There’s no such a thing as too many automotive-centered TV shows, and “Chasing Classic Cars” is part-proof of that. Since its premiere in 2008, the show has featured some of the most incredible, rarely seen classic autos from all around the US, many of which have been brought back to life thanks to Wayne Carini and his team of experts at F40 Motorsports.
That being said, those who have watched some of the latest “Chasing Classic Cars” have surely noticed the absence of the fan-favorite Roger Barr, one of Carini’s shop’s most beloved workers, an unforgettable icon in the show.
So whatever happened to Roger? Is it true that he’s faced some serious and expensive health problems, and how did he deal with them? Is he alright nowadays? Stay with us to get answers to these questions!
Why Did He Need Funds?
Sadly, Roger Barr has gone through difficult times in recent years. Around mid-2017, Roger was severely injured while working for Wayne Carini’s shop, developing an infection as a result.
While Roger fortunately recovered after weeks of hospitalization, his medical bills weren’t compensated by the government, thus taking a toll on his finances, due partly to the prolonged time he was away from work.
Following Roger’s recovery, in late 2018 he underwent knee replacement surgery, and was in need of a second procedure to replace his other knee to improve his quality of life. Due to all his medical and personal needs, Roger’s friend Steve Cripps set up a GoFundMe campaign in order to provide financial relief to Roger during those difficult times.
Although the campaign didn’t reach its goal of $35,000, it got close enough so that Roger was able to afford his second knee surgery in mid-2019 without further stress to his financial situation. Roger needed other urgent medical procedures, in the following two years, such as dental work. Nonetheless, while Roger is apparently in a better financial situation these days, the campaign is still open for those who wish to send the veteran mechanic their appreciation through a donation.
Is He Not In “Chasing Classic Cars” Anymore?
Sadly, not only is Roger Barr absent from “Chasing Classic Cars”, but also isn’t an employee of Wayne Carini anymore.
According to some of Roger’s social media posts, in 2018 he returned to work after undergoing his first knee replacement surgery, however, at some point after his second surgery the following year, Wayne chose not to employ him anymore: ‘I kept asking to come back to work and was told no work, then, in the mail I received a notice that I was involuntarily terminated’, he wrote on Facebook in September 2020.
So far, Wayne hasn’t openly explained the reason for Roger’s termination, but it’s apparent that the men aren’t in contact anymore. As Roger addressed in the same Facebook post, he wanted to recover some of his work tools which were still held by Carini, but saw no way to get them back.
It’s unknown if Roger actually recovered his tools, but seeing that not only was he suddenly unemployed, and apparently received no compensation for his health-related absences, so it’s understandable why his friends set up a fund collecting campaign to help him.
Was He Paid For The Show?
A lot has been said about Roger Barr’s financial situation in the last couple of years. Starting from his complicated health issues to the GoFundMe campaign set up for him, it’s evident that the fan-favorite mechanic wasn’t going through good times when it came to money.
Roger himself explained some of the reasons he wasn’t in a good place financially-speaking on his Facebook page, in which he also denied being a millionaire TV star: ‘I am not worth 1.3 million. Fact is I have to work to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. I wasn’t paid anything to appear on camera’, Roger wrote, adding that if he actually possessed lots of money, he would immediately fix his house and have dental work done.
Roger’s statement about not being paid for appearing in “Chasing Classic Cars” is shocking to say the least, but one of his page admins confirmed his words by writing that the mechanic ‘Couldn’t even negotiate for scale’, which he assured was his right for appearing on TV.
All in all, Roger’s situation in the show wasn’t the most positive, so it’s understandable that he and Wayne Carini don’t appear together on TV anymore.
Where Does He Work Now?
Now that Roger isn’t working for Carini anymore, lots of fans have wrongly assumed he’s definitely left work for good.
However, Roger is nowadays active, and working for The Paddock Restorations, a Connecticut-based body shop which specializes in maintenance, preservation and repairs of old automobiles.
The opportunity to join The Paddock’s staff came to Roger in mid-2020, when a stranger in the streets directed him to the shop after Roger helped him fix his car: ‘I came in here and at first I thought I’d died and gone to heaven’, he recalled in a YouTube interview from 2022.
In Roger’s words, he ‘owes his actual success’ to the owners of the shop who welcomed him into the Paddock, which he describes as ‘the happiest place I’ve ever worked’.
The appreciation from Roger to his new employers and fellow co-workers is mutual, as The Paddock’s social media and YouTube videos often feature him and his work as much as they can, letting it be known that Roger has fortunately found a great place to work in, after going through so many difficulties in recent years.
What Did He Do In F40 Motorsports?
As seen in “Chasing Classic Cars”, Wayne Carini’s brand revolves around classic and exotic cars, rarely seen in today’s industry due to their scarcity or lack of preservation. Wayne’s business isn’t only finding these rarely seen autos, but restoring and bringing them a new life through his shops, and selling them through F40 Motorsports.
— MinutemanWatch (@ActualMinuteman) November 15, 2021
Although the show let people assume that Roger Barr worked for the latter shop, the truth is that Roger was hired by Carini’s automotive restoration and repair shops Carini Carozzeria and Continental Auto Ltd in the early 2000s, staying with Wayne doing mechanical fixing to foreign cars for over 15 years until his termination in 2019. Nonetheless, the men had actually known each other for decades prior to the abrupt end of their professional relationship, as Roger’s old repair business often collaborated with Wayne’s father’s autoshop.
