Sylvan Easler was always infatuated with cars.
Whether it was building engines, drag racing or just admiring the beauty of the car itself, he always had a love for cars.
But his first love came when he met his high school sweetheart at the age of 14. From that, he enjoyed the ride of a 58-year marriage with Sylvia M. Cvetic Easler.
Ms. Easler said her husband built a 1934 Ford 3 window coupe from the frame up and they would go to street ride events to showcase the car.
She even remembered how her husband's love for cars and need for speed almost got them into a bit of trouble.
"We got stopped once for speeding, but the state trooper saw the car at the event," said Ms. Easler, 77. "He said, 'If I didn't know it was a safe car, I would've given you a bunch of tickets,' " she said.
Sylvan L. "Red" Easler, of Shaler, died of health complications Thursday. He was 79.
Mr. Easler was born Sept. 27, 1934, and had been tinkering around with cars since the early '50s. His hands were always busy building engines. Mr. Easler was a mechanic on the Gulf R&D race teams of the 1960s. He was a NASCAR technical adviser from 1965-69 and crew chief for Easler Motorsports from 1995-2012.
For his dedicated work to push cars to their highest performance, Mr. Easler was voted mechanic of the year in 1963 by the Pittsburgh International Dragway and won the golden torque wrench that is awarded to the best engine builder.
"He was naturally talented, extremely meticulous, a hard worker and did everything to perfection," Ms. Easler said. "That's what everybody would say about him."
He was also a retired technician of the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center and its predecessors, Gulf Oil and Chevron Research.
Mr. Easler was president of the Shaler Wrestling Association from 1972-75.
He also led the Bauerstown Baseball Association from 1967-71 and coached his son's team to its first-ever championship in his initial year of coaching.
"That team was a well-oiled machine itself," said Sylvan Easler Jr., 55, of Butler. "He had us well-grooved."
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Easler is survived by two daughters, Sylvon Jackson of Shaler and Shari Ashton of Hampton; two sisters, Rita Mae Kunz of Bradford Woods and Lavern Easler of Butler; six grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
The family invites relatives and friends to celebrate his life with them at a dinner reception Oct. 19 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Four Seasons Banquet House, 2361 Banks School Road, Hampton.
There is no visitation, and the funeral service is private.
Kelton Brooks: email@example.com. First Published October 7, 2013 8:00 PM