Friday, January 11, 2008

La Carrera Spirit Lives On

I have said it many times but everyone I have met that had anything to do with the La Carrera Panamericana is truly special in so many ways. George and Tom, two gentlemen from back east, competed in 2006 the year before we ran in the Dover Brothers Racing Team car # 283 a 1958 Volvo. During the year prior to finishing Lucky I became friends with George and Tom and even had the distinct pleasure of spending a day in San Francisco with Tom while him and his wife were here on holiday. Not only did we become good friends but they were very helpful with preparation of what to expect while in Mexico. CLICK HERE and check out their blog which gives a good play by play of how they became involved, picked up a car and got it ready for La Carrera.

Thru our countless email and blogging George, Tom and I had shared a lot of laughs but as is par for the course for racers our correspondence went much farther. Over the last couple years like any other friends do, we shared stories about friends, family, busted knuckles and more and while all of that has been great none of that is what I would like to share today.

This story is a wonderful tribute to what racers with heart tend to do... they look out for each other and everyone becomes more like family than just a friend. In 2006 George and Tom's long time friend John "Big Dog" Beadle passed away. Having been good friends with him for years including times spent together at chili cook-offs and barbecues they saw their good friend's health fall off and eventually the loss of his legs. It was during those times they learned how bad he and his wife Sue who used to race his 1962 MGA back in the early 60's dreamed of getting it running again after sitting for many years.

After his death and without a word one day George and Tom pulled up to John's house with a trailer, loaded up the MGA and brought it home where they could they fix it up after 30 years. Their intentions were simple... To prepare the car so that they could give a mechanically safe car to their best friend's daughter Terry and without concerns of time or money. The motor had to be disassembled, brake work performed and other countless hours of attention given before they got it running. As a result of their unselfish acts in fact they have already returned it to it's home right where their best friend left it. How I would have loved to have seen the look on Big Dog's wife and daughter's face when they saw and heard it sitting there.

It is exactly this sort of loyalty to friends that I have seen time and time again since getting involved with the La Carrera community. In the La Carrera world it is better known as Spirit of La Carrera. When we hear such respectable stories as this one about George and Tom it's easy to understand why this sort of spirit will live on forever. I am proud to call them my friends.


George Sullivan said...

Thanks for all the wonderful things you wrote about us and John "Big Dog"Beadle. John was a very special friend who you could always count on. John had some really interesting stories about racing back in the early 60's. Back then the race car was also used during the week as transportation back and forth to work and to get groceries. Now that this project is finished we are going to get the Volvo ready for La Carrera 2008.

Gary Faules said...

Regardless it's a wonderful thing you two fine gentlemen have done and we're all very proud of you.

AS for the Volvo, I can't wait to see what's going on as you get prepared so I will be watching your blog in great anticipation.

George Sullivan said...

We made a list today of things to do on the car so far we came up with 31 to get done. we got 4 done today some are major some minor .By the way John Beadle was Irish