Simmons Ruppert of Bluegrass Motors is Raleigh’s finest new and pre-owned automotive dealer. He plays mandolin and some banjo. His head is usually shaved so his perpetual straw hat won’t blow off. (Below is a rare image sans hat drawn from memory) Simmons can see out of his right eye but wears a patch as a distraction in order to better discern a man’s integrity. He prefers bow ties or string ties, but will wear a necktie to church because both his wife and his mama think he should do so on Sundays.
Most of his people descended from Outer Banks Ocracoke Spanish horse traders. Some of them migrated to Missouri and then later returned to North Carolina and settled down in the Raleigh area. He still has some family and bluegrass connections in Missouri.
Simmons is world-class expert on International Harvester Scouts. His great-Uncle Bentley hobnobbed with Cyrus McCormick. They belonged to the Huron Mountain Club and had a cabin on Lake Superior. Simmons spent many summers there as a kid.
Rumor has it Simmons was involved in the acquisition of the famous Harvester Scout that belonged to a Mr. Piercy, who was Earl Scruggs’ agriculture teacher in high school. They raised a lot of money for the local FFA with that vehicle.
Simmons is an important bluegrass confidant in central N.C. He’s an honest car dealer. He’ll tell you right up front he wants to make enough money on the deal to stay in business, but not enough to retire off you. He says, “Think of me like a sheep. It’s okay to shear me; just don’t skin me.”
Simmons had important background information in “Acquisition Syndrome.” He had some dirt on Riley Harper, too. You can always trust the true bluegrass people.
Bones followed his advice.