Slim Roberts.....Climbing Pike's Peak

An oil painting by Craig Schafer.......
a Big Fan!


MORE images of Slim at the Hill Climb!











Miraculously, Slim climbed UP this hill after the crash!



Hope many of you visiting here were friends of my wonderful "Uncle Loran" and enjoyed these pictures.

Sadly, Slim passed away recently in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

His younger sister, Edy (my Mom) wrote this wonderful eulogy which she read at his memorial service.  Much of the information below was news to me and revealed even more what an exceptional man Slim was......



On August 13, 2011 a giant in our lives passed away.  He had not only the instant name recognition of prominent leaders, but also the impact of many.  Loran "Slim" Roberts was born January 9, 1924 in Denver, Colorado to Will and Ethel Roberts at the home of his Aunt Gladys and Uncle Loran Clark (on Race Street).

 Our adventurous hero and his two sisters, Imogene and Edytha, were raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado by their mother, Ethel Roberts, after the 1932 accidental drowning death of their father, Will Roberts, on their Nebraska farm.  Ethel passed away in 1977.  This family was blessed with a rich Christian heritage.

 Loran has always been wealthy in his family, friends and fans.  Living at the foot of Pikes Peak resulted in Slim's interest in a legendary racing career.  Of the 12 years he participated in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, "Race to the Clouds", open wheel division, he earned one win and second place in most other years.  He was also a very popular and successful driver at Englewood and Colorado Springs speedways, the Mexican Road Race, and a number of circuits in several states.  He even scrunched his 6' 5" frame into midgets at Lakeside Amusement Park race track!

 In 1962 he was blessed with the divine miracle of Life when he left the course at Devil's Playground, the major spectator area at Pikes Peak, and was videotaped flipping thirteen revolutions through the air before coming to rest on an outcropping of rocks several hundred feet down.  To quote Bobby Unser from Auto Racing magazine (3 - 1971):

 "Racing up Pikes Peak demands not only the utmost in courage and driving skill, but lots of practice so the driver can memorize every one of the 150 to 170 or so twists, turns and switchbacks, how fast each can be taken, what gear to use, what's on the other side of that bend.

 There are few guardrails on this unpaved road and a bad spin to the outside can spell disaster.  Fortunately, there have been no disastrous flips, still it's the most exacting, perilous form of motor racing."  

"There's only been one car that's gone off at a very bad place," Bobby recalled.

 "Slim Roberts went off at 16-mile, the worst drop off on the entire road.  He went off in Vince Conzi's experimental car and lucky enough, for some reason - nobody can figure it out - he survived.  If you go up there and look you'll be convinced there's no possible way he could have avoided rolling down 3,000 feet.  Nevertheless, he didn't.  The car went down 250 feet and stopped.  They couldn't even walk up and down.  They had to use ropes to get to him and get him out.

 That was one of these freakish things like jumping out of an airplane and having his parachute not open, then landing in a pile of hay.  The chances of survival are one in a million."

A photo appeared in Motor Trend October 1988, Vol. 40, No. 10.  The short article said, "In 1962, Slim Roberts gained permanent notoriety by surviving an incredible crash at the "Devil's Playground" that culminated in a spectacular 13-time end-over-end roll down the hill.  Slim also beat his rescuers up the hill.

 "They lowered a stretcher and then dropped me twice.  So I finally climbed up by myself.  I was the first one up to the road."

 Although Slim was endowed with a gentle, compassionate, humble, giving nature, he lived his full and wonderful life with gusto whether riding a bicycle, motorcycle with his little sister over 100 mph on a gravel road racing the City of Denver, camel or elephant in Iraq, Iran and India; flying airplanes sometimes watching the ice crack before him as he touched down on a lake, driving cement mixers, auto transports, hot rods, midgets, championship cars or his own impressive vehicles.  He owned a variety of foreign cars including an English Riley and Jaguar XK120.  Among his more exceptional vehicles was the 007 red Aston Martin.

 Slim served his country by enlisting in the Navy the year after Pearl Harbor.  Upon completion of Basic Training at Farragut, Idaho, he was assigned to LST 476 and participated in seven South Pacific invasions and on the Bering Sea.  As a veteran he is a part of America's nobility!

 Slim became an airplane pilot at a very young age.  In 1950 his Kansas spray pilot expertise was requested by the State Department to travel to Iran, Iraq, and India to fight the locust plague.  His was one of the first planes to ever be allowed to land at the ancient ruins at the Persepolis.  Upon completion of the project his plane remained with the brother of the Shah of Iran.

 Slim married Darlene Cornia on June 30, 1973 in Elko, Nevada.  He gained a number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by this union. He is survived by Darlene, his bride of 38 years; his daughter, Lori Sugar and her two sons, Jesse and Kemmer as well as all of the afore-mentioned offspring with the exception of two sons, Jerry and Randy Cornia.

 Slim was preceded in death by his parents, his elder sister, Imogene Justus, two sons Jerry and Randy Cornia, and a nephew, Marque Lesuer.  

After 87 years on this earth, we have no doubt that Loran was welcomed home by the words:


"Well done, my good and faithful servant"

Safe in God's hands

A new body...A new life for eternity!



In June, 2013 a few of us made a trip up to the summit of Pike's Peak to remember Slim and his amazing life.

Here are a few pictures from the day:




























Still Missing you, Slim!