In the 1970s, auto racing incorporated trophy girls into the competition. They were present in victory lane, alongside pace cars, and engaged with pit crews. Unlike previous years, the dress code for trophy girls changed to short shorts, replacing the heavy garments and big feather hats. 

They also opted not to wear bras and let their hair grow longer. One notable trophy girl of that era was Barbara Roufs, an American model recognized for her stunning appearance, including straightened hair and fashionable 60s gogo boots. 

Barbara stood out because, at the age of 29, she was one of the oldest trophy girls in drag racing. Her exceptional physique made her a favored choice for companies seeking to market clothing products. 

Sadly, Barbara Roufs passed away in 1991, but her memory lives on among drag racing enthusiasts. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the life of Barbara Roufs, exploring her iconic status as a racing trophy girl, delving into her family background, and discussing her cause of death. Join us on this journey into the legacy of Barbara Roufs.

Barbara Roufs’ Profile Summary 

  • Official Names: Barbara Roufs 
  • Nickname: Racing Trophy Girl 
  • Gender: Female 
  • Date of Birth: 1944 
  • Died: January 1991 
  • Age: 47 (as of 1991) 
  • Place of Birth: California, United States 
  • Nationality: American 
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian 
  • Religion: Christian 
  • Sexuality: Straight 
  • Height: 5’5” feet/165cm
  • Weight: 118 pounds/55kgs 
  • Body measurements: 32-25-32 inches/81-64-81cm
  • Hair Colour: Brown 
  • Eye Colour: Brown 
  • Mother: Thelma Ruby Riley 
  • Father: Wayne Eldon Riley 
  • Siblings: Vivian Deaton, James, Bruce, Ben Gube 
  • Marital status: Married 
  • Children: 1 (Jet Dougherty) 
  • Profession: Trophy girl, model 

Early Life 

Barbara Roufs, born in 1944 in Southern California, USA, had three biological siblings (Vivian Deaton, James Riles, and Bruce Riley) and one adopted brother (Ben Gube). Her mother, Thelma Ruby Riles, met her father, Wayne Eldon Riley, in 1942 and they married in 1947.

For 50 years, Barbara Roufs owned a Clovis beauty salon and served as an organist for various churches including the Church of the Nazarene, Calvary Bible (Bullard), Baptist Valley Bible, and Grace Baptist Church. Unfortunately, her mother passed away in 2005, years after Barbara’s own death.

Barbara’s father was an avid motorcycle rider and racer at Kearney Bowl. He enjoyed fishing and owned a houseboat on McClure Lake, where he vacationed with his family. Notably, Barbara’s parents were the first couple to be inducted into the Clovis Hall of Fame.

Barbara Roufs

Growing up in California, Barbara had a typical childhood. After completing her education, she developed an interest in drag racing. Instead of becoming a race driver, she pursued a career as a trophy girl. 

Professional Career 

Barbara was a popular drag racing trophy girl during the late 1960s and early 1970s. She held the title of the queen in the 6th annual U.S. Professional Dragster Championship at Orange County International Raceway and was also crowned the 1973 PDA (Professional Dragster Association) queen. 

Despite being older, Barbara was adored by racers and fans alike. Her striking beauty made her a top choice for manufacturers and businesses aiming to promote their products to the drag racing community.

Barbara Roufs

Barbara’s presence was often seen in branded t-shirts and advertisements, becoming synonymous with the spirit of drag races. Her impact was significant during the evolution of drag racing in the 1970s, transitioning from the golden era of the 60s. 

As racers upgraded their cars with more powerful engines, Barbara played a role in awarding trophies to the winners. However, it was her captivating appearance that truly made her a renowned figure in the PDA. 

Husband and Children 

Barbara was married and had a child named Jet Dougherty, whom she gave birth to at the age of 29. However, the identity of her husband remains unknown. 

Cause of Death 

In 2016, photographer Tom West shared early photographs of Barbara during her time as a trophy girl. Jet, Barbara’s daughter, commented on the post, honoring her beloved mother. 

She expressed that Barbara was widely recognized and adored. While Jet was taken aback by the photos being published online, she believed her mother would be proud as they captured some of her happiest moments in life. 

Jet also verified that her mother, Barbara, tragically passed away in January 1991, due to suicide. The specific reasons behind her decision were not evident. Barbara was 47 years old at the time of her death. 

Prior to this devastating event, Barbara resided with her family in Fresno, California, United States. 

Barbara Roufs’ Net Worth 

Barbara had a successful career as a drag racing trophy girl and model during the 70s. The exact earnings of trophy girls during that period are undisclosed, but Barbara earned income through salaries. Today, some of her iconic 70s photos are sold online. It is estimated that Barbara Roufs had a net worth of $1.5 million.

Barbara Roufs’ Quick Facts:

  • Barbara Roufs sadly passed away in January 1991 at the age of 47.
  • Jet Dougherty is Barbara’s daughter.
  • Barbara Roufs’ measurements were 5 feet 5 inches (165 centimeters) in height and 55 kilograms (118 pounds) in weight.
  • Barbara Roufs resided with her family in Fresno, California, United States.
  • Barbara Roufs had siblings named Vivian Deaton, James Riley, Bruce Riley, and Ben Gube.
  • Tom West was Barbara Roufs’ photographer.
  • Barbara Roufs had an estimated net worth of approximately $1.5 million.