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John Lingenfelter

1645 Views 13 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Torquemonster
I just saw this on the Comp. Eliminator Forum:

With great sadness I am sorry to inform my fellow racers that our dear friend, and long time racer John Lingenfelter has passed away. He passed away the evening of December 25th. Arrangements are pending at this time and will be posted at a later date. John will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
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That is terrible. I never had the chance to personally meet John but feel that he will always be a legend in automotive History. In his years in the automotive industry he has set the standard for performance, quality, customer service and reliability. He was looked up to by many, including myself and will be greatly missed.
Terrible news especially ~ this time of year /images/graemlins/hot My condolences go out to his family and friends. He surely will be missed /images/graemlins/bawling
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Sad news indeed.

Just incase you wanted to read more on this, I started this thread early in the am today.

I am trying to find out more info as I type this. has not even picked up on this yet. But did early in the am.

That is terrible news, especially during the holidays. My condolances to his family and friends. He gave an amzing contribution to the automotive and racing fields.
Yeah, it's sad news.
I was hoping that he would come out of his coma and be OK.
This is truly sad. I hope that the great company he started will live up to his expectations after his passing, they way John would want it to.
He lived life in the fast lane!!!!!!!!
That is very sad to hear. RIP.
I remember back in 1996 or 97 at Bradenton Fla. I had the opportunity of racing in a Viper/Vette Shootout. Going up against John Lingenfelter was an experience I will never forget. I didn’t have the pleasure of conversing with John, but just his presence was overpowering at the event and lining up with him for a drag race was intimidating. I could feel the presence of his competitive spirit. The first race was pretty much “A handing me my ass in a basket race”. The next time we lined up I wanted to try so hard to do a better job; I ended up ripping the half shafts off the line. That was my only close connection I had with someone with such a legacy as John Lingenfelter.

A gentleman stopped by our shop and was talking about mods. He mentioned to me about being at LPE right before the tragic accident. He spoke of John’s spiritual level of praying and how he approached his next race. John L. was obviously someone who grasped many people’s ideals and thoughts. Dealing with and running into many people in the high performance world always ended up with some kind of reference to John Lingenfelter. I have had the pleasure of always hearing positive things in such conversations. Incredible to think of leaving such a legacy that touched so many people in so many different ways. He is certainly someone that you could take positive mentoring from, in other words Mr. Miyagi. As a driver, a business owner, a pioneer of the performance industry, as a good person, he excelled in all levels.

John Lingenfelter leaves us in a shroud of controversy. Almost like the late Ayrton Senna losing his life in F1 and the ongoing strain of problems with Williams. A sad way to remember such greatness, but it is what it is and people hold on to the way they choose to look at it.

A few months back a close friend of mine was in a coma from a motorcycle accident. Spending a great deal of time in the ICU showed me the frustrations loved ones experience dealing with the lack of compassion from hospital workers. The ICU started to remind me of people being treated like cattle going through the big corporate machine. My friend’s brother (Dave) almost punched this guy nurse /images/graemlins/gay in the face for telling him: “Your wasting your time trying to talk to him he can’t hear you”. Dave told this guy nurse: “If you come by me or my brother again I’m going to throw you out the window”. For the next month and a half Dave prayed by his brother’s side, put headphones on him and played all his brothers favorite music, got everyone in the ICU to pray for his brother and constantly was there for him. Dave considered himself his brother’s keeper. Butch came out of his coma and to this day I believe it was Dave’s ultimate determination through combined prayer that brought his brother back.

Sorry about throwing in the personal stuff, but this recent tragedy just brings me back to a very closely related subject. Butch's accident is an amazing story that would be worth writing a screenplay about. I only wish happiness and compassion for all situations, however they end up.

My prayers go out to John Lingenfelter and all his family and friends.
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I had the pleasure of meeting John Lingenfelter twice. The first time was back in the summer of 1997 when I had this vibration in the driveline of my 1996 Trans-Am at around 5,000 RPM. The local dealerships could not figure out what was the problem and told me I should not be driving the car at such a high RPM anyway. I was on my way back from a Florida trip and stopped by LPE. John was there and actually took the car out for a test drive himself. He had respect for that F-body and told me it was a nice car even though it was a stock w/ auto trans.

The second time I met him was day where I had only one appointment in the morning of fall 1999. I had the dog with me and drove around 600 miles that day to Decatur, Indiana and back. He greeted me at the front door and insisted on my bringing the dog inside. Yes! Even my little dalmatian, Wee-Wee Dots has met John Lingenfelter. Usually she is a little apprehensive when meeting men... She walked right up to John and practically sat on his lap. She even gave him a kiss! We were walking throught the shop and one of the mechanics was doing his job with some air tool and the dog freaked out from the whooshing... John had the the guys stop using the air tools for a few minutes for the dog. That's just the kind of guy he was. I got to see George Bryce's engine on the dyno with a milder cam than the original one from the Motor Trend test. He was showing me how they made even more power doing a couple of different things while at the same time going to a more stock cam. He had Graham take me for a ride in both an LPE TT Vette AND an LPE 540 CI Viper(Both Stock-like sound but FAST AS SHIT!{OF COURSE}). I asked Poor old John the patented Paolo Castellano 'million fucking questions' and he answered all of them and taught me a thing or two about a thing or two. I was skeptical about piggyback fuel systems and he said they are just fine and that was a legitimate way to tune the car if it's done right. I asked him about all kinds of pie in the sky shit and he always came back and said "Hey, 'Stock is Best'" He is definitely right. He was the man and will definitely be missed. I know I did not know him very well and I did not have a clue about much when it came to cars except wanting to go fast, but he gave me respect and imparted knowledge to me in a generous, calm and matter of fact manner that I will always appreciate and will never forget! John, thanks for everything and keep an eye on me when I do the high speed shit you loved to do. Paolo

You always see pictures of John in the magazines with that sunny, effortless smile. He was exactly that way in person. Such a genuine, unassuming guy he definitely was. It is such a shame he is gone...
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I am very sorry to hear of this sad news. My prayers go out to his family. He was a LEGEND and will be missed.

Best, Dave
here is the statement from their web site...

Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Inc.


We are sad to announce that John Lingenfelter, founder of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, passed away yesterday, December 25th, 2003. John had been in a semi-comatose state since November 2002 when he entered into a coma during surgery that was necessary due to a racing accident in Pomona, California in October 2002. Lingenfelter Performance Engineering will be closed Monday December 29th so our employees may attend the services. Funeral Arrangements For John Lingenfelter

Viewing Sunday December 28, 2003 - 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home
520 North Second Street
Decatur, IN 46733

To view obituary or send condolences to the family

Funeral Service Monday December 29, 2003 - 10:00 AM
The Bridge Church
1403 Winchester Road
Decatur, IN 46733

Memorials should be sent to the Funeral Home
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I was sad to hear the news but did not want to read or post because there's been too much death around me lately....

but I wanted to see what you guys said about him - I've only known him as a legend and guru on engines - never knew him personally...

damn - now I wish I had. Pity the good guys die!
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