Rudy Cleye; Restaurateur, Builder of Riverside International Raceway

Rudy W. Cleye, who built the now-defunct Riverside International Raceway and co-founded the Blarney Castle restaurant, has died. He was 75.

Cleye died Nov. 30 at his home in Carson City, Nev.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, on Dec. 4, 1917, Cleye studied engineering and hotel and restaurant management in Paris and Switzerland. He came to the United States in the 1940s and worked as a maitre d’ at the Diamond Horseshoe and the Riviera in New York.

Moving west, Cleye co-founded the Blarney Castle in the Mid-Wilshire area in the early 1950s and operated it until 1974. He also owned the nearby Black Forest restaurant.

A racer in Europe in his youth, Cleye organized the West Coast Automotive Testing Corp. and built the Riverside International Raceway in 1957. He served as president.

Cleye retired to Carson City 20 years later and ran a llama breeding business.


He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, four children--Ramona Guttlein of Frankfurt, Germany; Shannon Russell of Newport Beach; Kirsten Ramsey of Encinitas, and Rodger Cleye of Manhattan Beach--and a grandson.

The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to the Washoe Valley Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 127, Carson City, Nev. 89702.