Barbara Roufs Cause of Death: Biography, Career, and Net Worth

Barbara Roufs was a significant figure in the drag racing community during the 1970s. Known for her stunning beauty and vibrant presence, she left a lasting impact on the sport as a trophy girl. This article explores her life, career, and legacy, providing an in-depth look at her contributions and the circumstances surrounding her tragic death.

Profile Summary

Full Name Barbara Roufs
Nickname Racing Trophy Girl
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1944
Died January 1991
Age at Death 47
Place of Birth California, United States
Nationality American
Ethnicity Caucasian
Religion Christian
Sexuality Straight
Height 5 feet 5 inches
Weight 55 kg
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Brown
Parents Thelma Ruby Riley & Wayne Eldon Riley
Siblings Vivian Deaton, James, Bruce, Ben Gube
Marital Status Married
Children Jet Dougherty
Profession Trophy Girl, Model
Net Worth $800,000 (at the time of death)
Residence Fresno, California (before death)

Barbara Roufs Early Life

Barbara Roufs was born in 1944 in Southern California. Her parents were Thelma Ruby Riley and Wayne Eldon Riley. She had three siblings: Vivian Deaton, James, and Bruce, and an adopted brother, Ben Gube. Barbara’s early life in California shaped her future involvement in drag racing.

Barbara grew up in a family with a strong connection to motorsports. Her father, Wayne Eldon Riley, rode motorcycles and raced at the Kearney Bowl. Her mother, Thelma Ruby Riley, owned a beauty salon and was a church organist. This background introduced Barbara to the world of racing and performance from a young age.

Barbara Roufs was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 55 kg. She was known for her long, straight hair, striking brown eyes, and stylish 1960s go-go boots.

Entry into Drag Racing

Barbara Roufs Cause of Death

Barbara entered the drag racing scene in the early 1970s. The industry was evolving, with new vehicle models replacing older ones. The vibrant personalities of those involved matched the excitement of the sport, and Barbara quickly found her place as a trophy girl.

Her role was not just to present trophies but also to add glamour and excitement to the events. Barbara’s striking appearance and charismatic presence made her a favorite among racers and fans. She was known for her long, straightened hair, go-go boots, and stylish outfits that reflected the time’s fashion.

Professional Career

Barbara’s career as a trophy girl began when the role was crucial in promoting the sport. Trophy girls were the face of the drag racing events, adding a touch of glamour and excitement. Barbara’s unique style set her apart, and she quickly became a well-known figure in the drag racing community.

She played a significant role in major events, including the 6th annual US Professional Dragster Championship at Orange County International Raceway. In 1973, Barbara was crowned the Professional Dragster Association (PDA) queen, solidifying her status in the sport. Her beauty and charm made her a sought-after personality, appearing in advertisements and on merchandise.

Impact and Influence

Barbara Roufs brought vitality and joy to the drag racing community. Her presence on the track was not just about looks; she embodied the spirit of the sport. She was a favorite among racers and spectators, and her influence extended beyond the track.

Her ability to connect with the audience and bring excitement to the events made her an integral part of the drag racing culture. Barbara’s legacy is remembered by those who experienced the thrill of the races during her time.

Barbara Roufs’s Personal Life

Barbara was married and had one child, Jet Dougherty. Despite her public persona, she kept her personal life relatively private. The identity of her husband remains unknown, but her daughter Jet has shared fond memories of her mother.

Jet Dougherty described her mother’s life as full and exciting, despite its tragic end. Barbara lived in Fresno, California, with her family until she died in 1991. Her daughter and granddaughter continue to cherish her memory and legacy.

Cause of Death

Barbara Roufs passed away in January 1991 at the age of 47. Her death was a result of suicide, a tragic end to a vibrant life. The reasons behind her suicide remain unclear, leaving a sense of mystery and sadness among those who knew her.

The impact of her death was felt deeply in the drag racing community and by her family. Her daughter, Jet Dougherty, has spoken about the loss and its difficulty in understanding its reasons. Barbara’s legacy, however, continues to live on through the memories and stories shared by her loved ones.

Posthumous Recognition

Barbara Roufs Cause of Death

In 2016, renowned photographer Tom West published old photos of Barbara Roufs, bringing renewed attention to her legacy. The photos, shared by her daughter Jet, highlighted Barbara’s beauty and charm, rekindling memories of her impact on the drag racing community.

The response to these photos was overwhelmingly positive, with fans and friends celebrating her life and contributions. Barbara’s granddaughter, Crystal Dougherty, expressed joy at seeing the photos and recognizing Barbara’s physical attraction and confidence.

Barbara Roufs Net Worth

At her death, Barbara Roufs’s estimated net worth was $800,000. Her earnings came from her career as a trophy girl and model during the 1970s.

Barbara Roufs left an indelible mark on the drag racing industry. Her role as a trophy girl brought life and excitement to the sport, making her a beloved figure among fans and racers. Her contributions to the drag racing community are remembered and celebrated to this day.

Barbara’s story reminds us of the vibrant personalities that have shaped the history of drag racing. Her legacy continues to inspire new generations of sports fans and participants.

Final Thoughts

Barbara Roufs was a remarkable figure in the drag racing community, known for her beauty, charm, and vibrant presence. Her contributions to the sport as a trophy girl during the 1970s left a lasting impact. Despite her tragic death in 1991, Barbara’s legacy lives on through the memories of those who knew her and the renewed recognition of her contributions. She remains an iconic figure in the history of drag racing, remembered for the excitement and vitality she brought to the track.


What was Barbara Roufs’ net worth at the time of her death?

Barbara Roufs had an estimated net worth of $800,000 when she passed away in 1991.

How tall was Barbara Roufs and what was her weight?

Barbara Roufs was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 55 kg.

What role did Barbara Roufs play in the drag racing industry?

Barbara Roufs was a trophy girl who brought excitement and glamour to drag racing events during the 1970s.

Who were Barbara Roufs’ parents and siblings?

Her parents were Thelma Ruby Riley and Wayne Eldon Riley. She had siblings named Vivian Deaton, James, and Bruce, as well as an adopted brother, Ben Gube.

How did Barbara Roufs die?

Barbara Roufs tragically committed suicide in January 1991 at the age of 47.

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