Oscar Koveleski, who got his racing start as a member of the Sports Car Club of America’s Philadelphia Region and went on to race his orange “Car 54” in the SCCA’s Can-Am Series that he helped launch, has died.

Koveleski, inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2015, scored his first SCCA Regional race win in 1951 at Bone Stadium in Pittston, Pa., at the wheel of a 1948 MG-TC.

In the inaugural SCCA American Road Race of Champions (now the Runoffs) at Road Atlanta in 1970, he won the A Sports Racing class, beating 27-time National Champion Jerry Hansen by just one-tenth of a second.

The follow ing year, he joined teammates Tony Adamowicz and Brad Niemcek — all founders of the infamous Polish Racing Drivers Association — in a second-place finish (behind Dan Gurney and Brock Yates) in the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.

“Oscar Koveleski was a treasure,” said Road Racing Drivers Club President Bobby Rahal. “His outspokenness and passionate demeanor in trying to convince you of the importance of his latest project were the essence of his personality. Never quitting, always promoting, in such a charismatic way that one just couldn’t say no.

“As a race car driver he was one of the best in an era where competing against the likes of Mark Donohue, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme was a challenge he was happy and willing to take to help promote his Auto World business and the KidRacer brand he created.”

Read more at VintageMotorsport.com.