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Bob "Red" Lathrup - A Drag-Racing Legend

Page posted September 14, 2001

It is with a very sad and heavy heart that I report I was informed yesterday of the passing of a drag-racing icon. Bob Lathrum, (also known by his friends as "Red" or "Animal") passed away several weeks ago. Bob is mostly remembered for his duties as Crewchief for the infamous Hurst Hairy Olds, a twin-engined four-wheel-drive 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass. This exhibition car was campaigned in 1966 with "Gentleman" Joe Schubeck at the wheel, and after a crash in 1966, the car was replaced with a '67 Cutlass and driven throughout that year.
     The friendship and partnership of Bob and Joe go back to high school and running a top fuel dragster out of Joe's basement. They started welding up chassis' in Joe's parents' basement in the late '60s as teenagers, which eventually grew into Lakewood Industries. While Joe was the owner, Bob Lathrum was shop foreman and assistant manager of Lakewood until Joe sold the company in the late '70s. They made quite a team until Joe retired from Lakewood and moved to California.

Bob "Red" Lathrup


Photo courtesy of the Hurst/Olds Club of America

The following pictures were taken September 22-23, 2000 at the 2000 Quad States Oldsmobile Show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This is where I got the personal privilege of meeting Bob in person. I found him to be a very likeable person. In the background here you can see me (with the notepad) interviewing the drag-racing legend about the original Hurst Hairy Olds and his experiences, and also the current Hurst Hairy Olds restoration by Dennis Mothershed of the Oldsmobile Club of Iowa. Also making an appearance at the Hurst Hairy restoration debut was Chief Mechanic Dale "Mr. Olds" Smith, shown in the foreground.

Driver "Gentleman Joe" Shubeck, Chief Mechanic Dale "Mr. Olds" Smith and Crewchief Bob "Animal" Lathrum have a discussion over something they haven't done in over 30 years...the FIRST Hurst Olds!

 

 

 

 

 

Here "Gentleman Joe" shows me the proper way run the dual throttles, as Bob Lathrum and Dale Smith look on.

REST IN PEACE, BOB! WE'LL MISS YOU!

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