Peter Brock
Peter Brock
1/5/21 10:58 a.m.

The transitional developmental racing era between 1962 and 1966 probably had more to do with what eventually became the professional sport of road racing in America than any other significant period in automotive history. 

For almost 10 years prior to that point, the elitist, Connecticut-base…

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Da_Wolverine New Reader
5/10/22 3:12 p.m.

Ya gotta love Brock, but what is more, ya gotta envy him.  He lived the early 1960s as a designer and major contributor to the sport.  His knowledge of history, especially of Shelby during those important days comes first hand.  He knew Ken Miles.  He knew ALL of the big names in early road racing history.  I really enjoy his columns becaue of his first-hand knowledge.

"Da_Wolverine" is in reference to my Alma, U of Michigan, and NOT in reference to X-Men.

Aside:  Janet Guthrie was a Wolverine, albeit a few years before my time.     

7/29/22 1:01 p.m.

Roger Penske also played a major role in professionalizing sports car racing.  In the early 1960s, USAC had a sports car racing divsion.  And, unlike the SCCA, allowed sponsorship decals on the cars.  Penske raced in both the SCCA and USAC, and got around the SCCA's prohibition by naming his car after his sponsor.  He'd made a deal with DuPont to name his Birdcage Maserati the "Telar Special," after DuPont's antifreeze of that name, and painted the car red to match the color of the antifreeze.  In 1963 he turned a wrecked Cooper F1 frame into the infamous "Zerex Special" sports car, again named after a DuPont antifreeze, and again painted red to reflect the color of the sponsor's product.

After Penske retired from racing as a driver and began his Penske Racing team, he began with a red Corvette at the 1966 Daytona 24-hour race.  By Sebring a month later, he'd secured sponsorship from Sunoco, and had the car painted "Sunoco blue."  He'd also acquired Corvette Grand Sport 001, cut down by Chevrolet into a roadster, and entered it at Sebring, as well, also painted "Sunoco blue," and sporting stickers for Sunoco, Firestone, Fram, and Champion spark plugs.  Interestingly, the car was allowed to race with those promotional items, but the prominent "Penske Chevrolet" markings on the front feenders had to be blacked out for the race.

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