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Long time member, Torrey Kirby, seriously ill

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  • Long time member, Torrey Kirby, seriously ill

    Many of you know or know of Torrey Kirby. He is a very long time Studebaker enthusiast, SDC member, Potomac Chapter member, and member of a number of other car clubs. He is currently hospitalized at City Hospital, Martinsburg, WV suffering double pneumonia and a serious rib cage fungus. He is facing long-term hospital or other medical care. I talked to him on the phone this morning and he is very uncomfortable so I would not recommend calling him. Cards or notes to his home, in addition to your thoughts and prayers, would be nice. His wife can collect them and take them to Torrey. Send to: Torrey Kirby, 80 Kaiser Lane, Inwood, WV 25428.
    Over the many years he has collected/saved a large number of Studebakers, Packards, Kaisers, MoPars and others. He told me that he has to sell all the cars. Whether or not that includes the diesel Lark (his pride and joy) I don't know at this point. I also don't know what he has sold recently, but I will get over and try to make a list and take pictures. He asked if I would act as contact for the cars as he can't deal with them now and his wife is overwhelmed. Please email me directly at torreycars at frontier dot com. Due to the number of trash calls we get, we don't answer unrecognized calls.
    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

  • #2
    I am very sorry to hear that a fellow West Virginian/Studebaker enthusiast is ill--thoughts & prayers & well wishes!
    Marie Lewis


    • #3
      Thoughts and prayers from here as well...
      StudeDave '57
      US Navy (retired)

      3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
      SDC Member since 1985

      past President
      Whatcom County Chapter SDC
      San Diego Chapter SDC

      past Vice President
      San Diego Chapter SDC
      North Florida Chapter SDC


      • #4
        More prayers from Washington.


        • #5
          I remember your mentioning his illness at York, Paul; so sad.

          Those at York will remember the long list of parts and projects cars, 'most all Studebakers, Torrey had posted around York.

          Best wishes to him. BP
          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.


          • #6
            All prayers for a speedy recovery.
            If I recall, Torrey had the Lark diesel marked for sale at Gettysburg last summer.
            Brad Johnson,
            SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
            '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
            '56 Sky Hawk in process


            • #7
              I too am very sorry to hear of 'another' "Long term member" being caught up in illness. My best thoughts and warmest prayers go out to Mr. Kirby along with his wife and family.


              • #8
                Hi Mr. Kirby,

                Wishing you a speedy recovery.
                Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
                Kenmore, Washington

                '58 Packard Hawk
                '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
                '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
                '69 Pontiac Firebird
                (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)


                • #9
                  'Fraid not. When Torrey told me this morning that he had to sell all his cars I wondered about the diesel because he never planned to sell it. When his wife called me this afternoon I asked her about the diesel. She said he won't sell that. It will go to his daughter. He will also keep his '63 Avanti and '66 Daytona.
                  Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                  '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine


                  • #10
                    I made it over to Kirby's today and attempted to verify what all is there. In addition to the 42 cars on the for sale list he posted at York last month (see below- thanks to Ed Lemanski for the photo), I counted 31 more Studebakers and Packards that have to go. I did not try to verify the Kaisers, Nashes/AMCs, older Packards, and Chrysler products. There are probably 30 or so of these other cars. He will not sell the diesel, the Avanti and two others that are either drivable or can be.
                    Most of the cars are parts cars or salvage only, but there are some interesting ones. Make one '58 Packard hardtop out of the three he has sitting there. How about a '64 Commander two-door, 289, four-speed (bench seat)? Three ZIP vans, pretty rusty, but apparently complete. '63 GT Hawk, column shift automatic- doesn't appear to have fatal rust. A bunch of Larks, mostly six-cylinder and a bunch of '58s. Several President Classics, several '47-51s.
                    I'll try to get a smooth list put together and post it soon. He REALLY needs to move the cars. His health is very poor- too weak to sign documents at present. I did take pictures of most of the cars. Email me a torreycars at frontier dot com and I will try to match up and send you pix of the car you might be interested in.

                    Last edited by 53k; 04-03-2012, 06:00 PM.
                    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine


                    • #11
                      Quick update

                      Visited Torrey tonight and he seemed to be improving- more talkative and a little more energy than yesterday or Saturday. They are managing the pulmonary symptoms and have decided on a more aggressive treatment plan to fight the mystery infection, which is encouraging. He is still very weak and has lost a lot of weight but he is fighting which is half the battle. Keep him in your prayers.


                      • #12
                        Torrey is not out of the woods, but he is seeing some daylight. He was moved the other evening from the hospital to a rehab center where he expects to be for a couple more weeks. We went to see him this afternoon. He is still very weak, is on an IV of antibiotics, but his spirits are much better and his speech is near normal. He was choked up at the numbers of cards and well-wishes he has received. We took him an Easter basket with chocolate eggs (his wife told me that he still has his sweet tooth).
                        Due to some confusion about the ownership of some of the cars I mentioned in a previous post, sales for now are limited to those on the list I posted earlier. The '62 Lark convertible is gone and it looks as if the '61 Lark hardtop may go, but everything else is still there and he really need to move them. Torrey says most all have good titles and I think at least several are restorable.
                        Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                        '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine


                        • #13
                          My condolences to you, Torrey, and I pray for a smooth recovery. I, too, am a victim of "super-bug staph and fungus infections" in my right knee and leg for the past 3 years. I have never met Torrey personally, but am familiar with his '62 Diesel and his story. My son and other friends have visited Torrey's place over the years.

                          BE POSITIVE, TORREY. It may seem bleak now and as bad as you must feel, keep fighting. Never give up!! You're in good hands and with a loving family and friends, as the Johnson's, you're going to make it. God bless all of you.

                          Frank Drumheller
                          Locust Grove, VA
                          M16-52 Boyer-bodied fire truck


                          • #14
                            Pass on to Torrey that he is in my thoughts and prayers.
                            Joe Roberts
                            '61 R1 Champ
                            '65 Cruiser
                            Eastern North Carolina Chapter


                            • #15
                              Update on Torrey

                              It appears that Torrey is continuing to lose ground. Hospice has been called in.
                              Disposal of his vehicle fleet has become both more urgent and more of a problem. I spent five hours today making a comprehensive listing of his vehicles (descriptions, serial numbers where possible, and location) so his wife can match titles to cars and be ready to sell them. My final count, not including four vehicles the family will keep, was 109. Many are Studebakers (from 1940 to 1966), but there are a dozen or more Packards from the late 40s through '58, about a dozen Kaisers, one Frazer, a number of AMCs, several Nashes, some Mopars and several GMs. Many are too far gone to bring back, but most are complete and have a lot of good parts. Problem is, they can't be just picked, but must be removed. When I get a more readable list made up, I'll post more info.
                              Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                              '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine