Jump to content


Lou Pirro, 1953-2023

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 MG Brown

MG Brown

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,756 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Cumberland Plateau

Posted 22 September 2023 - 02:24 PM

I heard yesterday through reliable channels (and was confirmed with his family today) that former racer and Grand Prix Model Raceway owner Lou Pirro passed on the 21st of this week.

Members of Slotblog are encouraged to share memories and photos of Lou in this thread.


His obituary from New Comer Funerals and Cremations:

Louis Anthony Pirro of Schenectady, NY, 70, passed away at home on September 21, 2023 after a
brief illness. Lou was born June 13, 1953 the only son of Eugene A. and Madeline “Babe”
(D’Amico) Pirro. A life-long resident of Schenectady County, Lou was a 1971 graduate of
Mohonasen High School and used his skills as a mechanic and driver to build several
businesses over the years including Auto Shuttle and Automotive Sales & Service.


In 1995 Lou turned his childhood hobby into a family business when he opened Grand Prix Model Raceway,
a slot car track and hobby shop, which he ran with his family until his retirement in 2011.

Lou was a fiercely independent thinker and ‘do-it-yourselfer’ who could usually be found working
in the garage, doing home improvement projects, or building go-karts which he enjoyed racing
with his eldest granddaughter. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Lou is survived by
his loving wife of 40 years, MaryBeth (Munhall) Pirro; children Michael DeBiase, Danielle
MacLeod (Robert), Mark Pirro (Meagan), and Kristen Holler (Joseph Evans); grandchildren
Angelina and Addison MacLeod, Donald, Trinity, Massimo, and Rosalie Pirro, and Marshall and
Simon Holler; sister Mollie (Pirro) Collins (Clark); mother-in-law Mary Munhall; and many
in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews, and longtime friends. Lou is predeceased by his
parents Madeline “Babe” (D’Amico) and Eugene A. Pirro, father-in-law William “Budd” Munhall,
and grandson Anthony MacLeod.

Services will be held Tuesday, September 26, 2023, from 11 AM - 2 PM at New Comer
Cremations & Funerals, 343 New Karner Road, Colonie.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Lou’s memory to Angel Names Association,
P.O. Box 423, Saratoga Springs NY 12866; Vagabond Missions, PO Box 53109 Pittsburgh, PA 15219; or
Media Alliance (The Sanctuary for Independent Media) PO Box 35, Troy, NY 12181.


  • team burrito and John Luongo like this
That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.


#2 MG Brown

MG Brown

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,756 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Cumberland Plateau

Posted 22 September 2023 - 02:31 PM

I first met Lou at the ISRA North American Championships hosted by Raceway Hobbys in Mineral Ridge OH.

We had a great time, especially at the end of each day when Lee Gilbert would round up a group of folks to go out for dinner and beers.


I also spent some time with Lou at the ISRA/USA Masters in 2008 and Lou was instrumental with his help in tech to make the 2010 ISRA Worlds held in Chicago a big success.


I feel privileged to have known Lou personally.

Lou Pirro 2.jpg


Lou Pirro 3.jpg


Lou Pirro 5.jpg


Lou Pirro.jpg


Lou Pirro 4.jpg

  • Cheater, triggerman, Rob Voska and 3 others like this
That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.


#3 Bill from NH

Bill from NH

    Age scrubs away speed!

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,312 posts
  • Joined: 02-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Boston, NH

Posted 22 September 2023 - 10:12 PM

Loiu was a very good builder and driver, a great businessman & raceway owner, and an even better person.


When scale racing was popular in the Northeast, Lou organized CASRA NE, ran it for a few years, then raced ANE AMCA before organizing ISRA in the Northeast.


Lou attended our local scale races like he lived in the neighborhood rather than someone who had to travel 200 miles just to get there. He usually brought his buddy Bill Bugenis from Brooklyn with him.


His Schenectady raceway had a Hasse King and a banked oval when I was first there. His walls were lined with parts to build any class car in HO, 1/32, and 1/24 you could think of, scale or wing. 


Even at race meets you could often find Lou doing work for others, such grinding a 2mm arm shaft to fit a 1.5mm pinion. He was always doing something for others and not mind doing it. 


We first missed Lou's Rotterdam raceway location after it was flooded, now we miss the man himself. RIP, Lou.

  • Cheater, triggerman, MSwiss and 2 others like this
Bill Fernald
I intend to live forever!  So far, so good.  :laugh2:  :laugh2: 

#4 Dave DeMott

Dave DeMott


  • Full Member
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Joined: 13-August 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NJ

Posted 11 October 2023 - 09:29 PM

Lou was incredibly nice, generous and just a good person. He helped me at races many times when he was running CASRA and ISRA. He was an open book of knowledge and shared it all.


One of my fond memories of him was when a group of us went up for a race and basically slept all over his house. I remember my air mattress was flat in about 30 minutes. Not much sleep. When we got up, the breakfast menu was somewhat limited, no meat. So, we wound up having pancakes and ice cream. Which I had no problem with. I’ll count ice cream as a protein any day! Everyone had a great time. Lou and Marybeth were great hosts (more than once).

Later I sent Lou and Marybeth a box of pancakes as a joke with a letter that said I wanted to replenish the pancakes, but I didn’t think the ice cream would make the trip, so I left it out.

They got a good laugh!


I was also a proud member of Lou’s rent a Euro motor program. 


RIP my friend.

  • Rob Voska likes this
Quote from the Gumball Rally,
"Whatsa behind me is not important"

#5 John Luongo

John Luongo

    Race Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 570 posts
  • Joined: 01-August 16
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Haverhill, MA

Posted 12 October 2023 - 04:58 AM

Very knowledgeable and experienced racer/builder. it was always a pleasure to race at his shop. He always took time to help other racers. He is missed.

  • Rob Voska likes this

Electric Dreams Online Shop