The Great Race has lost two of its most iconic veterans dating back to the founding of the event in 1983. Grand Champion Dave Teter, a veteran of more than 20 Great Races, and Chic Kleptz, an innovator who regularly campaigned in a Marmon automobile, both passed away in the last week.
Teter, who won the 1986 race from Disneyland to New York City, last participated in 2012 with Dr. Rich McKone. Teter lived in Newark, Del., and had planned to visit the racers at the stop a few weeks ago in Valley Forge until his health took a turn for the worse. He died July 11.
Teter was an intellect, and he put it to use in the Great Race, annually finishing at or near the top. Brian “MotorMouth” Goudge would call car number 36’s participants “The Professor and the Tooth Fairy” in recognition of Teter and McKone’s professions. McKone is a dentist from Peoria, Illinois.
Kleptz, from Union, Ohio, participated for more than a decade in the Great Race with different family members, and always with Arlene, his wife of 56 years, at his side. He was always recognizable by his polka dot hat, usually color coordinated with the car he entered. Chic, as he was known the world over, raced several different Marmons through the years, including a light blue 1919 Marmon which also competed in the Peking to Paris rally. He last competed in the 2003 Great Race in a 1911 Marmon.
He also competed in the Around the World in 80 Days event in a 1929 Marmon, and he and Arlene were longtime members of the Marmon Club.
Click here for the full obituary: http://www.kindredfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Charles-Kleptz/#!/Obituary