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Famous Auto Guys You have Met


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Met Randy Ema twice, once with AJ who introduced me to him and once again, a nice visit while he was waiting for Jay Leno to sign a bunch of autographs while no one seemed to recognize Randy.  Both times at Hershey.  

 

Being active in hobby here in CT I have met Wayne Carini several times and for a while he was a member of our AACA region.  

 

Of course several mover shakers here... 😉😁

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The first one I ever met was Richard (Dick) Teague in 1980.  He would probably be the most well-known of all of them.

 

To a lesser degree, I've met Herman Smith, head of Ford of Canada Archives, and Bob Bourke, designer of the 1953 Studebaker who was part of Raymond Loewy's design team, and Bob Andrews, also a part of the Loewy design team who designed the Avanti.  And I have met others, more famous only in the Studebaker world, including E.T. Reynolds, head of Engineering, and others who had executive positions in the company. 

 

Craig

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I have been around a long time so some of the people I have met became long time friends : Austin Clark, Bill Harrah, Rene & Maurice Dreyfus ( French racing brothers) - Bill and I would spend a week on vacation together at the Franklin club meet, Austin and I only lived a half hour apart, and would listen to jazz music in NY City together, go out to lunch, etc. Beverly Rae Kimes ( she and her husband Jim and I used to go to toy shows together and they got the "toy collecting bug" from me )

To a slightly  lesser degree Charles Addams ( the cartoonist) , Carl Doman & Ed Marks ( Franklin automobile company Chief engineers) , Sterling Moss, Bill Mitchell of GM design.

All were just regular down to earth car people.

Edited by Walt G
correct a run on sentence (see edit history)
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Have met Marty and Dale  Roth a few times. The man is a mover and shaker in AACA being a life member, a past national directer, and a senior - master judge. Marty and Dale have been on more national tours than any other member I would think and even drove to Canada from New Orleans for two tours up here. Plus they travel coast to coast to judge car events when not touring. Where ever the Roth's go they are promoting the club and the hobby.  

Marty and Dale are the only ones that accepted an invitation to come to Canada to attend a regional event travailing half way across North America. Out of that original contact the region is in the planing stages to host a national event through Mark McAlpine. This is the kind of action that make a club grow by going out there meeting the different regions getting people involved.   

To me the real movers and shakers are not the ones in hobby to make make a living off it, but promoting the hobby for the real love of it. 

   Next time you see Marty, Dale, Mark or any national executive thank them for their effort. These are the real movers and shakers. 

First one is Marty and Dale on a Sentamental Tour a few years ago 

Mark and Marion sitting together relaxing in the hospitality room on the Vintage Tour in Kingston  

2016-06-13 sentamental tour 013.JPG

2019-08-04 2019 kingston vintage tour 007.JPG

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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Somewhere there's a photo of me talking with Larry Shinoda. I enjoyed that conversation a great deal.

 

I gave John Lingenfelter a death ride in one of our cars and he returned the favor in one of his turbo C5s. Wonderful, humble, smart guy with ice water in his veins. He didn't even flinch when the rear end broke loose in 4th gear at 110 MPH.

 

Elfi Arkus-Duntov spoon-fed me martinis at a Corvette event dinner 20 years ago. Man, she was fun even at 80+ years old. She really must have been something at 30.

 

Most importantly, however, I would like to point out that I'm Facebook friends with Ed Minnie.

 

Suck it, plebes.

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1 hour ago, Joe in Canada said:

Have met Marty and Dale  Roth a few times. The man is a mover and shaker in AACA being a life member, a past national directer, and a senior - master judge. Marty and Dale have been on more national tours than any other member I would think and even drove to Canada from New Orleans for two tours up here. Plus they travel coast to coast to judge car events when not touring. Where ever the Roth's go they are promoting the club and the hobby.  

Marty and Dale are the only ones that accepted an invitation to come to Canada to attend a regional event travailing half way across North America. Out of that original contact the region is in the planing stages to host a national event through Mark McAlpine. This is the kind of action that make a club grow by going out there meeting the different regions getting people involved.   

