GOODBYE TO ONE OF THE GREATEST GENERATION: Willie Ashford Embodied the Family Spirit of Car Collecting

Willie Ashford (left) with son-in-law Steve Davis and late brother Murray, on the 2014 Las Vegas Public sale.

 

4 generations: Willie Ashford with daughter Janie Davis (far proper), granddaughter Misty McLaren, and great-grandsons Connor and Blake.

Your complete workforce at Barrett-Jackson was deeply saddened to listen to of the passing of Willie Ashford this previous weekend. The daddy of Janie Davis, Willie was rather more than a father-in-law to firm president Steve Davis. “Janie’s father, Willie, was really my greatest buddy,” Steve stated in a 2016 interview. “He went to all of the auctions with me, since 1979, after I started coming to Barrett-Jackson as a consignor. We hauled these automobiles, we labored on these automobiles. He was proper by my aspect.”

Willie was born in 1928 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, finally heading west along with his household to settle in Visalia, California. Whereas attending Union Excessive College he met the love of his life, Nina, at a curler rink, and the 2 had been married a outstanding 66 years till she handed away in 2014. He was drawn to the automotive world early on, changing into half proprietor of Visalia Truck & Trailer, engaged on large rigs and trailers.

Willie, Steve Davis and Steve’s son-in-law Dean McLaren, engaged on Steve’s GT350.

In reality, the automotive bug bit Willie early on – he liked classic automobiles, particularly Fords, and have become an avid NASCAR fan, in addition to a well-known fixture (typically along with his late brother Murray) at Barrett-Jackson auctions, the place he at all times had a smile on his face. “My grandpa by no means knew a stranger, and was dearly liked by everybody,” stated Willie’s granddaughter Misty McLaren.

“The collector automobile pastime is a collision of recollections and fervour and the love of the individuals round you,” remarked Steve Davis. “Willie’s spirit lives on in that. It’s a part of his heritage and his time with me and my household collectively.”

Willie Ashford’s legacy and dedication to his household will dwell on perpetually.

Our ideas and prayers are with Steve, Janie and the whole Davis household at this troublesome time.