While the name of Roland Osborne may not be as recognizable as Roger Huntington, Ford’s Ak Miller, Lee Iacocca, or Smokey Yunick, Osborne’s legacy is well known among MoPar fans. Osborne died of a brain tumor at his home in Quinlin, Texas, on April 18. He was 68.
Roland Harvey Osborne III was born in Ithaca, N.Y. and in the 1970s founded the National Hemi Owners Association to help popularize the MoPar Hemi engine. He worked for a brief period for the Oldsmobile factory in Lansing before moving to California the following year.
Upon settling in Southern California, I met Osborne when we worked together at Hart Fullerton Chrysler-Plymouth in West Los Angeles. Hart Fullerton ran a premiere dealership and actively participated in the Mobilgas Economy Runs in the early 1950s.
Osborne went on to teach automotive classes at San Fernando High School, among his other ventures; founder and publisher of Chrysler Power Magazine, Christian Motorsports Illustrated Magazine, Christian Motor Sports Ministries, MoPar Muscle Club and Chrysler Performance Parts Association. It was Osborne who gave me my start in automotive writing by publishing my first article in Chrysler Power.
A devout Christian, Osborne graduated Rhema Bible School in Oklahoma City, later moving to Texas. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; children Roland IV, Lisa, Coleman, Chrysta, Jason, and Jacob; along with seven grandchildren, several nieces and nephews and numerous friends, associates and followers.
— John Bellah