To me the real movers and shakers are not the ones in hobby to make make a living off it, but promoting the hobby for the real love of it. 

   Next time you see Marty, Dale, Mark or any national executive thank them for their effort. These are the real movers and shakers. 

First one is Marty and Dale on a Sentamental Tour a few years ago 

Mark and Marion sitting together relaxing in the hospitality room on the Vintage Tour in Kingston  

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the kind words, Joe, but you're giving me too much credit.  All the national directors do what they can, but the real movers at the national level are Steve Moskowitz and our entire HQ staff who work hard every day to support our members and keep our club running--Pat Buckley, Sue Eitner, Rick Gawel, Tanis Pellegrini, Lori Shetter, Karen White, and Stacy Zimmerman at HQ and Chris Ritter, Matt Hocker, and Mike Reilly in the Library & Research Center.  (Kudos also to the volunteers & interns who help out at HQ!)

 

After that, I think the major movers in our club are individuals like you & Lynne and all the other members at the region & chapter level who step forward to serve as presidents and officers to lead their regions/chapters and organize national and regional activities.  I have the honor and pleasure of working with people like you and other chairpersons for our national activities, but I'm only here to support you.  You and the other chairpersons do the work that allows our club to hold national tours and shows for the rest of us to enjoy.  Maybe our Library & Research Center ("America's Automotive Library") could stand on its own, but in my opinion the rest of our club could not exist without our regions & chapters and our members who make it happen.

 

This isn't to slight our current or past national directors--they're all members who volunteered to serve our club and contribute(d) considerable time, effort, and personal funds to support our club and members.  Each deserves our appreciation.  (As do the generous benefactors over the years who have donated vehicles, funds, services, and expertise to our club, most notably to the construction of our new HQ & Library building.)  Ultimately, though, its our regions/chapter and members who make this club what it is--the largest, best, and most fun antique automobile club in the world.

 

Edited by Mark McAlpine (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Walt G said:

All were just regular down to earth car people.

^^ This.

And then, define "Famous" ???

 

Having had met numerous supposedly "famous" (whatever that means ?) car people and never been star struck with any of them, I tend to view them through a lens related to this hobby we share (or in some cases, not) and that's it. 

 

OTOH, I can't tell how many times I've talked with someone (non-famous ?) who asked me "Wow, so you've met or know so and so ?" or something like "Have you ever met or know so and so ?" and I often like to reply with "A lot of people can claim or say they've met or know so and so, but does so and so know them ?".

 

And whatever it's worth, if really anything at all, I've been told of few "celebrities"/"famous" car people having allegedly made such claims or references about me.

 

I've also met and/or spent time talking (about vintage cars, etc) with several individuals while not having any idea (but was told later) of them being some kind of celebrities/famous car people. 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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Growing up in south Florida was a pest at Briggs Cunningham's and Norman Latham's. Met many when a kid even before had a DL since even then I could "fix things" and Zenith Transoceanics were a specialty (preferred storm radio when the power went out). Now have a complete set but not much sense for the "hearing impaired".

 

Have been blessed in "being places" when major changes were being done (USAF 1966-70 (learned about computers (crypto gear) that had tubes), GMI 1970-1975, Defense Contractors 1975-2015). In SCCA years always had cold Olympia east of the Mississippi so met everybody & grew up with computers (playing games in 1957). In 90s was a joke that John McAfee had an antivirus lab in a Winnebago and I had a Fiero.

 

For a while also made most POCI meeings in SoCal but lived in Florida (gold on three major airlines - now very happy not to go anywhere).

 

More recently also met Wayne Carini down at Autogeeks in Stuart. Great guy and another fortunate one.

 

Not ready to stop yet. 48v LiOn battery packs are fascinating but most el cheapo Volt/Amp meters and digital relays (under a sawbuck at Amazon) smoke waaay too easy.

 

And so it goes.

 

ps was always surprised when the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor would show up driving a very plain Plymouth. Does that count ?

