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No problems... just not ALL there is (m) (archive)

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Posted by kwillmorth on August 04, 2000 at 12:55:27:

In Reply to: Hey, Kev - about one-man teams..... posted by David on August 03, 2000 at 19:54:22:

What about the mechanical types out there who arene't even interested in driving? They dig the machine above all, know how to make it do things FOR the driver, etc. They have just as much place in auto culture, talking shop, working on all the details, thinkin' about the nuts and bolts, how to get the car to do the dance.... The way some people make it out, these people are "over-thinking" it. Some people fantasize about being an engineer on a Formula One Team, others about driving the car...

One man teams are fine, and are generally a result of budget constraints at the ammeteur level. You won't see one win a race at the professional level anymore, because being the best means having the best car and the best driver. One person just doesn't have the time to do both at the highest level.

I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the one-man and one-woman efforts there are in racing. It's a lot to do, a lot to keep track of, and an awful lot of work, to be sure!

Hey, man - no quarrel at all with your philosophy! We've got some of the same traits. The many different ways in which we all express ourselves make life interesting and fun.

But I have to stick up for one-man teams, 'cause I am one. From '89 to '97, I ran a regional formula vee in SCCA and a Lotus 7 in multiple vintage groups, on my own. Before that, I ran a vintage LeGrand sports racer, a vintage Mini, and an SCCA Mini at various times from '67. Well, maybe I wasn't entirely alone - my wife says she's the sponsor, and she is willing to wipe off the car and go out for dinner after the day's racing is over.....

I've built them all from the ground up, and maintain them myself (with my 50 year old South Bend Model A lathe, Jet vertical mill, Hobart Tigwave 250, Cebora 140 MIG, and the usual assortment of shop tools - after 40 years of tool collecting and building, I've got almost everything I need). I even make my own roll bars and cages.

I've got about ten 1st-in-class trophies, one pole, and at least 2 dead lasts that I can remember, plus the small bore production record for VSCCA cars at Lime Rock (106.195 in my Lotus 7 in 1992). But I've been top 5 in about 25% of my races and top 10 in about 75%, so I really can't complain. And I LOVE beating the yuppies in the $75,000 cars they bought with the $10,000 to $25,000 babies I built.

It's odd and a little frustrating that my two sons (now 19 and 21) haven't cared that much about cars - so they've been virtually no help at all with the big stuff. My younger son has helped with the little stuff since he was old enough not to damage the car while trying to wipe it, and he loves our Z3C. But he's a BICYCLE MECHANIC - can you imagine the shame????????

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