Bob Larivee Jr. dies at 61
This release saddens the entire staff of Gauge Magazine.com and hits home hard. We have had many opportunities to work with JR over the past 13 years. From the day we started working with Bob Larivee Jr. he understood the meaning behind gaugemagazine.com and always went out of his way to support our cause or just to shake a hand and smile. God Speed our friend.. Get that big hot rod show in the sky ready for us.. We will be there someday to cover it for Gauge and get you the best damn coverage available anywhere.
Source: Crain’s Detroit Business
Robert Edward Larivee Jr., the auto show promoter who succeeded his father as head of Auburn-Hills based Championship Shows Inc., died of a heart attack on Sunday at his Rochester Hills home.
Larivee, 61, was CEO of Championship Shows, the company that manages Detroit Autorama and dozens of other shows across the country.
He helped solidify the Detroit Autorama as a prime destination for hot rod enthusiasts from as far away as California. Larivee managed car shows until 1993 for his father, Bob Larivee Sr., under the company name Promotions Inc. and in 1993 became CEO of the business, newly named Championship Shows Inc.
After taking the reins, Larivee Jr. grew the company into one of the largest producers of Autorama and World of Wheels custom cars shows in North America.
"J.R. [Larivee Jr.] was the consummate producer," said Brian Brennan, editorial director of Florida-based automotive-enthusiast media group Performance Automotive Group and Larivee's longtime business associate. "He understood what people wanted to see, and he understood where to go to get that for them."
Championship Shows today runs 18 indoor custom car shows across North America. It partners with theMichigan Hot Rod Association to manage Detroit Autorama, now 60 years in the running. The show each year brings as many as 1,000 vehicles.
Larivee grew up in the custom car show world, going to work at age 12 for his father. By 18, he was managing an entire car show, the Grand Rapids Autorama. Eventually he oversaw dozens of car shows each year throughout the United States.
He is also credited with establishing the Detroit Autorama Ridler Award, now considered the most prestigious hot rod award among enthusiasts.
"In all of that time, I don't think I ever went to one of his shows that wasn't a first-class operation," Brennan said.
Larivee is survived by his wife of 31 years, Bonnie; two daughters, Megan Jean Larivee and Lindsey Jo Larivee; his parents, Robert and Kathryn Joan Larivee; sisters Lynn Lee, Janine Carlson and Tracy Larivee; and a brother, Mark.
Visitation will be 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Potere-Modetz Funeral Home in Rochester. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. with an in-state time of 10 a.m. at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Rochester Hills.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Leader Dogs for the Blind.