Godspeed, Patrick, Fellow Gearhead | Cancer Sucks

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Dec 16, 2020 | Factory Five

Posted to the Factory Five Racing Facebook page on December 15, 2020:

Lessons I keep learning. 

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me about Factory Tours. We've shut down public tours thru Covid for the most part to try to keep our crew safe… But Nancy is a good friend and her friend Patrick is a huge Factory Five fan so I agreed to make an exception. They showed up Wednesday morning Dec 2 for the tour. To tell you the truth, I always make an effort to show people our company and tours are an important part of that… But this day I was soo busy and so many projects are coming together at the end of the year that I really was privately regretting having agreed to the tour. 

I figured I'd do a shortened version of the tour and get back to the important things on my desk. Surviving this Covid year has been a challenge and for once maybe I could cut a tour a bit short. Who could blame me? Bills to pay and things to do.

Meeting in the showroom I find out that this guy Patrick is a huge car guy, very knowledgeable and totally up to date on many FFR projects. I also find out Patrick has late stage pancreatic cancer and one thing he wanted to do before things got too bad was to visit Factory Five. I put my phone away and spent a few hours with a guy I would have been happy to call my friend. I showed Patrick all the R&D projects we've been keeping under wraps, fired up the nasty 427-powered car, and gave him some cool swag on the way out. It was a great time. 

Patrick passed away this morning thirteen days after his visit here. I keep learning these lessons. We build great cars for sure. But we also build stories and fellowship and the things we build bring people together. My very most important job is to never forget that. Patrick reminded me this morning. Godspeed brother. 

Dave Smith


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gearheadmb SuperDork
12/16/20 6:01 p.m.

Dont scare us like that.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/16/20 6:05 p.m.

A lesson we can all keep going forward as we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Godspeed Patrick and may all of us remember to help each other whenever we can do so as we do not know what the future will be. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/16/20 6:26 p.m.

Godspeed Patrick, and thanks Dave for giving him a day to enjoy where he could focus on what he enjoyed and not the pain, the disease or the inevitable. There's a dignity in an enjoyable distraction that few will ever understand. 

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
12/16/20 7:17 p.m.

Dave, you too have a special place in heaven.......peace out

hybridmomentspass Reader
12/16/20 7:31 p.m.

Freaking shame.

I hate to hear this, my heart goes out to his family and loved ones. Good on Dave for opening up the shop for him.

dxman92 Dork
12/16/20 10:53 p.m.

Looks like a happy guy in that picture. Godspeed.

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/17/20 4:52 a.m.

Wow, always remember the great day you gave him.  I don't have to tell you, that life is hard.  You gave him a really nice day amoungst his last.  Well done.

pirate HalfDork
12/17/20 9:09 a.m.

I'm sure you taking the time to talk and give him the grand tour was a meaningful experience and also welcomed diversion from the very uphill battle with pancreatic cancer. Good on you. I'm 74 and it probably took me too long to realize that you never know what's going on in peoples lives you meet or even have known for a good length of time. Being considerate, nice and possibly even a smile can make someone else day. It's a decision you can make and really doesn't cost you anything. Patrick RIP!

12/17/20 5:56 p.m.

Thank you for the article about Patrick's visit to Factory Five, I'm sure that visit was wonderful for him and his family. It does not surprise me that Dave gave Patrick such a nice day. I live near FF and one day stopped b by on my way to visit a friend, when I parked my car out front someone came out the door to get something out of the trunk of his car, unbeknownst to me it was Dave who I had never met before. He said hello and asked me if I needed anything, I said I just stopped to look things over. He invited me in and personally took me through the complete operation as I am sure he did for Patrick. He is truly an enthusiastic but more so a truly kind and caring person.

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