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Patricia Hetrick, CMP, Executive Director
Ralph Marano Receives the Olympus Award
by The Elegance At Hershey
(HERSHEY, PA – June 2017)
The recipient of the Olympus Award for 2017 is Ralph Marano, a well-known collector from New Jersey and frequent guest on Chasing Classic Cars on Velocity TV. This achievement award is given by The Elegance to a collector who has shown a lifetime dedication to the spirit of sharing magnificent automobiles with automotive enthusiasts around the world. It’s awarded in honor of The Elegance founder, John W. Rich, Sr.
“The list of recipients of past Olympus winners reads like a who’s who in the automotive hobby. Ralph is no exception to this list and is a very worthy honoree. He has attended all past Elegance weekends and is a good friend to us all. We are more than pleased that he has accepted this honor,” stated The Elegance chairman Michael Rich.
Ralph’s obsession with cars began at an early age when he took auto shop classes in high school. “That’s when they offered work programs and options to students who did not want to pursue a college education,” Ralph told The Elegance. He also worked for a Volkswagen Agency, through a work-study program and won the Plymouth Trouble Shooting Contest in New Jersey. Upon his high school graduation, Ralph secured a job as a mechanic for Sears Roebuck Automotive Center at the rate of $2 per hour – the minimum wage was $1.35 per hour! Ralph rose to Store Manager, while working with his father nights and weekends selling cars.
In 1968, Frank married his high school sweetheart, Adeline. They have two sons and six grandchildren. “Today we work together in our family business Marano & Sons Auto Sales, Inc., which we opened in 1976 in Garwood, NJ.” After a serious automobile accident in 1978, he gave up his position at Sears to pursue full-time cars sales in his family business.
Ralph and Adeline brought in Mike Tango, at the age of 16, to work alongside them. “Mike has become part of the Marano family and still works with us today. When our boys were old enough to clean cars, they joined in the work to make this business a family success!” Ralph proudly states.
By 1996, their sons graduated college and made the business their careers. Both sons share his enthusiasm for cars, but each has a different interest. Jim likes modern sporty cars; Ralph, Jr. shares his father’s passion for classic cars. Their grandchildren often attend Grand Classic and Concours events with him. “Hopefully, my passion and knowledge of classic cars will rub off on them!” Ralph mentions.
Ralph’s introduction to classic cars came when his father and he purchased a 1937 Packard, which aided with his rehabilitation. “That car will never leave my collection,” Ralph implores. He’s collected mostly Packards for 30 years. Ralph’s collection consists of non-mass produced and small production vehicles. He also owns the only collection of every Packard prototype. In addition, his Darrin collection consists of a car from each year, 1937 – 1942. Packards are his first love, but he owns other marques including: Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg, Ford Hot Rods, 50 Mercury and some unusual Cadillacs. “No matter the marque, cars are my PASSION!” Ralph proclaims.
Ralph received the Olympus Award at the annual gala dinner during The Elegance this past weekend at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA. In combination with a vintage hill climb race, cars & coffee, seminars and galas, The Elegance at Hershey has become one of the most prestigious Concours in the U.S. Dates for next year’s event are June 8-10, 2018. For more information, visit TheEleganceAtHershey.com.
About The Elegance at Hershey
The Elegance at Hershey, a 501 (C) (3) organization based in Hershey, PA, was established in 2010. In its first 6 years, The Elegance at Hershey has donated more than $850,000 to its three charities, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the AACA Library & Research Center and the AACA Museum. Contributions are facilitated by significant sponsor support. Together with a great team of volunteers and donors, The Elegance is excited to move forward with the 2017 event. The event will be held on June 9-11, 2017. Visit TheEleganceAtHershey.com for more information.
THE ELEGANCE AT HERSHEY
501 West Governor Road, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033
(717) 534-1910, TheEleganceAtHershey.com