Regarding his time in working for Wayne, Roger has remained polite about it: ‘I worked for another person and it wasn’t working out’, he said when asked in a YouTube video for his new employer The Paddock.
While Roger Barr became a fan-favorite for “Chasing Classic Cars”s audience, due to his magnetic personality and many interesting stories up his sleeve, the truth is that Roger actually has all the experience and knowledge to back up his popularity.
As Roger recalled in an interview with The Paddock Productions in 2022, his earliest times as a mechanic started when he was a five-year-old boy, working for money in a place called Joe Detroit’s in Staten Island, New York City. Roger spent all his free time off school at Joe’s, who taught Roger everything he knew, despite in his words not being a ‘good student: I’m the poster boy for dyslexia but Joe, I watched him. I’m a good monkey see monkey do guy, and that’s where I came on’.
Growing up, Roger was hired by people in his neighborhood, before attending the Patterson Aviation Technology school, where he learned further the basics of mechanics and manual work. He later served the US Air Force, where he was no longer needed to work in cars, but on ‘planes and heavy duty autos. Being stationed in Germany also played in Roger’s favor, as he could specialize in foreign cars of all types.
Did He Have A Business?
After his return to the US, Roger Barr established his first business named Foreign Car Shop Inc, based in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
While Roger was indeed well prepared to take on the jobs which came into his shop, the business was apparently not thriving in the financial aspect. As Roger affirmed in a Paddock Productions interview, it was ‘lots of fun, no money’ despite his efforts. It was during his time managing a business in Connecticut that he met Bob Carini, who at the time had already established the auto shop inherited by his son Wayne a couple of decades later.
Unfortunately, at some point Roger’s business wasn’t able to overcome its money difficulties, leaving him no option than to sell it: ‘I had partners. The government, the state, you know, this one and that one and one man couldn’t do it’, he affirmed in the same interview. Although it’s unknown when exactly Roger’s shop closed down, it’s for sure that he’s been working for other people since then.
Roger Barr and Craig Bshara having a spirited debate on the advantages and shortcomings of having an oil accumulator in a Lamborghini Countach. #rogerbarr #craigbshara #lamborghinicountach
Was He A Racer?
Besides being an excellent mechanic and veteran Air Force member, Roger Barr is also an experienced race driver. His first experience on the track came in his 20s, when one of his customers who happened to build race cars, invited him to join The Sports Car Club of America and drive his autos.
Sensing it was a good chance at taking his love for cars to new frontiers, Roger spent the following years racing right and left all over America, for the BFormula Vee, eventually winning the US National Championship celebrated at Lime Rock in 1968. His car at the time was a British-made Crosslé, with a 61plate number, one of the first models of its type to be distributed internationally.
Although Roger hasn’t professionally raced in several decades, those times on the fast track were definitely some of the most memorable in his life.
How Did Carini’s Business Start?
While Wayne Carini has amassed huge popularity thanks to his shop and several businesses, actually his story in the automotive field can be traced back to his father Bob Carini.
A native of Connecticut, Bob started fixing cars at the young age of 12, rebuilding old Ford models he found abandoned on his family’s farm. Later in life, his business Continental Auto focused on collecting, restoring and fixing classic autos of all types, eventually earning Bob an Achievement Award by the Antique Automobile Club of America.
Though at some point Wayne took a step away from the family business to pursue an art teacher career, being offered the family’s business by his father later in life was an offer he couldn’t just refuse. He then spent the following decades not only keeping Continental Auto Ltd afloat but also started his restoration business Carini Carozzeria, and the classic cars dealership F40 Motorsports.
The Dreamed Car Story
Some of the best life experiences are those which take a while in the making, and no one knows that better than Wayne Carini. Back in his childhood, Wayne spent lots of time in his father’s autoshop, which resulted in him not only developing his early mechanical and restoration skills, but also a deep fascination for Ferraris.
However, that couldn’t be compared to his devotion to a Hudson Italia he became enamored with at 16 years, after seeing it stationed in his father’s shop. As some sort of destiny trick, the same Hudson never stayed far from his sight for long, and the next couple of decades he spent in contact with the original owner, a man named Raymond Robinson. After Robinson died in the 1980s, Wayne kept chasing the car until its new owner accepted his offer.
Although Wayne could have simply found another car, that wasn’t what he wanted, as he detailed his Hudson Italia chase to The New York Times for the article entitled “Your First Love, and Your Last Love” in 2006. Said feature is another incredible part of the story, as it attracted the attention of a MotorTrend’s producer, who a couple of years later convinced Wayne to help create “Chasing Classic Cars”, and the rest is history.
Is The Show Over?
After “Chasing Classic Cars” 16th season wrapped up in 2020, no further news about a renewal has been announced by MotorTrend or Wayne Carini.
Even if this doesn’t necessarily mean the show is over, it’s certainly the first time the show has taken such an extended break from TV. Meanwhile, Wayne seems well focused on his businesses and The Chase Magazine, a monthly subscription publication available on his website.
Whether “Chasing Classic Cars” returns to air anytime soon, Roger Barr most-likely won’t appear in it. This puts a bittersweet note to the show’s run on TV, but dedicated fans of both Roger and Wayne surely appreciate all the good times they gave us over the years.