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Kevin Kalkhoven Racer, Passes

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Kevin Kalkhoven, Racer

Remembrance of Kevin Kalkhoven From Andrew Frankl

In Kevin Kalkhoven, motor racing lost one of its giants, family Frankl lost a great personal friend.

Only a couple of years ago we were skiing together with his lovely wife Kimm in California’s Northstar resort where his family lived. I thought his outfit was rather snazzy as were his boots and skis.

Was it all show I wondered? One hundred yards later I knew the answer as he disappeared into the distance. Turned out that he was taught to ski by Franz Klammer one of finest  skiers of all times.

He was also a great raconteur holding fort with a glass of bourbon in his hand. Our family was lucky to see him at home walking an ever-increasing number of dogs some of whom became very adept at chasing away the bears.

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Actor Rick Yune ("Fast and Rurious"), Kevin Kalkhoven and Nicholas Frankl

The Whitgift School  (near London) where  Kevin was educated was known for hard work without a trace of snobbery, a far cry from Eton and Oxford.

His first job were pretty predictable for a hard-working young man-Mobil Oil in Sevenoaks in Kent followed by working for IBM as a systems analyst. At that stage it would have been difficult to predict that he would become not only very wealthy as CEO of the Uniphase Corporation but also a major player in American auto racing.

Racer magazine named Kevin the 5th most influential owner in Champ Cars and Indy cars.

His driver Tony Kanaan won the Indy 500 in 2003. He also owned Cosworth engineering with his partner Gerald Forsythe having purchsed it from Ford Motor Company. The irony of the story is that when I was working for Ford Motor Company in the 1960s it was my job to deliver a cheque to Keith Duckworth who at that point was designing the highlift cam for the Cortina GT. Kevin and his partner were going to take Cosworth public when illness interfered.

He was a noted philanthropist donating huge amounts of money to the Mayo clinic and other worthy institutions.

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Nicholas and Kevin stepping off the Challenger 604 for Isle of Mann TT weekend.

He became an aviator and often flew  his  Gulfstream jet  to England.

I hope someone will write a book on his fascinating man who really lived life to the full. Kevin old friend thank you for the good times we’ve spent together. It was an honor to have known you. Rest In Peace.

Kevin was a very very dear trusted loyal and generous friend for over 15 years and one of the all-time great passionate racing enthusiasts. Unlike many he really put his money where his mouth was and supported countless drivers teams mechanics and personnel. 

Remembrance Of Kevin Kalkhoven from Nicholas Frankl

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When Kevin wasn’t indulging his passion for motorsports engineering and racing he indulged his voracious passion for life, always smiling and always ready to buy you a bourbon or invite you back home to his California winery in his “flying taxi” a Gulfstream G550 of which he was one of only three owner pilots in the world. 

The wider world and racing needs more good guys like Kevin and I will miss my friend very much, who like his dear mum should have lived into his nineties. 

My family and I send our best wishes and condolences to Kim, his children, grandchildren  and all the great family.

Rest in peace Old Friend Rest in Peace.