Remembering Roger Grago

The VW and Porsche community lost another great friend late last year, Roger Grago.

CoverIt 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 2015.7/4/15

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.

Roger’s Race

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 ’73 911:1/3/15

Roger’s Vanagon which he skillfully shoehorned a 911 motor into:
1/3/15 1/3/15 1/3/15 1/3/15 1/3/15 1/3/15 1/3/15

Driver’s meeting before the Rally:1/3/15A video of the Rally rollout:

These pictures were from the dyno session at Heads Up for Roger’s 2.9 twin plug 911 motor

911 contributors credits

8/23/148/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14

dyno with dkp members

8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14 8/23/14

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 IIvwtrends2

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:seume article

2012 feature shot by Stephan for German 9ELF magazine:

A private tour and visit at Magnus Walker’s shop:with magnus walker

The usual suspects at Cars & Coffee:with dkp at cnc

On the way to chemo one day… No, he didn’t drive himself!

A surprise visit:untitled-101

This is a great shot that really captures his enthusiasm:Roger at Treffen from Steve 1 Another Cars & Coffee visit:
Roger and Keith A couple of the R Gruppe guys…Get it?rgruppe friendsCheck out the size of that amplifier!

A couple of great shots… Drive it like you stole it!RGruppe 5 RGruppe 2 Porsche 4 Meeting Jay Leno:New Years 2005 Roger and Jay Leno

Roger with Jerry Seinfeld:

The 911 is done and comes home:Never Alone Roger with great friend Mike Sofka:mike and roger

Being presented with a sweatshirt & polo shirt for the 2011 RGruppe event in Monterey named after him (note color).randywells-3966s

Collage from Roger’s memorialmemorial collage Honey do’s:in the garage Another surprise; DKP shows up for a lunch outing to Knollwoods;dkp lunch meet dkp group

From the DKP Archives:

Bug-in 14:vw108.jpg

At the DKP 25th Anniversary Reunion:IMG_0017rs...

And then again at the 40th:classic-gr...

Talking to Mark Thurber at Sarge’s for one of Keith’s many parties: sarge21.jpg

At Doug Mische’s house for Pre-Classic/Keith book party 2008:mische-200...

DKP II at the 45th Reunion at the Schley’s Museum:dkp 45th -...

Roger speaking on behalf of DKP II at the 45th:IMG_6833rs...

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….

Randy Grago

This is the first time I have seen this and I am deeply moved. I thank you so much for remembering my twin brother Roger for cars were his passion. It brings back memories of the closest human being in my life. Thank you for sharing!

Randy Grago

John Lazenby

Today when I got up I put on Roger’s shirt (the same one shown in the photo right down to color). I have no idea why I chose that shirt as I have many but possibly a higher power was telling me to remember my friend, Roger.

God bless Roger, we miss you but know you are in God’s hands and we’ll meet up down the road………….

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