Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I never wanted to be President

Yesterday Lucky went back to IMPACT ENGINEERING to get his roll bar padding installed except this time he didn't go on a trailer. I actually drove the car about 15 miles one way in rush hour traffic while some heads turned wondering what all the noise was and others just wanted to see the car. While I was there I did some work on the clutch rods and adjusted the head lights and then naturally after the lights were adjusted I had to go for a test drive to make sure they were adjusted correctly.

When I was a boy I remember many times it was a common question to be asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" A very common response was "I want to be a fireman." Or "I want to be President." To tell the truth I never wanted to be either one but I did always dream of racing cars. As a young boy who grew up in the late 50's and early 60's I used to watch many of the great drivers who's names are still as famous to day as they were back then. And don't forget some of the most exciting series ever ran were popular then. There was the Can Am and the Trans Am series and the Grand Prix series, the World Championships, 24 Hours of Lemans. On a side note, it's important to remember all those great teams and drivers from that era accomplished all these amazing endeavors on tires that by todays standards wouldn't even be safe on the family sedan.

Like all other boys I enjoyed watching various type of racing. There was the drags, Baja and Dakar desert racing, NASCAR and even for a while the sport of "Bog" racing in the Florida Everglade swamps was a popular sport sponsored by TIMEX Corporation. But the racing that really got me excited was most forms of road racing. Road racing has so much that interested me and not just the drivers. Besides the drivers you have to admit the cars are nothing short of spectacular and don't forget some of the most popular tracks like Laguna Seca, Sebring, Lemans, Monaco, Watkins Glen, Nurburg Ring. These weren't just race tracks but instead they were so much more. They were works of art that carved thru hills, trees and canyons that were challenges built to test men's fears, abilities, endurance, stamina and more. In fact it's every racer's mistress.

It was not until in my later years that I became aware of three of the most famous races in the world. It's funny but I tell my friends that three of the most famous races in the world are three of the races that few Americans are even aware of. They are The Mille Miglia (Thousand Miles)was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957. Then there is the Targa Newfoundland which is the first event of its kind to be held in North America. It is an annual event and forms a 2200 km long, high quality automotive adventure. It is held over a seven-day period in September of each year on the paved roads of the eastern and central parts of the island of Newfoundland. Last but not least is The Carrera Panamericana which is a sports car racing event on open roads in Mexico, similar to the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in Italy. It runs from the southern Mexican west-coast city towards Texas, and back in 1950 to 1955 it even counted towards the World Sportscar Championships. It is widely held by contemporaries to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world even to this day.

As I drove Lucky yesterday I began to realize that after several years of learning all I could about this race, God willing, it is soon to become a reality. It's equally satisfying to know that others share the same anticipation for this adventure as myself. My two sons, Will and Anthony, and navigator and friend Jon and I are all chomping at the bit not one of us ever wanted to be President.

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