Friday, September 28, 2018

I Love New York - As In Watkins Glen International

I'm finally back in Florida at my desk after being in New York for the US Vintage Grand Prix. I've got some great news and photos to share.  I also want to give readers an update on my forthcoming book 'Echoes From The Glen'.

The book is coming along nicely with my text nearly done. While in New York I met with a contributor to the book, Jeff Washburn who has provided me tales from attending races at WGI since the mid '70's, including posing for a time as 'The Bud Man" during sports car and  NASCAR races. That material will be included with my recollections of  40+ years ago what it was like to experience race weekends in Watkins Glen, the birthplace of modern day sports car racing in the US after World War II.

 Dinner with Jeff in my former hometown of Newark, NY lasted a couple of hours as he filled me in with other fascinating stories of his experiences with another racing genre - super stock and modified racing on dirt and paved oval tracks where he worked for a while as a crew chief to a racing team. Legendary 'bull ring ovals' like Oswego Super Speedway and the dirt track at Weedsport, NY to name just two. Interestingly, Jeff and I lived for 15 years only a few miles apart, attended many of the same races, but we never met until a few years ago. The story of our chance meeting is covered in the book illustrating how car racing in general can bring people together like a brotherhood.

 In another development, I recently contacted Patrick McCabe, of Upstate NY who is the 'spokesperson' for the Pabst Blue Ribbon Gang.  Patrick is collecting interesting stories from members of the gang that are now scattered across the country, but who gather together to attend races at the Glen each season as they have for 40 years; a ritual likely unmatched by a group of devoted race fans. I am anxiously waiting to see what stories he will produce for the book!

Lastly, another chance meeting occurred from the racing brotherhood. I met Jim Alfieri from Honeoye Falls, NY  after seeing a 1973 Ford Capri parked in a garage at a garage sale with a bumper sticker touting 'The Last Open Road', a popular book in racing circles by BS Levy. I have Levy's book as well and upon talking with Jim's wife I learned they both attended races regularly at The Glen for many years along with Jim's brother, Dave. Jim once worked for the Watkins Glen Corporation collecting money from fans bringing camp trailers into the events. Back in the day he described seeing rows of camper trailers for as far as the eye could see and seeing some very interesting characters accompanying these trailers.  We will leave it at that until you read the book. Jim said he will contact his his brother Dave, who has a fantastic memory for details, to follow up with me.  I expect that will produce some interesting stories for the book. I'm anxiously waiting to talk with him.

All of the above promise to add color and flavor to the coffee table photo book that will be available soon highlighting wonderful pictures of F1 racing from the 1976 US Grand Prix in particular along with many other photos in general.

Back to the present, or seemingly back to the present. Below I have pictures of vintage race cars from times gone by, only they are still racing with SVRA.  I love the SVRA motto ' Some people collect art, We race it'.

   As a side note, being an Alfa Romeo guy who drives a 2017 Giulia Ti Sport, I stopped by the paddock area to take pictures of a 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV owned by Steve Rauh. I had a nice chat and he invited me to sit and have lunch with him as well.   That's what I like about this race- it reminds me of the old days when you could get up close and talk with drivers and crew. So you will see some pictures of Steve's GTV here, of course.

One last thing - To all SVRA car owners.  I'll send you an 8X10 of your car at the Glen (I photographed 80 % of them) at NO CHARGE..    I'm trying to promote my upcoming book and get my name out there, so please take advantage of the offer if you read this blog, and if you are an SVRA member reading this, please pass it along to other members.   Contact me at with your mailing information and consider it done!  Steve- Your Photo will be in the mail this weekend.

So now to the pictures:   US Vintage Grand Prix by SVRA  September 7-9, 2018


 I'll end with a tribute to Alfa Romeo with Steve Rauh's 1972 GTV.  I'm looking forward to SVRA at Watkins Glen next year.  Hope you have enjoyed these pictures and remind SVRA member's to email me at for their free 8X10 photo of their car.

Brought to you by  Paul Ziegler, Publisher

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