Emil Lloyd Reutimann
Buzzie Reutimann was probably one of the greatest Modified drivers of all time.
The Florida native, who became one of the best of the Northeast, followed in his father's footsteps as Emil Reutimann was a top Florida driver for many years. He owned a Chevrolet dealership in the small western Florida town of Zephyrhills, north of Tampa. Before Emil retired in the 60s, the family team had three members racing as Emil and Buzzie were joined by Buzzie's brother Wayne. Buzzie and Wayne are still racing in Florida and now there is a another generation of Reutimanns racing as Buzzie's son David races NASCAR trucks while Wayne's son, Wayne, Jr. races Sprint Cars in Florida.
Buzzie first travelled north around 1966 or 67. He had been running Late Models on Florida paved tracks, but here he was with a '37 Chevy coupe ready to do battle with the best dirt Modified drivers in the country. And before he "retired" from the full bore Modifieds of the northeast to return to Florida he had won well more than his share of races and point titles. He was also one of the most popular Modified drivers of his time and probably all time due to his gentleman's style on and off the race track.
His most notable wins were the first two "Scheafer 100" races at Syracuse during what has become "Super Dirt Week". At the time the handwriting was on the wall for the beloved coupes and the two Reutimann wins will forever be the only two in the big race won by a coupe bodied Modified. Some other big wins by Buzzie were the 1970 "Daniel Boone 200" at Reading, The 1972 "Eastern States 200" at Orange County and the 1975 "Flemington 200" at the now gone Flemington Fairgrounds.
Reutimann returned to Florida in the mid-80s, but not before he put his name firmly in the record books in Northeast Modified racing. But of course his story behind the wheel is not over as he is still racing in his home state and was the 2005 IMCA Modified champ at East Bay.