Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Photographers always seem to snap the shutter when you are at your worst. Have something go wrong and the shutterbugs come runnin'.

I found these old pictures, taken by my Dad, while digging around looking for a lost software disc. They were mostly taken from 1985 at Waterford racetrack when I was competing in F-Ford.

The amazing thing is that it was more than 25 years ago. Ouch.

If you just looked at the pictures, you would think I was breaking down all the time. This is me coming home on a rope. If I remember correctly, we forgot to tighten a hose clamp in the fuel system. On the pace lap, gasoline started pouring out of the fuel cell and into the bottom of my seat. My ass was burning from the chemical burn (no fire) by the time I was half way around the pace lap. I pulled off and watched the festivities from a corner station.

Actually, I think I finished almost all of my races. I don't remember what happened here, but all four wheels are on the car, so it couldn't have been too serious. Yes, that's me in my spiffy driving suit with sharp red accent down the pants leg.

I pulled in this picture of my friend Greg, just to show that I'm not the only one to come home on a hook. Here the photographer got my better side. I'm the one with my butt to the camera, hariy legs, and a sunburned back.

Greg's car is a Titan Mk 6c and he and I were very evenly matched. Waterford had/has a great family atmosphere. If one of us had a problem, everyone you knew, including your competitors, jumped in to help.

Greg was a great driver but it took him a little while to get used to formula cars. He had been a rally driver and liked to back a car into a corner. That worked great on gravel, but really scrubbed the speed off on pavement.

Here is the start of a race. Again the photographer makes it look like my Lola is last, but in reality, the cars ahead of me are in a different class running slicks and I am on the pole of the radial tire F-Fords. Note the massive power squat as my huge 105 Hp engine accelerates.

This should be the checkered flag picture with me winning my class in the race. Unfortunately, the checkered flag isn't visible in the picture.

My car is a Lola T440 from the late 70's that I picked up for a song because it was in boxes. The radial tire class was great because the tires were weak enough that you could power slide the car around, even with the 105 Hp, pushrod 4 cylinder engine. Also, the tires lasted 1.5 seasons and the engine just needed the oil changed and the valves lapped at the end of the season.

A Future Racer.

This is the son of one of the mechanics from work. I hope he enjoyed himself, I know that I did.

A couple of other notes about the picture. You can see the radial tires, BFG Comp TAs. Also, the steering rack is raised about an inch with the body work bumping up to match. I needed the clearance for my shins. Finally, notice the silver VW pickup truck in the background. It was nice to be able to tow my race car with a little truck like that. That truck served me well, including a big move from Michigan to California.

The next time, I will pull up some people pictures and show what time and my Dad's camera did to some faces you may know.


  1. I still think the rear of the car should be slightly faster than the front! The rally experience did slow mw down for the first season or two but it did pay off in the rain.

  2. Greg,

    Your way is definitely more fun too. That's part of what I liked about the radial class was that we could slide the car around a little more. Or course, you were way better at it than I was. It's too bad I didn't get a chance to do a little rallying.