For the past quarter century, Bob Carlson was the face of Porsche public relations in North America, a friend and facilitator to racers, honchos, and journalists alike, always ready to assist in any way possible.
After commencing his career covering motor sports for his hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, Bob joined Porsche as its racing public relations coordinator in 1984. His first posting was at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Reno, Nevada, and his tireless work facilitating the company’s best interests for both racing and road cars was essential to Porsche’s growth and success on these shores. At the time of his death, Bob was responsible for the entirety of the company’s public relations efforts in its largest market.
Bob was enamored of history, and his interest in the Civil War, North American railroading, and early rock and roll complemented his dedication to motor sports history and led him, in consort with Brian Redman, to establish the very popular Rennsport Reunions for the celebration of Porsche’s rich pedigree in the sport.
Early last year, Bob was presented the Jim Chapman Award for lifetime achievement by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, a fitting tribute to a man revered by everyone who ever had any dealings with him. Just before Christmas, however, word came that Bob had lost his long battle with cancer at the age of 60.
Bob is survived by his wife, Debbie, and his mother, Fran, to whom we at Vintage Racecar offer our sincerest sympathies.