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Old 02-16-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
parrot
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Default BOB FUSCHINO, Long time CARC member

Within a racing organization, a lot of members are known to the local racing community, but pretty much go unheralded to the rest of the world. Other than what those of us in the stands read in the program, we don't always appreciate the activities and backgrounds of the rest of the guys who make the show what it is. I'd like to pay respect here to one of those guys, that being car owner and long time CARC (Colorado Auto Racing Club) official, Bob Fuschino.
Bob was introduced to stock car racing at Lakeside Speedway in Denver as a member of #38 Gale Dolsby's pit crew in 1956 shown in the first photo with that car in it's early paint sceme.

In 1957 Bob became a car owner, having obtained Don Wilson's Former #99 (which had been Art Baca's #90 before that) a seasoned '34 Ford coupe and registering it as #55, a number he would use for the balance of the fifties. It was first painted white, shown here on it's side against the rail. Sam Sauer had his turn behind the wheel at one point, and Bob thinks this may have been one of those times. Most of those years saw Bob's #55 cars driven by Dick Piscitella.

Repainted red with gold numbers sometime during the '57 season, it's beginning to show the ravages of racing in the next photo. It was during that time that top inserts were no longer required and when removed, served duty for decades in Bob's garage as a drip pan! (That's where I found it some years ago, cleaned it up and hung it on my garage wall, a pretty cool piece of Lakeside memorabillia, I think).

1957 was a busy year for Bob as he also spent time on the crew for the #18 lavender '32 Ford coupe of Harry McCool shown in the fourth photo. Harry would stay with #18 for another season, drove the #63 Ford Vicky for Jim Gordon during 1959, then back to #18 cars using Chryslers.

The fifth photo in this group is from 1958, the "Spaghetti Special", a new #55 in nicer shape, and the crew looking sharp dressed in matching shirts and the Club required white pants. Doesn't show in this photo, but on the cowl behind Dick is lettered "55/2nd" denoting the new car. The red and gold color combination would go through some re-paints during the season. L to R; Pitman Freddie Carlino, driver Dick Piscitella, and Bob.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
parrot
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Default Re: BOB FUSCHINO, Long time CARC member

A repaint sometime during the '58 season shows the car with a new sponsor, Dyer Bros. Bay Service. Note the 'fives' are now taller. With car counts averaging around 80 on Sunday nights, notice how tightly packed the cars in the pits were!

For the 1959 season, Bob acquired a '32 Vicky from Fritz Wilson, and painted it in what he described as a deep red. Dick Piscitella was still doing the driving. That's CARC Vice President Tony Onorato on the left presenting Dick with a pretty good sized trophy.

Some sheet metal on the Vicky got bent up pretty good one night when involved with the Jimmy Gordon owned #63 Movel 'A' Vic usually driven by Harry Mc Cool, but temporarily numbered 75 as shown here. My '59 program doesn't list a #75 so have no other info on that. Bob believes that they were able to straighten out the #55 car to race again. Flathead V-8s were still the engine of choice for Fords.

Eventually fading away from ownership, Bob stayed busy with the CARC. He served as Gateman for several seasons, then Pit Steward for a while longer where he was busy calling the cars up for each event. On at least one occasion during the sixties, Bob performed the duties of Trophy Boy, shown here presenting the award to Powder Puffer Donna Barton driving hubby Frank's car.

Bob was a CARC member through 1980 receiving a Lifetime Membership Award in 1976. He was also among those recognized for their long service during the recent CARC Reunion held this past August, 2011. Final photo is the Lifetime Award presentation. L to R; Bob, Ronnie Lee, Don Pachello and Joe Krpan. many thanks to Bob and Carol Fuschino for sharing stories and photos with me. We had a good time reminiscing about those days.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
VintageBuzz
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Default Re: BOB FUSCHINO, Long time CARC member

Thanks parrot. And yet another great article/post by you!
"Most of those years saw Bob's #55 cars driven by Dick Piscitella."

I've been a Dick Piscitella fan every since I was a kid in Cheyenne. At Intermountain Speedway, Dick drove the Cheyenne-based #55 Storz Ford sedan that was a twin to Kennie Hawkins' #22 Storz Ford sedan. Then, Dick drove the #6 Budweiser Ford coupe for years until the W.A.R.C. booted the OHV Ford 6-cylinders in favor of V-8 power-plants. Dick's wife Bobby drove in the Powder Puffs for years too. I spent a lot of time over a Dick's house as they were both into hunting and guns and were always very proud of their hunting trips, game-trophies, and vast gun collection. ~VB
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: BOB FUSCHINO, Long time CARC member

Bill, This is an excellent post for a very deserving gentleman. I never had the oportunity to sit down and chat with Bob. His racing days were over when I came along. I only knew him in his official capacity at the races. He did a great job as pit steward at Lakeside. I do know Bob was a dedicated CARC member and gave a great deal of his time as an officer of the club and a track official. The fact that he was awarded a Lifetime Membership speaks volumes about his commitment to the club.

Bill, please post more stories concerning the '50's cars and drivers. Many of us were small children or not even born yet and have no recollection or have only heard stories. Bill you're blessed wiith a wonderful memory, you were a good photographer, are a wealth of accurate information, and obviously have an extensive library of historic information. It would be a shame to not tap into a resource like you and risk having this history lost to time. Tell your stories Bill, we're all ears.

Buzz, you're on target about Dick Piscatellla, I like you, enjoyed watching him race as a kid. I finally got to meet him and chat at the CARC 60th anniversary celebration in 2006. He was everything I expected. He was a real gentleman and very friendly and humble. He, Gene Corley, and the other guys seemed to get a kick out just being remembered. Great guys, great memories.



Chris Ertler - "professor coupe"
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: BOB FUSCHINO, Long time CARC member

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeside #29 View Post
Bill, please post more stories concerning the '50's cars and drivers. Many of us were small children or not even born yet and have no recollection or have only heard stories. Bill you're blessed wiith a wonderful memory, you were a good photographer, are a wealth of accurate information, and obviously have an extensive library of historic information. It would be a shame to not tap into a resource like you and risk having this history lost to time. Tell your stories Bill, we're all ears.
The Professor really nailed it in this quote, another cool story here BP! I love this local history stuff. There is however just one thing wrong with your stories Bill......there aren't enough of them!!!!
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: BOB FUSCHINO, Long time CARC member

OK, guys, thanks for the kind words. The fifties and early sixties were my favorite era. I do have a few more of these racing bios in the works. Still waiting for some photos for some of them. I really enjoy sitting down with these guys to hear their stories. Lots of stuff went on that I didn't know about just sitting in the stands. I only wish that I'd have started years earlier when more of them were around and memories were fresher. I actually was in the pits one year, but allowed admission because I was writing stories for an Eastern racing paper at the time. You get a whole new perspective down there and I envy you guys who actually participated.
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