Bob Sutherland’s dedication to restoring, collecting, and—most importantly—driving vintage racing cars is legendary.  His collection included some of the most important competition cars of the 20th century, from the well-known Ferraris and Maseratis to his most beloved marque, the Bugatti.  He did not believe old racing cars should be found in barns or kept in static  museum displays, but should be driven as they were designed, as exemplified in the story of his 1953 Ferrari 375.  The car had been restored in Los Angeles, and it was expected that a truck would deliver the car to Colorado.  Instead, Bob drove the spartan race machine the 1000 miles home.  Author Jeff Allison wrote that the story amplified what many knew about Bob: “He seemed to never be too tired, too cold, too wet, too anything to drive one of his beloved cars anywhere, any time”.

Bob was instrumental in the formation of vintage sports car races at tracks around the world, and his experience led to the formation of the Colorado Grand.  Created in the spirit of the Mille Miglia, the 1000 mile race across the Italian countryside, the Colorado Grand was established in 1989 as a charity tour through the Colorado Rockies.  Featuring a lineup of often priceless pre-1960 sports cars, the Colorado Grand, in cooperation with the Colorado State Patrol, is driven by owners who travel to Colorado for a 1000 mile, non-competitive trek across Colorado roads and mountain passes over a five-day period that coincides with the peak fall color season.

The Colorado Grand generates well over $500,000 annually for a variety of charities that include Flight for Life, the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation, CASA, as well as financial support for medical facilities and college scholarships to graduating high-school seniors in each town the tour visits.  A list of major sponsors has grown to include Mercedes-Benz USA, Hagerty Insurance, WeatherTech, and RM Sotheby’s.  2023 will mark the 34th year of this remarkable event, which has raised more than $8.3 million dollars for Colorado causes to date.

Bob Sutherland’s boundless enthusiasm for the manners of vintage race cars led to the development of the Maxton Rollerskate in his Englewood shop, assemble collections of vintage race cars, and add another dimension to Colorado car culture with the Colorado Grand.  Bob passed away at age 56 in 1999, but his presence in Colorado automotive history continues.  Author Jeff Allison wrote: ”few people put their heart and soul into automobiles and life as did the gentle and generous Bob Sutherland”.

In recognition of his life accomplishments, we now welcome Bob Sutherland into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fames, Class of 2023!