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Photo of the Month
September 2023
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places

Ron Prevenslik
Ronald S. "Ron" Prevenslik stands at far right with driver Roger McCluskey and the 1977 pit crew at the Indianapolis 500 raceway. Car no. 11, made by the American Motors Corporation and owned by Lindsey Hopkins Jr., was a Lightning 77 LHL-4 model powered by an Offenhauser TC engine. Driven by McCluskey, the no. 11 competed in a number of races that year, qualifying for the brickyard at a speed of 190.992 mph and finishing eighth.

As a paint specialist, Ron also was a member of the Gilmore/Foyt Racing Team, known as the "right-rear carrier" on the crew of Jim McElreath's no. 73 Carrillo Rod Carrillo/AMC team which captured top prize in the Miller/Indy Pit Stop competition. He also was employed with Dan Gurney All American Racers and part of the team that designed and painted the no. 48 Jorgensen Eagle, which today is on display in the Indy 500 Museum. 

Ron grew up Youngwood, Westmoreland County, PA, gaining experience as a body man at a small collision shop before going on to an automotive career in Southern California. For 25 years, he and his wife Catherine “Jane” (Fultz) Prevenslik, the bookkeeper – of the family of James B. and Catherine (Van Dyke) Fultz – owned and operated Automotive Collision and Refinishing serving Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Santa Ana, CA. 

Their daughter, Nicole “Nikki” (Prevenslik) Bosley, has written this loving tribute: 

My father was a small-town boy with big dreams. His hard work and determination earned him a long career as one of Southern California's premier automotive restorers and collision specialists. Self-employed for more than 38 years, his exemplary skills and talent earned him notice by various professionals in the racing business. As a boy, my father dreamed of one day working in the pits at the Indianapolis 500. He accomplished this goal and much more. After settling in California, my father established himself by building and racing dragsters. His natural gift for design, creative instinct and attention to detail eventually caught the eye of Indianapolis 500 driver, team owner and car manufacturer Dan Gurney. My father always remembered his first contact with Gurney with pride and enjoyed talking about how exciting this moment was for him. He collaborated with the racing icon on various projects throughout the years, most notably painting the AAR’s No. 48 Jorgensen Eagle. He was honored by Gurney when AAR received the PPG Outstanding Use of Color and Design Award in 1976 and 1978 for the Championship Division at Indy 500. Throughout his career, my father met and worked with well-known racing celebrities including Mickey Thompson, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.

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