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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I have had the pleasure of meeting a few car guys over the years. I met Don Garlits when I was a lot younger and have been proud to call him my friend for years. He has stopped by to see our collection several times and I even helped him in his pit once. I had the pleasure of meeting Dale Earnhardt at a short track here in Ohio and he let me sit in his racecar. I sold Robert Stempel a 1949 Cadillac and was able to enjoy a lunch with him. We sold Andy Griffith a Ford Model A and I was able to speak to him, it was just like speaking to the Sheriff of Mayberry. I was able to speak to Alex Xydias at the L.A. Roadster Show he was very nice and a pleasure to speak with. I had a great conversation about Mustangs (P-51s) with Jack Roush once.  After going to College for Design I have met a lot of car designers. Bob Boniface, Trevor Creed, Chris Hilts, Addam Ebel, Ryan Schnackenberg, Bill Robinson, Bill Porter, to name a few. Bill Ford and Henry Ford III. I was able to get an autograph from Ned Jarrett at the 100 years of Ford in Dearborn. Bumped into Jay Leno at a few shows. I once walked a row at the Pomona Swap meet and talked with Chip Foose while doing it. I was good friends with Larry Porter (Alpha-Bet Ford Collection) until he passed. I designed t-shirts for David Buschur.  I am sure I am missing a few. Meeting interesting people makes cars even more fun.

Edited by Brass is Best (see edit history)
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I haven't been fortunate to meet any of the major significant movers and shakers in the automotive design and manufacturing industry, but my wife Marion met a few when she was a child and heard firsthand stories about more of them from her father who worked in the design studios at GM Tech Center for almost 30 years and retired as a Chief Sculptor in 1980.  He was there for Harley Earl's final years at GM, worked for Bill Mitchell, etc., and told us some great stories.  Besides other memorabilia from GM and his clay modeling tools, I remember Marion's father had a gallon of gold paint (with real gold in it) from the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car.  (We offered it to the museum in CO that purchased the F-88 at the Barrett-Jackson auction Scottsdale in 2005.)

 

I grew up in Mt. Clemens, MI, in the 1960s & 1970s, and remember driving by Connie Kalitta's house (off North Ave) on numerous occasions and seeing his and Shirley Muldowney's dragsters in the driveway, but never met either of them.

 

I have been fortunate to meet and speak with (briefly) some contemporary automotive notables & celebrities:  Carroll Shelby at a couple Barrett-Jackson auctions, Linda Vaughan at Carlisle, Chip Foose (I think it was at Barrett-Jackson), Wayne Carini at the Hershey Elegance, Barry Meguiar at a couple Barrett-Jackson auctions, Dennis Gage at the Virginia Fall Classic Car Show, etc.  I've seen others like Jay Leno at the Eastern Fall Nationals in Hershey, Hershey Elegance, or one of the major auctions, but they were there to enjoy things like the rest of us and I didn't want to intrude just to say hello or shake their hands.  (Enough other people were already doing that.)  And let's not forgot the AACA's very own Tom Cox and Chris Ritter from "The Appraisers" TV show!

 

And I know Marty Roth, too!  (He let Marion & I ride with he and Dale in their Packard for a day during last year's Vintage Tour in Ontario.)

Edited by Mark McAlpine
Added comment about Connie Kalitta & Shirley Muldowney (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Mark McAlpine said:

I haven't been fortunate to meet any of the major significant movers and shakers in the automotive design and manufacturing industry, but my wife Marion met a few when she was a child and heard firsthand stories about more of them from her father who worked in the design studios at GM Tech Center for almost 30 years and retired as a Chief Sculptor in 1980.  He was there for Harley Earl's final years at GM, worked for Bill Mitchell, etc., and told us some great stories.  Besides other memorabilia from GM and his clay modeling tools, I remember Marion's father had a gallon of gold paint (with real gold in it) from the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car.  (We offered it to the museum in CO that purchased the F-88 at the Barrett-Jackson auction Scottsdale in 2005.)

It would have been interesting to have met some of those 'Damsels of Design' who worked at GM's styling department.  https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/gms-all-female-design-team  Peggy Sauer is the one who I would have like to have met in person as she did some interior design work on the Studebaker Avanti while she worked under Raymond Loewy/Snaith studios.  

