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Autoracing Photographer, Bob Dunsmore Losses his Life to Leukemia

April 15, 2007 – It is with great sadness that I report that Bob Dunsmore, autorace photographer lost his battle with Leukemia over the weekend. While I personally never met Bob, I did exchanges emails several times over the years, where he was most generous with his time and helpful to my questions. The news of any loss of life never comes easy, especially when he or she was part of our small family of fellow enthusiasts. God’s Speed! Walter Pietrowicz

Remembering a Friend by Dale LaFollette

After a brave toe to toe, five round battle with leukemia over a year and a half Bob Dunsmore lost the fight April 8th. The west coast vintage racing community has lost a great photographer and a wonderful friend but the stories will assuredly live on.

Everyone who knew Bob will have a favorite story to tell about him. His obsessive behavior about shooting in changing light, his dislike of photographing white cars, his worrying that a lens, a camera or something or someone was going to keep him from his task. But it never seemed to, as his photographs were always uniformly great, sharp images.

With Bob’s photographs, you could instantly recognize where they were taken. When you saw his photographs of the Colorado Grand, you saw the aspens and the Rockies. On the California Mille, you recognized the redwoods, and of course, at Laguna Seca, you were at the base of the Corkscrew. There was always a sense of place to his images.

One of my favorite Dunsmore images was of a race car from the teens at the top of the Corkscrew taken at the very moment that the engine exploded, oil and metal shrapnel showering down out of the pan. The driver with a big grin on his face, totally unaware of the disaster a millisecond away.

And then there were the people, Bob knew everybody in vintage racing and they knew him. The racing community depended on him to come up with the perfect photograph at a momentís notice and make it look like they were winning the race. He rarely failed them.

For over 30 years, Bob was able to live life as he wanted, among the people he loved, making a living photographing cars, printing and selling his own photographs.

His other love was going to movies. He was such a movie buff that less than a month before his death he informed the nurses at the hospital that they could not come into the room and bother him during the Oscars.

If you were on Bob’s email list, you also knew him as a compassionate and sentimental person who rallied to causes both big and small. Few knew that he collected shoes at Christmas time to donate for repair and distribution to the poor, or that one of his favorite charities was a battered women’s shelter. All you needed to do is call and he was readily enlisted to help your cause, too, as long as it was something he could feel a passion for.

He will be missed by everyone who knew him, even those of us who he antagonized at times. God’s speed, big guy.

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