The VW and Porsche community lost another great friend late last year, Roger Grago.
It was 5 years ago today that Roger was diagnosed with brain cancer,
more specifically, GBM or “glioblastoma mutiforme”.2 tumors were discovered, 1 thimble sized, the 2nd the size of a baseball. They both needed to be removed immediately and to make matters worse, Roger had just started a new job and was without health insurance. What followed was an incredible journey that was documented by Roger’s wife, Terrie via a blog simply titled “Roger’s Race”. The blog was both informative and inspirational, keeping us all “in the loop” regarding Roger’s progress, both physically and spiritually. Sadly, Roger “crossed the finish line” on December 21, 2014.
DKP III payed tribute to Roger on our VW classic T-Shirt for 2015.
The Roger’s Race blog is still up and I encourage you to check it out or even recommend it to someone else who may be in a similar circumstance.
For Roger’s Memorial, January 3, 2015, a rally was organized, starting from the old Cars & Coffee location to the Church. It was a great turnout of Porsche’s, VW’s and other interesting classic cars. Here are a few pictures and a video of the group rolling out:
Roger’s beautifully restored Aubergine ’73 911:
Roger’s Vanagon which he skillfully shoehorned a 911 motor into:
Driver’s meeting before the Rally:A video of the Rally rollout:
These pictures were from the dyno session at Heads Up for Roger’s 2.9 twin plug 911 motor
Here is a video of one of the pulls from session 1
220 Horsepower @ 6400RPM
189 FT. LBS. torque @ 5400RPM
I think it was in the 240HP range during the final session.
The pictures that follow are just a few that were pulled from the DKP archives as well as from the Roger’s Race Blog .
From Terrie’s Archives:
Roger’s 1st Karmann Ghia while a member of DKP II
Roger’s re-incarnated Ghia from DKP II, winning best of show @ Bug-in 20, now residing in Japan. May 2014 Ultra VW article by Keith:
2012 feature shot by Stephan for German 9ELF magazine:
A private tour and visit at Magnus Walker’s shop:
The usual suspects at Cars & Coffee:
On the way to chemo one day… No, he didn’t drive himself!
A surprise visit:
This is a great shot that really captures his enthusiasm: Another Cars & Coffee visit:
A couple of the R Gruppe guys…Get it?Check out the size of that amplifier!
A couple of great shots… Drive it like you stole it! Meeting Jay Leno:
Roger with Jerry Seinfeld:
The 911 is done and comes home: Roger with great friend Mike Sofka:
Being presented with a sweatshirt & polo shirt for the 2011 RGruppe event in Monterey named after him (note color).
Collage from Roger’s memorial Honey do’s: Another surprise; DKP shows up for a lunch outing to Knollwoods;
From the DKP Archives:
At the DKP 25th Anniversary Reunion:
And then again at the 40th:
Talking to Mark Thurber at Sarge’s for one of Keith’s many parties:
At Doug Mische’s house for Pre-Classic/Keith book party 2008:
DKP II at the 45th Reunion at the Schley’s Museum:
Roger speaking on behalf of DKP II at the 45th:
From left-to-right: Roger; Mike Billings; Doug Mische; Mike O’Neill and Keith Goss from 2010. Oh, and of course, that’s Ron Fleming photo-bombing from behind….