Leslie @ Lunch

With Premier Guest Jerome Ritchey

Story by Leslie Joy Ickowitz

The birthday boy showed up in a black herringbone button-down, crisp camel-colored slacks and cuff links. I wore a smile plastered across my face—as I often do in Jerome Ritchey’s presence. 

I’ve known Jerome for a little bit over two years now. He’s the co-host of Studio 10 TV, the local show on 10 News WTSP-TV that I’m proud to be associated with (appearing on air once a month with VERTICAL).

I first realized I wanted to get to know him better hot off the heels of a WANDERLUST segment we did on air together, where I arranged for a fleet of very rare, exotic vintage cars to be delivered to the station. Jerome came flying out the doors, aiming for those cars with the thrilled enthusiasm of a child on a roller coaster. As I am myself a car freak, it was immediately clear, Jerome and I shared this in common. 

So over lunch at Mad Dogs and Englishmen (a spot he chose in part because he’s a fan of 50s and 60s culture, and where he appreciates the availability of Boddingtons on tap) we discussed cars that get our heartbeats racing. If he could own any exotic auto in the world, Jerome picks the Ferrari Daytona. NICE. My first choice? The Aston Martin Vanquish.

From his phone, he showed me a picture of a 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday SceniCoupe he is restoring. It’s been in his family since his great uncle purchased it in 1959 and in Polaris White over SilverMist paint, the car looks pretty mint.

His first car was a somewhat trashed diesel Mercedes. “Everyone thought it was so cool because it was a Mercedes,” he says. “But the floors were rotted and to time its 0-60 performance you needed a calendar, not a stopwatch.”

This French Panhard showed up for Studio 10, photographed by Patrick Foley

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