Robert J. Sinclair
1932 - 2009, Santa Barbara
Robert J. Sinclair, of Santa Barbara died peacefully on May 10 at Serenity House. He was born on March 17,1932 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Haverford Township High School in 1950 and attended Lafayette College on a music scholarship.
After a long and successful career in the automotive industry, mostly with the Swedish autos Volvo and Saab, Bob retired in 1991 as the President and CEO of Saab Cars, USA, then headquartered in Orange, Connecticut. His greatest achievement at Saab was the development of the Saab 900 convertible, first introduced in the United States in 1985. From the original goal of making 4,500 convertibles over a three-year period, Saab went on to produce nearly a quarter of a million over a time span of 20 years. Because of his efforts to successfully promote the Saab automobile and Swedish industry in the United States in general, Bob was knighted by the King of Sweden and received the "Nordstjarneorden" (The Order of the Polar Star) in 1986.
As much as Bob enjoyed working hard, he also liked to play hard. While president of Volvo's Western Division, he built a Volvo-powered dune buggy which he raced in the Baja 1000 in 1968-69. In the 1970's, he raced a Volvo-Penta powered Marieholm boat with the Pacific Offshore Power Boat Racing Association.
After retiring and moving to Santa Barbara in 1992, he enjoyed many days of touring on one of his motorcycles. He traveled much of the USA, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand and many countries in Europe either by motorcycle or in his camper, often with his dog, Mickey at his side.
Bob is survived by his wife of 56 years, Anne and six children: Robert III; Rebecca (Thetis); Gregory (Nitraya); Lisa Loree(Derek); Stephen (Marianne) and Jennifer Gregor (David). He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Sara and Laura Sinclair; Colin and Kara Loree; Max and Michaela Sinclair; Forrest and Maia Gregor.
Those wishing to honor Bob's memory can do so by sending a donation to the following: Seniors in Hospice Care (in memory of Robert J. Sinclair) c/o Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara, 222E Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 or National Motorcycle Safety Foundation, (restricted funds in memory of Bob Sinclair), 2 Jenner Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618.