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Frank Kleptz leaves a rich legacy


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"Cars weren't meant to just sit and be looked at. They were made to go!" Frank A. Kleptz

Link-> Frank Kleptz Auto Museum, 1

Link-> Frank Kleptz Auto Museum, 2

Frank's influence on the old car hobby is truly legendary.

Link-> Frank A. Kleptz Obituary Terre Haute, Indiana

TERRE HAUTE — Frank A. Kleptz, 89, of Terre Haute, passed away Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, in Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Mr. Kleptz was born May 13, 1921, in Terre Haute to Andrew Kleptz and Barbara Heber Kleptz. He was the founder and owner of Kleptz Aluminum and Vinyl Products, he also was one of the former co-owners of the Ponderosa Steak Houses in Terre Haute. He was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church and a former member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He also was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Army Airborne. He was a world renowned car historian and collector. He was a legend in the Great American Race competing 10 years and was awarded the “Spirit of the Event.” He won his competition category in the Great American Race, two years. Frank also was a two-year winner of the best restored antique car in the country. He was a member of numerous car clubs across the country.

He is survived by his wife, Robertine “Roby” Cook Kleptz, whom he married May 30, 1946; his son, David Kleptz and Kristine of Terre Haute; one granddaughter, Melissa Manning and her husband Parker of Terre Haute; two grandsons, Ryan Kleptz of Terre Haute and Jarred Kleptz of South Bend; and six great-grandchildren, Madison Manning, Morgan Manning, Marin Manning, Mabrey Manning, Alexis, and Shelby Kleptz, all of Terre Haute. He also is survived by one sister, Marge Gallian and her husband Robert of California; three brothers, Joe Kleptz and his wife Jo Ann of Terre Haute, Charles Kleptz and his wife Arlene of Union, Ohio, and James Kleptz and his wife Judy of Vermont; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Janice Kleptz Thompson in 1984; and a sister, Mary Ann Wheatley.

Services will be Wednesday, Nov. 10 2010, at 11 a.m. at Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 North 13th Street, in Terre Haute, with the Rev. Rick Wetnight officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park. If friends so desire, contributions may be made to Fourteenth and Chestnut Community Center or the charity of their choice.




Edited by dep5 (see edit history)
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Yes, he's sure going to leave a big void around here in the car community. He was always willing to give advice or a tour at the drop of a hat. Friends and I really enjoyed the opportunity to walk through his museum and have him explain each car in detail. His recall was amazing.

Some more pictures-


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  • 1 year later...

Lois Wiley Anderson added more sad news to the story.

Not only did I know Frank & David Kleptz from the Great American Race, but

Wayne Wiley was a fixture too.

The first race is now almost 29 years ago and we've lost a lot of great antique car guys and competitors. These giants of the hobby drove to win and prove the earliest automobiles where good enough to drive across the country on today's roads. The Kleptz Team was famous among competitors for their spirit of "To Finish Is To win" and their eagerness to help others do the same.

I competed against them for many years and admired their tenacity.

Once we came across the aftermath of an accident involving David & Wayne their 1912 Haynes where the front end of the car was knocked off and they worked all night fixing it to race the next morning!

Frank was voted as one of the Legends of the Great American Race, as was my driver Ted Holden (Navigators, like Wayne & me never got the lime light)

We can keep their memory alive by telling a good story about them from time to time.

I just read the Dan Kruse Classics Presents the Richard Burdick Central Texas Museum Auction, which makes me wonder if we've also lost Dick Burdick, another of the GAR legends and 4 or 5 time winner of the GAR. Unfortunately 28 years ago when I started with the GAR, I was a young Rookie who thought these guys were invincible. I guess nobody is, ut the cars survive, thanks to guys like this and we hopes somebody else will enjoy them and use them a automobiles, not just static displays.

Edited by Paul Dobbin
Dick Burdick (see edit history)
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I just read the Dan Kruse Classics Presents the Richard Burdick Central Texas Museum Auction, which makes me wonder if we've also lost Dick Burdick, another of the GAR legends and 4 or 5 time winner of the GAR.

Nope. Looks like Dick is only closing one location.

Auction Information

After 32 years, Dick has realized his dream of a new museum facility in his hometown of San Marcos, Texas and is retiring the location in Rosanky. Approximately 93 vehicles will be offered, 88 without reserve. Mr. Burdick will be closing the Rosanky location of the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History and moving his base of operations completely to the new facility, Dick's Classic Garage in San Marcos, Texas.

Dan Kruse Classics - Auction Details

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