This link is currently down
thanks to the legal types at NBC,
who apparently think we're
trying to get away with something.
We're trying to figure out what?

Also covered is my co-drive in the second Friday enduro in my great Morgan buddy Super Dave Bondon’s centenary-issue 4/4 with a Lotus Twincam sitting under its louvered hood. I’ve co-driven his infamous #72 Morgan/Twink several times (it’s now passed on to daughter Stacey, who is continuing the family tradition by giving the Porsches fits with it!) and Dave built this new #100 to commemorate Morgan’s amazing 100th anniversary as an ongoing automotive concern. Think about that. In any case, we got 2nd in class and top-10 overall in the enduro, which we thought was pretty damn decent. And thankfully I didn’t break or bend anything (in spite of the shift knob coming off in my hand during my very first session and an ugly rain shower that moved in over the Inner Loop as soon as I hit the track after our pit stop) since Super Dave very badly wanted to run the featured Morgan 100th anniversary handicap race on Sunday. Which he won, I’m proud to say.
As you can imagine, I was pretty damn worn out by the time I got back to  Chicago (with a lot of stories and columns to finish and assorted business messes screaming for attention in my “other” life along with ongoing work on the new book to attend to) but Sunday, Sept. 20th I dragged my usual van-load of books, logo clothing, prints, license plate frames, decals, etc. etc. and my trusty EZ-up out to Carpentersville, Illinois, for the Meadowdale Reunion. After weeks of begging, my parents took me to my first-ever sportscar race at Meadowdale back in 1958 (still almost four years from my own, much-coveted driver’s license) and I’d have to say my folks were less than impressed, since the track was still pretty much a construction site and the sanitary facilities were, shall we say, somewhat less than sanitary. Not to mention primitive. But I fell hopelessly in love with everything I heard, felt and saw that day, and went back to Meadowdale to spectate as often as I could in the years that followed. But I guess road racing didn’t turn out to be the big spectator draw the owners had hoped for, and the track ultimately went bust. Thanks to the efforts of a lot of local fans and racers (Ron Nelson and my old original driving school instructor Ross Fossbender in particular) the old track property has been turned into a park, and you can still walk around the old track if you don’t mind clawing through a little underbrush at the end of the old main straight. Very cool and even a little eerie, what with the ghosts and all.


The reunion included a big and highly eclectic car show car (TCs and Arnolt Bristols to chopped & flamed deuce coupes, wonderful old American iron and everything in between) and the weather was perfect. Quite a day.

As was the next (Monday), when I played hooky from work again so I could instruct with my friends from the Lotus Corps bunch at a Fox Valley Motorcars (Lotus/Lamborghini) track day at Autobahn. Had fun with a nice Corvette, a couple Elises and an amazingly quick and competent new-generation Mitsubishi Evo, but the highlight had to be a pretty young thing who didn’t even know how to heel-and-toe yet and her new, refrigerator-white Lotus Exige. After our first session she had me take her around in the advanced group to show her what the car could do, and she kept nodding for me to go faster in spite of feeling a little bit queasy & uneasy over there in the passenger seat. As you can imagine, the Exige was a four-alarm ball to drive on a racetrack, and I was giving it about 9.5 tenths by the end of the session. What fun! And it got even better when she retook the wheel. She still couldn’t heel-and-toe (and I wasn’t about to encourage her to try it with so much else going on) but she was reeling in Corvettes and Vipers and Elises and what-have-you by the end of the session. And she must’ve past this slow guy in a Ferrari a half-dozen times! Although she was pretty wiped out and looking like she was about to be sick by the time we pulled in….

Three days later it was back to Road America for the track’s first-ever SCCA Runoffs, selling & signing a lot of books again with the 4-Mile Merchant folks and really enjoying doing some color work on the PA for what I’ve always felt is one of the best and most competitive racing events in the country. I only did one year of SCCA Nationals (1983) but I won four races out of eight and qualified for the National Championships at Road Atlanta, and even though we blew absolute stink down at The Runoffs that year (full litany of excuses available on cassette or CD for $4.98 plus postage) it remains one of the great thrills of my so-called career. If you’ve never been to an SCCA Runoffs, it’s about time you got around to it. There’s a full schedule of races each day─one right after the other─and each one settles a National Championship. Wotta show! On the downside, my “color commentary” got a wee bit too colorful at one point, and I guess we’ll have to wait and see if I ever get invited back.…
But I’m back home now and thrashing away hard on the new book, and I’m hopeful you’re going to like it when it’s finally done. Which reminds me─I’d better get the hell back to it. Amelia Island’s not all that far away….

Keep Reading...