secrets. After closing his business, and well into his retirement, he relished in the fact that his legacy was going to live on. His care, time, knowledge, resources, and more than a few custom racing parts will be with me to cherish. We've lost a good one there folks.
    The Cub likes this.

  20. #18
    Member opeljohn's Avatar
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    The wife and I got to meet and talk with Roger at the 2000 and 2005 OMC Picnic's. I think it was 2000 when he had a group of folks out to his shop. Connie somehow sweet talked him out of one his racing GT's photos. I managed to incur a bit of his ire at the 2005 event when I picked a piece of metal he was giving a seminar on. It was freshly milled and finger prints were a no no. Nice guy and a truly talented engine builder. He and his knowledge will be missed in the Opel world.
    Gary likes this.

  21. #19
    3000 Post Club m610's Avatar
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    I've been away and sort of out of the loop, but I did get this news, this sad news.

    I talked to Roger on Father's Day. He helped me with advice on Catherine's motor. But he was also very anxious, was getting a lot of calls from family, and hurriedly before he hung up said something about being dead in 5 weeks. I let that slide for the moment, but called back a week or so later and could not reach him. I called again a week or so later and could not reach him. Soon after that Gil and I were talking about paying him a visit. Then we got the news.

    I don't have any details other than while he had a number of health problems, such as 30 years dealing with diabetes, he would get out in his garage and heft engine parts around. He was building his race car and wanted to race at least one more time. Gil told me he'd been working on that car for 30 years so don't hold my breath, but still, he was an active Opeler into his mid-80s.

    I miss him. I wish one of my calls had gotten through. I wanted to say thanks for the help and the friendship and to let him know that he made meaningful contributions to what I am doing with Opels, The Blitz, and the Tinyvette, and if nothing else he should feel good about that. On top of that there are many other people he has helped, and laughed with, and been friends with, and in that a piece of him will live on.

    The upcoming issue of The Blitz is well on it's way to being done, but there's lots more room for important stories, like this one, and even if it was nearly full I'd bump stories for this one. But what I am getting at is if any of you have stories, memories, impressions about Roger you'd like to share in The Blitz please send it in and I'll publish it. PM me or email me using the address on the inside back cover of The Blitz.

    Mike
    Gary, kwilford and RallyBob like this.

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