Buck Muse, the man behind the races

Buck Muse - Navy Retirement

Buck (center) at his retirement from the U.S. Navy

Buck Muse, in whose memory this weekend’s races are held, was one of South Carolina Region SCCA’s longest serving members, as well as one of its most dedicated volunteers. Buck was a fixture as steward of South Carolina Region’s events as well as many others in the southeast, and a great friend and mentor to many people in Southeast Division SCCA.

Buck was born in Charlotte, NC in 1920, and served 37 years in the U.S. Navy. He was in combat in the South Pacific in World War II with the Seabees (the U.S. Naval Construction Force), earning two Bronze Stars and one Silver Star. Buck also attended Erskine College and NC State University, earning his degree in electrical engineering.

Buck’s SCCA career began in 1962 with the purchase of an Austin-Healey Sprite. He joined Central Carolinas Region and began organizing and participating in road rallies and gymkhanas (the predecessor to autocross). In 1969 Buck earned his National Steward’s license and oversaw both road race and hillclimb events throughout the remainder of his 42 year SCCA career. In 1978, the Columbia Sports Car Club applied for SCCA region status and became South Carolina Region. During the 1980’s, Buck began volunteering as a steward for the region’s fledgling race and time trials programs.

Buck Muse - Chimney Rock Hillclimb

Buck (second from left) in the “traditional steward’s attire” at Chimney Rock Hillclimb

Buck was passionate about the SCCA hillclimb program, and was chief steward of the legendary Chimney Rock Hillclimb for the final running of the event in 1995. During the 1997 Beech Mountain Hillclimb, an artery burst in Buck’s leg. The quick actions of the SCCA officials in attendance, including Robert and Barbara Mayes, chief of medical Dr. Charles “Doc” Harmon, and the local hospital personnel saved Buck’s life – with only about 2 minutes to spare, according to the attending cardiac surgeon. These heroic actions gave us seven more years with Buck, for which my family is eternally grateful.

Seven years later, God chose to bring him home. In typical fashion, Buck was packing for a race weekend at Roebling Road when he suffered a major heart attack in his home. Many of our SCCA family attended and spoke at his Navy military funeral, where his ashes were buried alongside his wife, who passed away in 1982. Buck is survived by two daughters, one son, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

R.C. Gochnauer and Buck Muse

Buck (right) with another of South Carolina Region’s greatest volunteers, R.C. Gochnauer

Buck’s many SCCA awards and honors include: the first Alton Long Memorial plaque, awarded in the early 1960’s’; the John C. Reuter Memorial Award in 1985; the South Carolina Region honorable mention for outstanding member participation in 2000; and South Carolina Region’s Order of the Blue Dot award in 2005, shared by Buck and R.C. Gochnauer and presented to me on his
2019 Event Registration Link: https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/buck-muse-memorial-sarrc-apc-time-trial-carolina-motorsports-park-scca-006661