Checkered Flag: Gerald “Jerry” Shiloff

Detroit Region SCCA is saddened to acknowledge the passing of Jerry Shiloff.

Gerald “Jerry” Shiloff passed away peacefully on Monday, October 30th at his home in Clay Township, Michigan in the company of his son, Alek and his loving wife, Mary.

Jerry’s contribution to Detroit Region SCCA and grassroots motorsports is nearly immeasurable. The Shiloffs collectively have been fixtures in all forms of motorsport for over 50 years and together formed one of the true “power couples” of racing, with Mary being recognized as an SCCA Member of Excellence in 2012. Jerry and Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 13th, with Jerry sending Mary 2 dozen white roses.

In his younger years, Jerry was an active participant SCCA Pro rally and hill climbing at events such as Press On Regardless and the Empire Hill Climb. He continued his participation in motorsports well through the new millennium, serving as one of the founding members of Detroit Region SCCA’s RallyCross program in his signature VR6 Volkswagen Golf.

Younger members and racers largely came to know Jerry from outside a car. Jerry began serving as a road racing steward both for SCCA and for Waterford Hills Road Racing in the early 2000s, and served as the Chief Steward for both organizations at numerous road races for several years. Jerry was also an integral part of orchestrating pro races like the Detroit Grand Prix since 1984, and serving as the chairman of that event for the region from 2015-2022.

In his professional life, Jerry spent his career as a clay modeler, shaping the vehicles of the future in a wind tunnel for clients such as Ford Motor Company and three America’s Cup teams. At home, he and Mary raised their son, Alek, cared for their many loving cats such as Bond, so named for his tuxedo coat. He and Mary also spent plenty of time traveling abroad, not only to visit their two grandchildren in Germany, but also for international racing events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It is difficult to encapsulate the scale of the impact that Jerry had on the region and amateur racing. Perhaps the best measure of his presence was the sheer number of people who knew him in nearly every racing circle from the service area at Sno* Drift to the tower at Waterford Hills. Though several hip surgeries did slow him down, they weren’t enough to put a stop to his passion for racing.

While we are all saddened by his passing, Jerry’s legacy will live on thanks to his countless hours of work as a volunteer and his tireless enthusiasm for all forms of motorsport. Have a Labatt on us, Jerry and farewell until we see you at the next finish line.