Barbara Roufs left an indelible mark on the world of drag racing during the 1970s, earning her place as one of the most iconic trophy girls in the sport’s history. Her journey from Southern California to the drag racing scene, characterized by daring fashion choices and striking looks, is a story worth celebrating.
Early Life and Family
Barbara Roufs was born in 1944 in Southern California, United States, to Thelma Ruby Riley and Wayne Eldon Riley. She grew up alongside her three biological siblings, Vivian Deaton, James Riles, and Bruce Riley, and had an adopted brother named Ben Gube.
Her parents were not only an integral part of her life but also prominent figures in their community. Thelma, her mother, owned a successful beauty salon in Clovis for half a century and showcased her musical talents as an organist in various churches. Wayne, her father, was an enthusiast of motorcycles and racing, enjoying family vacations on his houseboat at McClure Lake. Their significant contributions were recognized when they became the first couple to be inducted into the Clovis Hall of Fame.
Rising Star in Drag Racing
Barbara’s path to fame began when she transitioned from her Californian childhood to the thrilling world of drag racing. Unlike traditional trophy girls, Barbara embraced a bold and modern style in the 1970s. She became known for her daring fashion choices, often sporting short shorts and disregarding bras. Her long, straightened hair and iconic 60s gogo boots became synonymous with her name.
Her age was another aspect that set her apart. At 29, she was one of the oldest trophy girls in the drag racing circuit, yet her beauty and charm made her a standout. Companies recognized her allure and regularly employed her for marketing campaigns, particularly in the fashion industry. It was not uncommon to see Barbara adorned in branded t-shirts and featured in advertisements aimed at drag racing audiences.
Barbara Roufs Personal Life
Barbara Roufs was a married woman and a mother to one child, Jet Dougherty, who arrived when Barbara was 29. However, details about her husband remain undisclosed.
A Tragic Loss
In 2016, a series of photographs taken during Barbara’s early days as a trophy girl surfaced online, thanks to photographer Tom West. These images prompted a heartfelt tribute from Barbara’s daughter, Jet Dougherty. Jet shared that her mother was not only well-known but deeply loved within the drag racing community. She expressed her surprise at seeing her mother’s photos on the internet but believed that Barbara would have been proud to see them, as they captured some of the happiest moments of her life.
However, the tribute also revealed a somber truth. Barbara Roufs had tragically passed away in January 1991 due to sui*cide. The reasons behind her decision remain undisclosed. She was 47 years old at the time of her passing.
Barbara Roufs Legacy and Net Worth
Barbara Roufs’ legacy endures through her timeless photographs from the 1970s, which continue to be sought after and sold online. Her estimated net worth is approximately $1.5 million, a testament to her enduring impact.
|Place of Birth
|Southern California, United States
|Thelma Ruby Riley (Mother)
|Wayne Eldon Riley (Father)
|Vivian Deaton (Sister)
|James Riles (Brother)
|Bruce Riley (Brother)
|Ben Gube (Adopted Brother)
|Jet Dougherty (Daughter)
|Drag Racing Trophy Girl and Model
|Late 1960s – Early 1970s
|Short shorts, bold fashion choices
|Long, straightened hair
|Iconic 60s gogo boots
|Pioneered modern trophy girl fashion
|Frequent appearance in marketing campaigns
|Iconic 1970s drag racing figure
|Estimated Net Worth
|Approximately $1.5 million
|Cause of Death
|Date of Passing
|Age at Passing
|Place of Residence
|Fresno, California, United States
|Barbara’s parents, Thelma and Wayne, were inducted into the Clovis Hall of Fame. Thelma owned a successful beauty salon for 50 years and was an organist in several churches. Wayne was a motorcycle enthusiast and owned a houseboat for family vacations.
Remembering a Drag Racing Icon
Barbara Roufs’ contribution to drag racing and fashion in the 1970s remains a cherished part of the sport’s history. Her fearless style, magnetic beauty, and unique charisma continue to inspire collectors and enthusiasts. Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding her passing, Barbara’s legacy shines as a symbol of an era when drag racing and fashion collided in thrilling harmony.