 

I wonder if that gold paint as used on the F-88 was the same gold paint that was used on the 1955 Chevrolet; GM's 50 millionth automobile.

 

Craig

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For auto industry giants, I had the pleasure of knowing Dick Teague. Met him the first time in person at a swap meet at Indianapolis.  We were walking through the swap meet and I saw a cool brass horn sticking out of his bag. While we were both looking over a table full of brass lamps a moment later I commented that he'd found a nice horn.  Next thing you know we were sitting at a picnic table looking over our discoveries.  He was fascinated with the spark plugs I'd found.  We walked together for a while in the swap meet sharing stories and discoveries.  Later that year he came  over to my spots at Hershey and sat a while.  Had invites to visit his home and look at his toys.  He was quite a guy and it took me a while to realize what an amazing person he was  Very friendly and unassuming.  Shared a few drinks with Austie Clark too.   Like a lot of true antique auto enthusiasts, they are just one of us.

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I spent a pleasant evening with Craig Breedlove (Spirit of America) at a friend's home here in Palm Springs a couple of years ago. One of the nicest fellows you'd ever want to meet.

At the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. I was fortunate enough to have a box seat in pit row when crew chief Richard Childress came in to spend some time with us. This was very fun as Kevin Harvick was our guy. Again, as nice a man as you could hope to meet.

Just the right place at the right time.

 

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Met Alec Ulmann and was invited to his house in Sagaponack, through a friend in the Hispano Suiza Club. As well as Austin Clark and  Charles Addams, who would also show up at Hispano/Bugatti combined meets on Long Island. 

 

And I used to work with the famous automotive historian, writer, and editor, Walt G. Who would drag me along to some of Austin Clark's iron range days at Austin's Museum. 😄

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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In 1978 I did a road trip around the US, including going to the POCI meet at Orlando, Florida.

 

I think about the only 'famous' person I met was Wellington Everett Miller, who, as I am sure many in the LA area know had a huge collection of auto literature he was selling. I bought a bunch of '60s Pontiac stuff from him. At 25 I probably didn't appreciate his past history.

 

http://www.coachbuilt.com/des/m/miller/miller.htm

 

In 2016 my partner and I were in England. We went to a few vintage railways. One was the Midland Railway, north of Birmingham. I got talking to the 'old guy' - probably in his 80s - selling tickets. It transpired he was a development engineer on the Concorde project in the 1960s. Told me some stories, one of flying (as a passenger) out of a - now non-existent - airfield near the town of Mansfield and the plane pushing hard to reach 40,000 feet only a few miles away over Birmingham.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Walt G said:

I have been around a long time so some of the people I have met became long time friends...

All were just regular down to earth car people.

 

Writing automotive articles for our AACA newsletter, I've

become familiar with, and interviewed, a few interesting or

noteworthy people.  I found them all to be regular people,

modest and unassuming. 

 

Walt, I've often thought of researchers and writers

who have been around for a while, and all the opportunities

there were back in the 1950's and 1960's!  The beginning

of the automobile was only 50-60 years prior, and many of

the pioneers were still around to interview.  I wonder whether

many aspects of history have been forgotten, and how much

has been recorded.

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Through my years of following F-1 and SCCA, restoring, driving, and racing French, British, Italian, and Swedish cars, as well as through my careers with IBM and my music performance connections, I've been very fortunate to have met some of the most notable and historic figures in a vastly diverse universe of automobile-related areas - some while quite young when my parents took me to the earliest of GM Motoramas at NYC's Waldorf-Astoria - some while involved in my university's Sports Car Club with events at Lime Rock, Bridgehampton, Marlboro, Watkins Glen, others through friendships developed through the years, touring, judging, and just trying to be an emissary of the hobby. The best thing about the hobby is the people we meet along the way, and the long-lasting friendships which develop. 

