Robert “Rambo” Hanes

Local racer, Bob “Rambo” Hanes, age 81, of East Lansing, MI, died on February 24, 2019. He was born on February 26, 1937, in Roanoke, VA, to Hathaway and Mable Hanes.

Bob was a mechanic while serving for 4 years in the Marines from 1955-1959. He rose to the rank of sergeant. He had lived in the Lansing area since 1943 and worked 26 years at Melling Drop Forge.

He has been racing since 1953 and he was the second person to build an asphalt front dragster in mid-Michigan in 1958. He ran Figure 8 at Spartan Speedway. Bob also ran demolition derbys, roll over contests, manufacturer blow-up races, and once drove in a school bus race at Owosso Speedway.

Rambo drove stock cars around mid-Michigan for 16 years from 1967 – 1983 and was track champion at Mt. Pleasant and Merritt speedways. He then went to Clown School at LCC, and became a clown at Spartan, Mt. Pleasant, and Merritt speedways for 3 years. In 1988, he started building 4WD rear engine mud dragsters and for many years was the only one in the state. His 2WD mud dragster still holds the Michigan state record for 2.03 seconds in 150’ mud pit and was state champion.

He was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Later in life, he built many street rods (mostly Model A’s) and once built a 1930 Model A Coupe in 75 days.

Bob was married to his wonderful wife, Marilyn for 58 years.

Bob is survived by:  his wife, Marilyn; son, David Hanes; daughter, Susan (Mark) Schumacher; 4 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; brother, Bill (Irene) Hanes; and sister-in-law, Jean Ballard.

His family will receive friends at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday and from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Monday, with a funeral service at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home, with interment to follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057 in memory of Robert Hanes.

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14 Messages to “Robert “Rambo” Hanes

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Rose Calabrase
February 26, 2019 at 8:38 am

My condolences to Marilyn & family. Bob was a neighbor and part of our racing family & member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Randy, Cheri and CJ
February 26, 2019 at 12:42 pm

We are so sorry for your loss Marilyn, Susie and family. Sending healing hugs and prayers to you all.

Peggy Bryson
February 26, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Praying for you Marilyn, Susie, Mark and David. A heartfelt hug for you and your entire family. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather and loved by so many. RIP Rambo.

Keith and Lisa Granger
February 27, 2019 at 9:09 am

What a special man. Now praying for your family’s peace, strength and energy.

Janice M Grangefr
February 27, 2019 at 9:32 am

Mark, Susan & others, the Granger family shares in your grief. Please know that our prayers & thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Love
Lisa & Keith
Lynne & Jerry
Ron & Donna
Al & Jan

Tom Erb
February 28, 2019 at 11:43 am

My deepest condolences to all of Bob’s family for their loss. What a fun, friendly, sharp, hard working person, he was always great to be around. I was lucky enough to be around when he and Bill were building that first Hemi powered fuel dragster at his folks home on Wood Street, and got to go to Stanton with them to race it several times. I have nothing but very fond memories of being in his company over the years. Tom Erb

Patrik Karlsson
March 2, 2019 at 6:45 pm

My deepest condolences to Marilyn, Susie and all family members. I only met Bob two times. But i was very fascinated by his storys from his life. And his sense of humor is priceless.
A great man!

Patrik Karlsson in Sweden.

Ron and Jeanne DeHaas
March 3, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Bob will be missed. So sorry for your grief. Love to you all!

Frank & Sandra Chvojka (MMSRA)
March 4, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Our sincere condolences on your loss. Rambo was a really super guy and we will miss him a lot.

Jeffrey I Mosher
March 4, 2019 at 6:32 pm

My condolences to the family. I remember Bob welding my snowplow on my Blazer. And traveling around Michigan, watching Him race and following the ” Worlds Oldest Pace Car”.

Elin Karlsson
March 5, 2019 at 5:07 pm

I an so sorry for your loss Marilyn, Mark and Susie. It was a great honor getting to meet Bob while visiting you. Hos stories were incredibly facinating and interresting listen to. He was a great man.
You are all in our thoughts during this time
Elin Karlsson with family

sherry jones
March 6, 2019 at 6:59 pm

Marilyn, Susie and Davie, My heart goes out to you. Words can’t make the hurt go away but i am praying and youre in my thoughts. sherry

March 11, 2019 at 11:33 am

Marilyn,Sue,Mark,Dave an family very sorry to hear of the loss of (a great man) your loved one. It was an honor to race and getting to become friends with him, i enjoyed talking to him sharing knowledge, creating fun time stories i still share with friends today .He was a great influence to myself in many ways as well many other people i am sure. My thoughts and prayers go out to you,s LOVE GLEN

Michael "Big Mike" Christensen
March 11, 2019 at 7:01 pm

My sincerest sympathy to the entire family. Rambo was a special and unique man. He will be sincerely missed


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