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Robert Carini, 1922 – 2016

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Robert Carini. Photo courtesy Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival.

Robert Carini may not have achieved the level of fame realized by his son Wayne, star of Velocity television’s Chasing Classic Cars, but he was no less respected in the collector car community. A perfectionist with a passion for the Ford Model A (and, oddly enough, Honda motorcycles), Robert’s four and two-wheel restorations captured countless accolades over the years, and his dedication to the hobby earned him a Lifetime Achievement award from the AACA. Robert Carini died earlier this week, age 93.

Raised on the family farm in Glastonbury, Connecticut, Robert was a true Jack-of-all-trades. His immersion into the world of the Model A began at age 12, when he rebuilt a trio of Fords previously abandoned on the family’s property. He served in the Second World War, where his mechanical ability landed him the role of driver for an Army general.

Robert and Wayne Carini

Robert and Wayne Carini, circa 1960. Photo courtesy Wayne Carini

Robert began a career restoring Model As in 1948 and his tireless work ethic later saw him laboring on the night shift at Pratt & Whitney while running his auto restoration business during daylight hours. In 1952, dismayed that only classic and brass-era cars were allowed at car shows, Robert founded the Model A Restorers Club with fellow enthusiast Bill Hall, an organization that’s since grown to include chapters across the United States and in countries as far away as New Zealand.

His restoration skills later led him to a role as restorer and curator for the Captain Paul House Model A Museum, and in recent years Robert served alongside son Wayne and daughter Lindsay Cushing as Grand Marshals of the Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival.

No further details on a memorial service have been released.