 

These are some of the folks whom I've had the pleasure of meeting, or who have had an influence on my life in the hobby:

 

Albert Roth (my dad - not known by most, but surely the motivator, mentor, tutor, and shining example - teaching by example - My #1 Mover & Shaker)

Harold Coker

Billy Thompson

Skip Marchetti

Don Peterson

M. G. (Pinky) Randall

Harley Earl

Dr Frederick Simeone, MD

Stirling Moss

Jack Brabham

Graham Hill

Mario Andretti

Juan Manuel Fangio

Luigi Chinetti

John Surtees

Jim Clark

Dan Gurney

Lee Iacocca

Jay Leno

Randy Ema

Bob Tullius

Walt Hansgen

Wayne Carini

Dennis Gage

Don Garlits

Zora Arkus-Duntov

Carroll Shelby

Linda Vaughn

Donna Mae Mimms

Roger Pensky

Mark Donahue

Peter Mullin

Paul Newman

Jackie Stewart

Erik Carlsson

Rene Dreyfus

Jim Hall

Farm Truck (Sean Whitley)

Richard Petty

Colin Chapman

John Fitch

 

 

 

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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Hmmm, this is strange, as most of the folks I have met are just neat people that lots of other folks know their names. Anyway, here are the ones that really meant or still mean a lot to me:  Dick Scritchfield ( L.A. Roadster founder and great friend), Jack Roush (met at the Great Race stop in Florence, AL.), Don and Pat Garlits (met him at races, her at the museum), Connie and Scot Kalitta (met at races and worked on some of their aircraft), Paul Adams (one of the head guys at the old Ford Plant in Sheffield, AL. and also was part of the Pantera manuals program for De Tomaso), Bob Bourke (at the SDC show in Nashville, TN.), Ed Iskenderian (at the 50th Roadster Show Anniversary luncheon),  Carroll Shelby (at the Shelby Meet in Nashville, TN.), Dennis Gage, (met at several car shows), Gene Snow (at races and his car lot in Ft. Worth), Jungle Pam Harvey...( a real mover and shaker back then, ha !) John Surtees (met him at Barber's... He won both 2 and 4 wheel world championships), George Barber (Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL.), Dale Walksler, ( He was Mr. Motorcycle Everything as far as I'm concerned. 1st met him in The Great Race in Nashville, TN.), ...... so many other folks just as important to me, but not as well known to most.... Car and bike people are SUCH good folks !

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The first one to come to mind for me was Larry Riker, the son of A.L. Riker of Locomobile. Actually, it was Walter McCarthy who introduced me to him (Walt G was probably there too...). Mr. Riker's father owned Old 16 and may have been the one who sold it to Peter Helck. He mentioned the car to me and how his father sold it just before he turned 16...go figure.

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As an 8 year old, my Cub Scout troop got a scolding from Mr. C.S. Mott at Safetyville, USA in Flint, Michigan for "rowdy behavior". It was a glorified Go-Kart track and obstacle course that tried to teach kids some basic driving skills. I don't know why Mr. Mott was there, but he gave us hell!

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8 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

Have met Marty and Dale  Roth a few times. The man is a mover and shaker in AACA being a life member, a past national directer, and a senior - master judge. Marty and Dale have been on more national tours than any other member I would think and even drove to Canada from New Orleans for two tours up here. Plus they travel coast to coast to judge car events when not touring. Where ever the Roth's go they are promoting the club and the hobby.  

Marty and Dale are the only ones that accepted an invitation to come to Canada to attend a regional event travailing half way across North America. Out of that original contact the region is in the planing stages to host a national event through Mark McAlpine. This is the kind of action that make a club grow by going out there meeting the different regions getting people involved.   

To me the real movers and shakers are not the ones in hobby to make make a living off it, but promoting the hobby for the real love of it. 

   Next time you see Marty, Dale, Mark or any national executive thank them for their effort. These are the real movers and shakers. 

