Casper, WY — Harry Heuer, one of the dominant big modified racers of the early 1960s, passed away Saturday (May 25) in Casper, Wyoming.
Heuer, son of the chairman of the board for Peter Hand Brewery, convinced the company to sponsor a race team to showcase the Scarab’s competition prowess — along with promoting the brewery’s Meister Brau beer — and the Meister Brauser Racing Team was born. His competitive instincts proved to be correct. With Augie Pabst Jr. manning the wheel, the Scarab went on to win the United States Auto Club’s National Road Racing Championship in 1959.
Heuer won the Sports Car Club of America’s B-Modified National Championship in 1961. Then in 1962, the brewery purchased Jim Hall’s first Chapparal for Heuer to campaign, and he won the C-Modified National title with the car in both ’62 and ’63.
As Preston Lerner states in his book, Scarab: Race Log of an All-American Special: “Harry Heuer … was to do more to promote the Scarab legend than anybody, besides Lance Reventlow himself.” Read a 2009 Chicago Tribune article about a Scarab driver reunion at Meadowdale International Raceway.
Tom Schultz, Road America’s historian and author of Road America: Five Decades of Racing at Elkhart Lake, just completed a book on the history of the Meister Brauser Team, to be published by Dalton Watson Fine Books.
Titled Meister Brausers, Harry Heuer’s Championship Racing Team, it is scheduled to be rolled out at July’s WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman at Road America. Schultz tells us the plan was to have Heuer present at the event for the book’s debut, but that Heuer’s health rapidly declined in the past couple of months.
“I had been in telephone contact with Harry for many months gathering info from him for the book,” Schultz said. “As such, the text is loaded with direct quotes from him. We will have the three surviving Meister Brauser drivers — Augie Pabst, Bill Wuesthoff and Don Devine at the event.”
“Harry was a fine fellow, a three-time champion race driver and a fountain of stories, both printable and not! I will miss him.”