Saturday, February 5, 2011

Waterford People

Here are a bunch of pictures that were on the Waterford disc from my father. The first is a picture of the first lap of a race taken coming out of Skeet House and headed to Hilltop. The Porsche leading the pack is Vic Skirmants. Back then, he was just a good Waterford racer, but later on, he became an icon to the bathtub Porsche set.

The first day of driver's school, I met Greg and Grant, two guys from London with a well prepared Titan. That first weekend they were tent camping at the track and being sprayed by errant shotgun pellets from the club's skeet range. I thought that was a pretty poor way to spend a race weekend, so by the next race, they were camping in my house instead.

Greg is the man with the Labatt's hat. Grant is guy with the 7 Up bottle. I can't help but notice that we were all running around without shirts and otherwise minimum clothing. I don't remember it that way, but it must have been a very hot period when we were racing. Just think of the fun of putting on Nomex long underwear, a two layer racing suit, a balaclava, helmet, and gloves for the race.

By the next season, they both started showing up with girlfriends which soon became wives. Somehow, I never took the hint and was always the bachelor host. Here is Liz, a key part of this crew. I should have one of Grant's girl, but oh well.

A little cheesecake from Grant.

Now for the Chrysler group, a few of you will remember Kim Lyons, a very smart man, now retired. Kim spent a few years engineering a Lamborgini Minardi in F1 for Chrysler. When he came back, he made and published the first SAE paper on an automatically shifted manual transmission that is the forerunner of current high tech transmission. He used a Neon transaxle case with March F1 gears and shafts inside.

And of course, a young Dave Dobry. I've often wondered how Dave manages to look so young in retirement. Now I realize that he looked even younger when in his 20's.

As for how these pictures ended up on the same disc, I don't know. Dan Champney has been a friend since high school and helped me crew the race car. The first shot is Dan from that period. The second shot is Dan from a later period.

Finally, I couldn't get away without showing a picture of an Opel GT in race clothing. My father bought an Opel GT at my urging when I was turning 16. Actually, I tried to talk him into a Lotus Super 7, but the Opel was a GM car,so technically legal for him to drive as a company car. Together, we had a lot of fun with that car, so it was nice to see someone racing one years later.

I guess that as I post this, I have missed a warehouse open house. This will have to substitute for a walk down memory lane.

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