CAN-AM REDUX: THUNDER ROAD AT LAGUNA SECA!

The guttural rumble of Can-Am cars from an “anything goes” era of motorsports delighted enormous crowds during its heyday. They’ll be back at the inaugural Spring Classic at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 19-21. Sports car racing’s booming popularity following WWII resulted in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the CASC (Canadian Automobile Sports Club) founding the Can-Am Series for Group 7 type sports racers in 1966. Armed with sponsorship from Johnson Wax, the Can-Am Series was ...
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LOST TREASURE: SHASTA SPEEDWAY’S 1951 SEASON TROPHIES!

You just never know what you'll find in the bottom of your grandmother's closet, blogs Stephen Cox.  Northern California's Shasta Speedway held its first full season of competition in 1951. The 3/8-mile former horse racing track had been opened to motor racing the previous summer and immediately attracted the attention of a mechanically-inclined teenager from Indiana. Bud Pedigo had dated my grandmother, Ruth, when they attended high school together in Indianapolis in the mid-1930s. ...
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PENSKE’S CAN-AM PORSCHE 917: THE FINAL CHAPTER!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
 Part VII: The Legacy. “In two of the races – Atlanta and Elkhart Lake – the car lapped the entire field. That’s doing something. This was an unbelievable car.” – Chief mechanic John “Woody” Woodard. Porsche enjoyed a dominance in 1972 that McLaren could only dream of. McLaren’s five-year stranglehold had been crushed, and Porsche had earned their first Can-Am Challenge Cup. But many years passed before the pa...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
 Part VI: The Title. “The talk around the pit area was that no one could touch them. They knew that it was the beginning of the end of Can-Am. The L&M Porsche was making history.” – Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder. No other track on the Cam-Am schedule offered sweet corn and bratwurst like the little food stand at Elkhart Lake. Everyone on the  circuit looked forward to it. The stand remains there today, j...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. 
 Part V: The Turning Point. “Mark [Donohue] and the other people behind the Porsche are not lighthearted types. They take the whole thing very seriously.” – Pete Lyons, Road & Track.  Thankfully, Penske Racing had only two weeks to stew in their misery. The next race was scheduled at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The teams generally arrived in the middle of the week. If no track time was available ...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. Part IV: The Embarrassment. “I had a five-liter, naturally-aspirated nothing.” – George Follmer With what appeared to be a fully developed, dominant racecar, Porsche was ready for their public unveiling. They chose the third race of the season at Watkins Glen as their moment of truth. After all, everything seemed perfect. The teething problems with the L&M Porsche’s turbocharger dump valve at Mosport surely ...
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PENSKE’S L&M 917 PORSCHE: UNTOLD STORY OF CAN-AM’S MOST FAMOUS CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about the most iconic of the thundering Turbo Porsche 917s. PART III: The Replacement.  “We drove by the seat of our pants. We had to muscle the car around the track. We did not have cool suits.” – George Follmer George Follmer arrived in Atlanta early Friday morning in a rented Ford Crown Victoria. “I didn’t know him from Adam,” said chief mechanic Woody Woodard. “But I’d certainly heard his name. He was a good guy.” Marilyn Motschenbacher Halder, then marrie...
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