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Rich Baricza

Rich was one of the club’s Founding Fathers and its first President. 

Rich and his wife Nancy, along with 4 other Estrella Mountain residents, started the Estrella Mountain Car Club in 2006. 

Rich and Nancy both contributed to the club’s success. In addition to Rich role as President, Nancy served terms as the club’s Secretary, Vice President and President.  

Thanks to their vision the club has grown from that small group to over 90 members today. 

This article was published in the West Valley View in 2007. 

Rich’s enthusiasm for automobiles started with a 1941 Mercury. He enjoyed working on cars and bought and sold quite a few including a very rare ‘62 Pontiac Catalina convertible with a 389 V8, 3 deuces and a 4 speed transmission. 

In 1964 Rich turned his hobby into his first career by becoming a GM technician that specialized in working on Corvettes. He worked his way up to a management position before leaving the car business after 11 years. Rich spent the next 30 years in the HVAC business as Union PipeFitter and retired in 2002.

Rich got his first Corvette when he was 26 when he traded his ‘34 Ford Coupe for a ‘58 Corvette that was being turned into a “Gasser”. It turned out it was a bigger project than he expected and two years later he bought a ‘59 that he ended up selling to a friend that still has it today.

1959 Corvette back in the day

Same Corvette today.

Rich’s pride and joy was a ‘63 Split Rear Window Corvette he used to take Nancy on their first date. He owned it for 45 years and Nancy had a ‘72 Corvette that she owned for 22 years.

Rich retired and he and Nancy moved from Hoffman Estates Illinois to Estrella Mountain in September of 2002.

In addition to EMCC, they were also members of Goodguys and the Desert Corvette Association and enjoyed particapting in car shows and club events. Nancy passed away in January of 2015, they had been married for 43 years.