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Ray Keto Passes

Just learned that long time Durant enthusiast Jorma Ray Keto passed away in March. He was a contributor to all three Durant clubs. One item he contributed to the DFR was a signed copy of the book "My Father" by Marjorie
Durant. I visited Ray back when we were trying to organize the DMAC and he
gave the DMAC the mold that he designed for making his door handles for his 23 Durant Sports Touring. His beautiful 23 Durant adorned the cover of a 1966
Antique Automobile magazine published by the AACA. One article in the magazine was titled "I Had Rather Do It Myself". Ray was a firm believer in self restoration. He won the AACA Presidents Award in 1966.
Would have stayed in touch with Ray more, but he did not like to talk on the
telephone and preferred writing letters instead.
As one of my mentors in the 60's he will be missed.


Where Are You From? Newport, NC

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1924 Flint E-55

Re: Ray Keto Passes

Yes, I am real sorry to hear of Ray Keto's passing....Ray and his 1923 Durant sport touring was the inspiration in the restoration of my 1923 standard touring...When I first saw Rays sport touring in our photo page I thought right then and there that's what I wanted my standard touring to look like, so on went the features of the sport touring like the Biflex bumper, the wind wings, plating the windshield stancions and frame and headlight buckets and the like....Ray was very maticulas in originality and the materials that were available and used in 1923 when his car was manufactured, one example, vinyls were not yet available in 1923, and V grove battleship lenolium was what was originally used on the running boards, so ray took battleship lenolium and cut the V grove pattern on his table saw, he made his own layered canvas topping material...Ray and his family worked together as a team on the restoration...I have never met Ray personnaly but during the latter part of my restoration I was writing to Ray and he sent me a CD of highlites of his restoration...I believe that Ray handed down his Durant to his Daughter when his health started to fail...Ray Keto..Just a real good guy.

Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Several

Re: Ray Keto Passes

Thank you Yates Milton and Bill Hoaglin for your kind words concerning my father Ray Keto. I am currently going through his estate now and realize he didn't seem to throw anything away! So I am having the privilege of reading the many letters to and from fellow Durantonians dating back to the 1960's. I wonder how many of them are around today? Or how many around today even knew my father! After all, 2015 will be the 50th anniversary of the winning of his 1st Junior. I also learned that after the Durant restoration he was looking for a '30 Durant sport roadster but ended up with a Windsor roadster which he traded for a Stutz roadster. (I wish he had gotten the Durant instead!) My father was certainly one of a kind, and for those who didn't know him, you will find his story in the November/December, 1966 issue of AACA's magazine Antique Automobile. Thank you Yates and Bill for recognizing his passing on.

Where Are You From? Smithsburg, Md 21783

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 A-22 Sport Touring

Re: Ray Keto Passes

I am sorry to learn of the passing of Ray Keto and I extend my condolences to the family and all those privileged to know him. The article Ray wrote in the Antique Automobile magazine in 1966 was the inspiration for me to restore JIMMIE to the same standard of perfection. I succeeded almost in every detail except the cross cut pattern of the molding on the aluminium edging of the running boards. From memory Ray made a male / female hand operated grooving machine to recreate the correct pattern. I still have his original article buried in my archives somewhere. It is pleasing to know his car is still running, long may it continue as part of the Durant legacy.
Taupo, New Zealand
1924 Durant A22 Sport Tourer

Where Are You From? Lake Taupo New Zealand

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1924 Sports Tourer

Re: Ray Keto Passes

when I founded the first Durant star club back in the 1960's, your father Jorma Ray Keto was a very helpful member...sending info and pictures when he could...he encouraged me to make the effort to succeed....of course what we have today was the outgrowth of that first club...He will be remembered with great respect and affection.

regards, Gary K...

Where Are You From? Penna

Do You own a car built by Durant? star trg

Re: Ray Keto Passes

Hi Hilkka,
Would really be nice to have you attend our North Carolina Meet and bring the 23 Durant. Your brother, Raymond that lives in NewBern,NC, might could help. Would love to meet you both. NewBern is only 35 miles from here. Your Dad sent me a Christmas card some years back that had a picture of the entire family. Also have the CD and a copy of the 1966 Antique Automobile magazine featuring his two articles, one of which was "I Had Rather Do It Myself".


Where Are You From? Newport, NC

Do You own a car built by Durant? 24 Flint E55 Sedan

Re: Ray Keto Passes

Yates- Yes, I am planning to attend the meet in Salisbury. Unfortunately I will not be able to bring the Durant. It is still in storage and my brother can't help due to health reasons. I have been so busy cleaning up what my father said was "his life", which is the back room where he stored anything paper. He wasn't't the most organized person and I am getting caught up reading Jeff Gillis's letters from the 80's on, organizing Spokewheels from 1973, and filing all his correspondence to and from suppliers needed for his restoration. I am glad that he saved this wealth of information but it is taking a lot of time going through it because it is so fascinating. It really is"his life" in that room. I am looking forward to meeting fellow Durantonians. See you there! - Hilkka

Where Are You From? Smithsburg. Md.

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Durant sport touring


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