THE FLEETING MOMENT OF BARBARA ROUFS

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By the early Seventies, drag racing in America had really changed from what most consider its Golden Age in the Sixties. The beautiful FED (Front-Engine Dragster) had been replaced by fuelers with the motor behind the driver. Tire technology had improved to the point that tire-smokers weren’t smoking tires anymore, but were hooking hard on launch and sticking to every inch of the improved track surfaces. The wooly Fuel Altered class had been largely replaced by the Funny Car – basically, a stretched fiberglass homage to a currently offered pre-smog muscle car strapped over a lengthened wheelbase Altered. Hair grew long, shorts got short and bras got burned.

And it was in those years that a mystery girl named Barbara Roufs hit the scene as a trophy girl for events put on at tracks in Southern California by new sanctioning bodies like Doug Kruse’s Professional Dragster Association. Barbara embodied everything that the early Seventies drag racing world put into the world: that ironing board-straightened hair, the Sixties-vestige go-go boots, easy-breezy freedom tank and a tan to kill mere East Coasters.

We don’t know what happened to Barbara after those too-few years of photos, but our next call is to photo guy, Tom West. We have a feeling he’ll tell us. In the meantime, enjoy…

11 Responses to “THE FLEETING MOMENT OF BARBARA ROUFS”

  1. Dennis says:

    So did you get more shots of Barbara from Tom West? She sure was a knockout!

  2. Bridgette Roufs says:

    that beautiful knockout of woman is my mother. I can’t tell you how surprised I am to see these photos published: of her she would be so proud, those were some of her best moments in life, some of her happiest days.. She lived a very exciting life . unfortunately she lived a very short life she passed away in January of 1991 at the age of 47. I know this would be very exciting to her to know that she is on the World Wide Web her biggest dream to come true everybody gets to see her beauty. thank you for taking out the time to celebrate my mom

  3. crystal Dougherty says:

    This is my grandmother. Very proud of her, wish I had known her better. She was very beautiful!

  4. Tom West says:

    Bridgette and Crystal,
    I am the guy who took almost all of the pics of your mother/grandmother, and I truly considered her to be a friend. I had gotten the word that she had a different end, so i would really like to speak with you directly. Get back to me if you can on my Facebook page, which is the easiest way to do it.
    Thank-you, and for your memories of your mom. yeah, she was very special in more ways that I don’t even come close to showing in my photos.
    Tom West

  5. Rick H says:

    These pictures remind me of when I was a kid!
    What a fun time… and to read the family comments really REALLY made my day!

  6. Bridgette Dougherty says:

    Dear Tom, if you want to talk to me you can get me by facebook, under the name of Jet Dougherty

  7. Susan Brochini says:

    Tom,
    Do you have more photos of Barbara that aren’t the pin ups all over the web? I’m sure her family would love to have copies if you do.
    Friend of Jet, Susan

  8. Garagepunk says:

    So refreshing to see respectful comments, she really was beautiful and appears to embody the 60s spirit

  9. Kurt Hill says:

    Excellent pics! What a beautiful woman! She sure showed what the 60′s we’re all about. Love it! So sorry to hear she passed waaaay too early early.

  10. David Scollo says:

    THANK YOU FOR POSTING THESE PHOTO”S. YES SHE WAS A VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AND TAKES ME BACK IN TIME AS A YOUNGER MAN. I’M SO VERY SORRY THAT SHE IS NO LONGER HERE TO SEE THESE PHOTO’S. I KNOW SHE WOULD BE SO VERY HAPPY. THANK YOU TOO TOM FOR THE PHOTO’S.

  11. Jimmy Tillitt says:

    Hello, I spent time as a kid at Lions Drag strip, and later at OCIR. great times and these photos of Barbara are awesome. gone way too soon! Jimmy

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