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Horst Kwech

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#101 hlfuzzball

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 20:11

"It rained steadily for two days and, just to get everybody in the proper frame of mind, qualifying was held in a sleet storm! ... Things could only get worse. On the eighth lap, Horst Kwech in the second Shelby Mustang spun/was tapped, slid across the wet infield grass and into a spectator's parked car. AMC employee Durwood Fletcher was killed; another dozen people were injured. ... "

I was near the scene of this accident , huddled in my station wagon with my wife, about 100 yards down the fence. Conditions were miserable, cold and rain.
I didn't see the impact, but noticed a flurry of avtivity. People panicking, much confusion, so I told my wife I was going to have a look.
All I remember was the Kwech Mustang missed the turn under braking and went off on the wet grass and into the spectators and their parked cars. I found out later that these people were American Motors employees and family.
I helped care for the injured until a helicopter landed, then carried injured to be airlifted.

I do remember Les Richter then coming up to the scene, he was then the MIS track manager, and I filled him in as best I could as to what transpired. I was to be a guest at a Ford sponsored party after the race, and had to go home to change my blood-spattered pants before I could attend.

I worked for the Ford Special Vehicles (Racing) dept. at the time and know that the Mustang in question was hidden deep in the company, never to be seen again. Lawsuits followed, but don't know any of the particulars.



#102 Ellis French

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 22:51

In 2008 a DVD titled the Legends of Transam was released in conjunction with the Amelia Is Concours event.
A Transam Panel was interviewed including Horst Kwech amongst many others.
Its worth a look.

Also the book...
Trans-am..The Pony Car Wars by Dave Friedman
Its a very good history of the Transam series and also includes all the race results
Horst is mentioned on approx 35 pages of the book

The Classes were Over 2L and U 2L

#103 bobLee

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 18:13

There is now a Wikipedia entry for Horst Kwech. The page still needs additional work and corrections. Horst drove for Shelby in 1969 as well as 1968. I believe he is the only Trans-Am racer ever to win both a U2L race and O2L race in the same year(1968). The Capri history also needs to be added.

Horst Kwech Wikipedia

#104 S&M Minis

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 22:26

This thread has been going almost ten years and has over 100 posts, but there's only been one photo posted that is no longer accessible! It's time to add a few.

Horst in the Alfa Ti at the Mid Ohio USRRC, 08/29/65 - Finished 16th overall and third (of three) in GT-Under 2 liter behind an Abarth Simca and a Lotus Elan.

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Horst in the Alfa GTA (#3, I believe) at the Marlboro Double 300 Trans Am race, 08/12/67. Separate races were run for the over and under 2 liter cars and Horst teamed with Lake Underwood for this event. All three Alfas DNF'd within a lap of each other and were placed 15th (Baker/Richards, 167 laps), 16th (Winkler/Feistman, 166 laps) and 17th (Kwech/Underwood, 166 laps). An interesting quirk I just noticed in the official SCCA results sheet is that the cars weren't placed on the number of laps finished, but rather on track position when the flag fell. On laps completed the three Alfas would have been seventh, eighth and ninth. You could stand so close to the track where the cars came over the lip of the mildly banked oval! The Allan Moffat Cortina is visible in one shot.

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The Capri RS driven by Horst and Harry T. in the Mid Ohio IMSA GT, 06/30/74. Placed 35th with 62 laps completed. There was a nice BDA Escort in the race, but like the Capri it was no match for the ocean of 911 and RSR Porsches. Could Horst be any of the people inside the velvet rope, particularly upper right corner? How about the guy with the long lense and a roll of Kodak and pack of Marlboros in the back pockets; he probably took some excellent shots that his ex-wife threw away two weeks after the divorce? (Sorry, the nostalgia version of people watching set in.)

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I'd have never thought I could create a theme from pictures taken over a nine year spread in three different pro racing series. Like a fool I loaned the better pictures of the Trans Am GTA to a vintage race organizer a few years ago; will have to make another attempt at recovering them.

#105 mwphoto

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 00:53

How about the guy with the long lense and a roll of Kodak and pack of Marlboros in the back pockets; he probably took some excellent shots that his ex-wife threw away two weeks after the divorce? (Sorry, the nostalgia version of people watching set in.)

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Long lense, rolls of Kodak, packs of Marlboros an ex-wife, thought at first that might have been me, but the hair is way too short and the wife part came 3 years later and the ex-wife part was three years after that. :smoking:
The Capri on course in 1974...
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1973 also at Mid-Ohio where Harry Theodoracopoulos and Horst Kwech finished 3rd..

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Edited by mwphoto, 21 December 2009 - 01:01.

#106 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 07:05

Lime Rock, 1967, Alfa, 4th OA. Some nice photos here:



Vince H.

#107 Pete Lyons

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 05:30

Recent photos of Horst during November's Tribute to Trans-Am at the Petersen Automotive Museum, telling stories to Dave McClellan.

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#108 jjordan

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 17:36

Looking at the fender flares on the Capri and you can see where the design for the Monza came from. Dekon Eng. Dykstra/Kwech developed the monza in their modest shop in Libertyville, Il. where I don't believe that they employed over 5 people, they stated that the only factory parts they used were the B pillar and hood (although it was modified to incorporate a backwards facing scoop.) Very effective in the hands of Al Holbert, one year he won everything but two races, which were won in a DeKon Monza by Michael Keyser.