First one is Marty and Dale on a Sentamental Tour a few years ago 

Mark and Marion sitting together relaxing in the hospitality room on the Vintage Tour in Kingston  

2016-06-13 sentamental tour 013.JPG

2019-08-04 2019 kingston vintage tour 007.JPG

 

Joe,

 

You are too kind in your comments. Dale and I fondly recall sitting with you and Lynne at the host hotel at the conclusion of the North Carolina Sentimental Tour, thinking and discussing the possibility of once again touring in Ontario, as had been done many, many years prior. The real movers and shakers for the hobby are folks like LYNNE AND YOU, WHO TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES to "jump in with both feet", immersing themselves, dedicating countless hours and personal resources toward providing an exceptional experience for those of us, willing to travel far and wide, exploring exciting and interesting areas, foods, scenery, and meeting new friends. Your Vintage Tour, based in Kingston, was one of the most enjoyable Dale and I can recall, and those who missed it really missed a great time. That was Mark & Marion's first exposure to National Touring. We were delighted to have them as backseat passengers for a day in our 1930 Packard Touring. Even a blinding rain in the final moments of the day's ride, necessitating a quick dash into an open bay of a muffler shop couldn't dampen spirits we shared. Fellowship, support, dedication, selflessness, these are the qualities which build the hobby and the enjoyment of club activities.

 

Thank you again for what you and Lynne have accomplished, for what you will be doing for our future, and for being our friends and friends to the hobby.

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I met Paul Newman in the paddock at Lime Rock during a race he was in. Also met Peter Helck when I worked at Vassar Hospital in the '80's.  Met his nephew at Lime Rock when #16 did a few laps  at speed.    John

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I met George Barris at his shop in LA and Del Worsham used to live right across the street from my sister so I met him a bunch of times.

 

But for real movers and shakers, I've met edinmass, alsancle, trimacar and Grimy.

Heck, AJ even rode in my Pierce and Grimy and I had an impromptu race up a mountain in the Cascades.  😁

 

Seriously, does it get any better than that?

 

Edit: I very egregiously left trimacar off my list of legends.

Heck, David and I even co-sponsored a banner at the Pierce Museum a few years ago.

Edited by zepher (see edit history)
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George Barris, Darryl Starbird (multiple times), Gene Winfield, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, the late Norm Grabowski, Alex Xydias.... So many other hot rodders, builders, drivers, owners, etc. I'd have to sit for hours writing them down.

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Back in the day when Portland Speedway ( asphalt ) ran on Fridays it was common for those guys to come and run the dirt at Willamette Speedway on Saturdays on weekends that they rained out.

Rubbed paint with Greg Biffle a few times at WS, He had a repair shop in Vancouver WA at the time and I had him straighten out a rear end for me once.

I had lunch with Dale Jarrett one time and was at a breakfast where Mark Martin spoke at Atlanta one time..

I have a photo of myself with Smoky Unic and his dog at SEMA

Got into a pretty good battle with Ken Schrader at the old Manzanita speedway in Phoenix one night. Had a good laugh about that with him at the campfire the next night.

Several more Nascar guys walking around at various tracks.

However, none of these guys would remember me.

Maybe Ken, we talked about Dale that night too, and that was a bit emotional for him. That was at the Penal County fair grounds in Casa Grande AZ. Where we also raced on that trip.

Fun stuff and good memories.

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Back in the early '70's the Porsche Club of America had its annual meet in San Diego. They laid out an autocross track at San Diego stadium.  I played hooky from work that morning to watch the Porsche owners do their stuff. 

 

The course was laid out by a couple of Porsche experts. In the middle of the straight-away they put a slight dog-leg. Nothing to worry about for most cars, but for Porsche Turbos the dogleg came up just as the turbo kicked in. And of course, your normal, gold-chain-wearing Turbo owner would hit the brakes, steer slightly, and then go into a spin.

 

I watched near the dog-leg, sitting on one of those big portable concrete berms. Had a lot of fun watching almost every Turbo spin out.  After about 20 minutes and older gentleman came by and sat about 15 feet from me. He enjoyed the Porsche spin-show, quietly chuckling as each Turbo spun out. 

 

I noticed that people came up to the guy and asked for autographs. For the life of me I didn't recognize the guy. He was very low-key and graciously signed every request and made polite small talk.

 

Eventually, I couldn't resist. I found a piece of paper and asked for an autograph. Just as he signed it and gave me a thank you, a group of suits came by and took him away.

 

I looked at the autograph.  It was signed Ferry Porsche.  He was the guest of honor and was trying to spend a few minutes by himself.

 

For such a renowned personality, he was very low-key, friendly and down-to-earth.  

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