Harold Avedis Bagdasarian
Mar 15, 1923 - Oct 16, 2014
BAGDASARIAN, Harold A. “Baggy” Harold A. “Baggy” Bagdasarian, for more than five decades a nationally-recognized master of custom car and hot rod showmanship and promotion, passed away in Sacramento, CA, Thursday, October 16. He was 91, he passed away peacefully with his family by his side. He is survived by his loving wife Willi, daughter Linda Winther, son Bud Bagdasarian, and son in law Gene Winther. He is also survived by his sister Lucy Wheeler. Devoted grandfather to Cris Winther and Lauren Koucouthakis, 4 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Irwin and Elmer Bagdasarian. He was born in Fresno and came to Sacramento in 1940, joined the Army, married (Willi who was his partner, in life for 70 years. He went into the Army Air Corps in 1943 and was a Ball Gunner. In 1947 he went into the Cab business called “Capitol Cab Co”. In 1948 with his brother Elmer they built the first 5 minute Car Wash in the country. In 1950 he founded the” Sacramento Autorama”, as president of the Capitol Auto Club. In 1955 he started Fox Theatrical Advertising, which were search lights for Grand opening of companies. In 1958 & 1959 he promoted ¼ mile motorcycle races at Hugh Stadium in Sacramento. In 1960 he started Flasco, a lighting service company. In 1962 and 1963 he also produced indoor Midget races at Cal Expo. And in 1966 and 1967 he produced short track Motorcycled races at Cal Expo. In 1971 he started Capco Industries, and developed and manufactured a battery operated air freshener. In 1991 he started” Rent A Fone”, a company that rented cell phone to state workers, and anyone that need a phone for a week or so, out on business trips. The Sacramento Autorama show at Cal Expo, now in its sixth decade, Baggy was also a daring and persistent impresario who by 1976 managed and had ownership interest in 9 Northern California shows that drew nearly 150, 000 motoring enthusiasts, including the Grand National Oakland Roadster Show, “World of Wheels” in San Mateo, San Jose Autorama, Sacramento International Bike & Van Show, Street Machines at Cal Expo, The Santa Rosa Show, Redding Car Show, and the Reno Show. His first show, one to settle an argument among two Thunderbolts’ members about which one had the most beautiful roadster, was held Armistice Day, 1950, and featured 22 cars was held at The Sacramento Capitol Chevrolet Co. “I made a $1.74,” he recalled in an earlier interview. The show grew- graduating to Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium, then on to Merchandise Mart at the old State Fair Grounds, finally 1970 to Cal Expo. He managed and and worked out every detail for their shows. He was a believer in showmanship for the whole family and his productions always included a mix of entertainment for the kids to TV personalities for the adults. He was among the first showmen to screen continuous race car films. His ability to consistently showcase the finest available cars in a string of exhibitions was a tribute to his relationship with the motoring community, builders, stylists, painters, car owners themselves and representatives of an expanding performance industry serving car enthusiasts everywhere. Services will be held Friday October 24th at 11:00 AM at East Lawn, 4300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA. 95819. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a
charity of your choice
. Arrangements by W.F. Gormley & Sons.
W. F. Gormley & Sons Funeral Home
2015 Capitol Ave.