Author Topic: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff  (Read 3008 times)

BGlover67

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Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« on: November 18, 2019, 12:01:15 PM »
It saddens me to say that long time Shelby owner, SAAC member and my friend, John C D “Woody” Woodruff passed away on Saturday.  Woody bravely fought pancreatic cancer for almost 3 years.

Many people on this forum will know Woody as being the original owner of car no. 145, a gray ‘redlight’ 1967 GT350, and remember him as a frequent member of the GT350 tours.  But he was also known for accompanying his best friend Tom Cotter on many of his famous Cobra Tours throughout the United States. It was always easy to spot Woody’s car among the pack of original Cobras, acting as a support vehicle for the group. 

Woody was a personal hero of mine, and someone I grew strength from as I fought my own battle with cancer.  He was one of the toughest individuals  I’ve ever met, living life at full throttle and never complaining about the pain he endured.  It didn't stop him from living his life, participating in tours and traveling with his friends and family even though he was on chemotherapy almost every day of his life.

There are so many Woody stories that I could relate, and perhaps some of you would like to share your own memories of him.  Most famously, Woody will always be forever linked with Fig Newtons after the ‘Grizzly Bear Incident’ in Alaska two summers ago,  but I would rather relate a more personal memory I have of him.

Last Fall, when I had surgery to remove part of my kidney two days before Thanksgiving, I felt pretty depressed.   Upon my release from the hospital, I settled into my house and noticed a card, that I still have, addressed from Woody.  It has a picture of the famous Dunlop footbridge at Le Mans on the cover, and inside Woody wrote the following,

”Congratulations, you’re now cancer free! Now go out and start thinking about more important things like Shelby’s!” 

Here was a guy who was looking down the barrel of a much more serious version of cancer, yet he still found the time to sit down and write me.  He was truly a class act and he will be missed by many.  The Shelby community has lost someone special.  The family is planning a private service, please keep him in your prayers.
Thanks,
Brian Glover
SAAC Carolina's Northern Representative
1965 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
1963 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

prototypefan

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 12:17:00 PM »
Warrior is the word that comes to mind.

My wife and I had the pleasure of being on Woody's last rally. Not a complaint, not a peep. The man got out of bed and participated.

I'm fortunate to have known and been touched by him.

His family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Godspeed Woody!  You'll never miss a shift again!!

With respect, sadness and gratitude.
Fred

JD

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 12:39:50 PM »
Woody was a great guy that loved and DROVE his Shelby!

He always was looking to put more miles under him and the car.

Sorry you're not here, but very glad to have meet you.
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Steve McDonald Formally known as Mcdonas

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 12:47:14 PM »
Brian
Thanks for the wonderful tribute to Woody
We saw him just last month on the GT350 Tour. He seemed tired, but happy to be out and riding around with a bunch of gear heads. He will be missed and I smile every time I see Fig Newtons
Owned since 1971, now driven over 240,000 miles, makes me smile every time I drive it and it makes me feel 21 again.😎

FL SAAC

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 01:16:12 PM »
Our deepest and sincerest condolences to you , his friends and his family
These cars are meant to be driven so enjoy the hell out of all of it. Not just the look of it when its all cleanCS

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Side-Oilers

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 01:26:52 PM »
Very sorry to hear.
Never met the man, but the "Fig Newtons vs The Bear" story is indeed legendary.
Condolences to his family and friends.
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Richstang

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 01:29:17 PM »
I'm very sorry to hear this news. My condolences to his family and friends. I've enjoyed seeing photos of Woody's '67 at numerous east cost events and SAAC conventions. When he repainted his early '67 GT350 it was the first Gray painted car I've seen without the lemans stripes on it. I appreciated that change. Although I don't recall meeting Woody in person, we talked a few times through emails. Sorry to hear of his passing, but happy to know he enjoyed his car to the fullest in all the years he owned it.
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Bob Gaines

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 01:31:12 PM »
It sounds like you guys were so lucky to have had Woody in your life . My condolences to his friends and family.
Bob Gaines,Shelby Enthusiast, Shelby Collector , Shelby Concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby

Shelby_r_b

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2019, 02:18:58 PM »
I certainly wish I could have met him in person.  And, it's interesting how you hear stories of people you've never met; yet, you feel like you know them.  What a tremendous man and an incredible loss.

Thanks for the update, Brian.  Prayers for all his loved ones.
Nothing beats a classic!

Henry G

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2019, 04:42:57 PM »
So here a typical Woody Story:

I was at a SAAC convention many years ago and Woody was there with 0145 and for whatever reason I did not have 0078 there.  Carroll Shelby was there signing autographs and Woody comes up with the driver's side sun visor for Mr Shelby to sign.  He noticed I had nothing to get signed so he goes and gets the original sun visor out of 0145 and gives it to me if I promise to send the passenger side sun visor to him out of 0078.  Needless to say I agreed on the spot and Mr Shelby signed the visors, noting the serial numbers on the visors.  So today the passenger sun visor from 0078 is in 0145 along with the original signed driver's side sun visor and the original passenger sun visor from 0145 is signed and in 0078...that is one of who knows how many Woody Stories...I was so lucky to be his friend...

H//

GT350DAVE

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 05:17:44 PM »
Woody was a great guy. I only met him a few times but exchanged hundreds of emails over the years. He was a character and will truly be missed by all. My condolences to his family.

Dave
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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2019, 05:43:31 PM »
For years, Woody was a tireless worker for Tom's Woody Party.  The "Woody" was supposedly for all the woody station wagons that showed up but I tend to think it was partly for his namesake.  Woody was always in attendance at most Mustang or Shelby events we ever attended.  He used his car like he used his life...To the fullest.  He will be missed. Here he is with my wife Peg just last month.  So glad we got to see him.
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BGlover67

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2019, 06:14:28 PM »
A service will take place for Woody tomorrow at 2pm in Charlotte.  If anyone is interested in attending, please PM me and I'll get you the details.  A few of us will be bringing Mustang's and Shelby's to see Woody off.  God's speed, my friend.

Thanks,
Brian Glover
SAAC Carolina's Northern Representative
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Chad

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2019, 08:10:29 PM »
I am sorry to hear the sad news!!!

gt350shelb

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Re: Checkered Flag: John "Woody" Woodruff
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2019, 09:22:06 PM »
This Photo was from 2 weeks ago  Woody riding  shotgun  with John c.   on the GT350 tour .  Was a great time  with him .We shared  stories  about  his 67 and  my 68  both from dockery ford .    During the 1st gt350 tour  woody had a mechanical issue that    caused him to spin off the road  backwards into a ditch , he and his navigator  were very lucky  they missed a huge tree stump by less than an inch , that made  the difference between walking away  and  not .  Somehow we managed to get car  recovered with out making it any worse that day . It took 2 years to  repair the car  and he was back  at the next  tour ready to go with a smile on his face . Living the life  full throttle  right to the end .

 Photo was taken by Roger M.   
Some where some one is driving their collector car for the last time but they don't know it . Drive your car every time like it could be the last memory of it .