Famous Lombard resident Jan C. Gabriel, of the nationally syndicated TV series “The Super Chargers” and known for his signature “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” phrase, died Sunday at age 69 from polycystic kidney disease and complications from peripheral artery disease.
Gabriel had lived in Lombard for more than decade, but kept a quiet profile in the community.
Gabriel’s love for motor sports made him the first person to televise NASCAR and NHRA on his show, “The Super Chargers.” Airing from 1982 to 1994, his show was one of the longest running motorsports TV series. Celebrities who were featured on his show and shared his love of cars included Chuck Norris, Tony Danza, and Sally Struthers. He is also known for bringing popularity to Monster Truck races in television specials.
One of his greatest accomplishments is the “Team Demolition Association,” which he founded in 1999. He negotiated for the track at Route 66 Raceway on the NASCAR-owned Chicagoland Motor Speedway property, and would hold up to six races each summers. In 2003, Gabriel invited drivers from Canada, Australia and New Zealand to compete in the Team Demo Association World Championship, where the American team took first place.
Gabriel was awarded The World of Wheels “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2008.
“His focus was primarily on motorsports,” said his publicist, Denise Dorman, who was also a writer and producer on “The Super Chargers.” “That’s where he put all his energies.”
Gabriel is survived by his wife Teresa, and a daughter from a previous marriage, Amanda.
A “celebration of life” event will take place at noon Sunday in Gabriel’s garage, 2436 Royal Drive, with all his favorite cars. The event is open to the public.
For more information, contact Dorman at (630) 845-4694.