Obituaries commemorating the death of Bob Bahre focus on his involvement in auto racing, but the collector car community knew Bahre as one of its own, a man with a world-class car collection.
Bahre, who built New Hampshire Motor Speedway and was involved in the development of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, died Friday. He was 93.
“He never drank alcohol, never smoked, was a devote churchgoer,” his obituary reports, “but (he) readily admitted to a weakness for antique cars.”
“Some guys chase broads,” Bahre was quoted by the Robb Report in 2013. “I chase cars.”
Chase, and collect, he might have added of a collection that he displayed annually at a benefit event for the Paris Hill Memorial Library near his home in Maine.
Among his cars were the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spyder that was named Best of Show at The Elegance at Hershey in 2013 and his 1934 Packard Twelve LeBaron runabout speedster, which repeated the concours victory in 2017 even though it was an unrestored car.
Bahre, who grew up in Connecticut, visited Maine for the first time in 1963 as the owner of a midget racing car. A year later, he bought and renovated Oxford Plaines Speedway in Maine.
As his obituary notes, as something of an off-season job, Bahre became a commercial real estate and home-building developer, established a modular home factory and started a bank.
He sold the Oxford Plaines track in the 1980s and purchased Bryar Motorsports Park in Loudon, New Hampshire. He re-developed that facility to create New Hampshire Motor Speedway and attracted NASCAR to race in New England. In 2008, he sold the New Hampshire facility to Speedway Motorsports.