Joseph Pendergast, historic racer, race organizer, and collector for nearly 40 years, succumbed to complications from pneumonia on September 14, 2008, at the age of 69. Pendergast was owner and general manager of West Coast Caterers, and upon selling it to Dobbs House in 1973, he sought his Bachelor’s degree in Finance at the University of South Florida, graduating in 1976. He then earned a degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Miami’s School of Law.
Joe’s involvement in racing began when he attended the last NASCAR race held on the beach at Daytona in 1958, and quickly followed it up with his first Sebring 12 Hours. His enthusiasm for the sport grew to include amateur drag racing and go-kart racing, and upon selling West Coast Caterers, he began collecting, restoring, and racing vintage cars. He began with a 1929 Packard Roadster and, over time, amassed a collection that included a number of Porsches and Ferraris as well as a Cunningham C-2R, Allard J-2X, Lister Chevrolet, and Jaguar SS100.
His involvement in vintage racing progressed from merely driving to becoming General Manager and Competition Director of SVRA in 1985. Joe was also a partner, general manager, and competition director of HSR from its inception in 1991, guiding it from five small events that year to nine very successful events in 2002.
Joe is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carol, daughter Michele, son Tim, and grandchildren Joshua, Megan, and Alexis, and asked that his ashes be spread at his three favorite racetracks: Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Laguna Seca.