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Vic Elford, TNF member


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#1 Mark Beckman

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 09:32


----- For those seeing this thread for the first time, you may like to scroll thru and see comments from Vic Elford himself !! -------- :cool:



I would like to hear/know more about Vic Elford.

I know he was one of the better drivers of all time, but when I see top drivers polls etc, he seems often to be somewhat poorly placed in regards to his actually results, some of them quite amazing.

(Mind you I wouldn't mind being at the bottom of some of those lists !)

Considered reasons for this ???

Do we place too much emphasise on F1 maybe ??

I note he has his own website with some fantastic pictures and note he has made himself available for appearances etc (no, I'm not his manager !).....

http://www.vicelford.com/

I will e mail him and see if he might drop in and say hello.

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#2 Joe Fan

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 09:57

I consider him one of the 100 greatest drivers in motorsports history. He was versatile, able to drive anything and be competitive in it. In his first F1 start, he finished fourth. He also won Monte Carlo Rally, many of the top sports car races as well as finishing in the top ten in the Daytona 500.

#3 Mark Beckman

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 10:09

Originally posted by Joe Fan
I consider him one of the 100 greatest drivers in motorsports history. He was versatile, able to drive anything and be competitive in it. In his first F1 start, he finished fourth. He also won Monte Carlo Rally, many of the top sports car races as well as finishing in the top ten in the Daytona 500.


This is exactly what I am talking about Joe, look up the mans record and you "only" put him in the top 100 ??

Exactly what more would he have had to do to make your, say, top 20 ?

Is this where the "F1" factor (or lack of it) comes into play ??

#4 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 10:11

Mark,

have you ever heard about the first versions of the Porsche 917 when it had still no roadholding whatsoever.
Elford was the most eager driver to get out with that develish device at 'Le Mans '69, knowing that with a delicate touch and being careful it could win Le Mans after all.

He came close...

Winning Monte Carlo and a number of other events with sportscars proved his versatility fto be fast in anything that had four wheels and needed to be driven as fast as possible, no matter the car behaviour was under whatever circumstances.

Maybe hee didn not excel in anything in particulair but he was above average in everything.

on a scale 1 to 10, there wasn't anything he scored a 10 and stood out because of that. But he scored a 9 in about everything one could throw to him.


Henri Greuter

#5 Mark Beckman

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 12:15

In any rally circles winning the Monte Carlo Rally is a 10.

He did it twice.

Winning the Targa Florio and 1000 kms Nurburgring multiple times (including lap records) arent 10's in their respective fields ??

As I dig further I can only see Moss and Andretti challenging for greatest ever all rounder.


My suspicions of him not being one of the "greats" in F1 being his nemeisis are raising rapidly.

#6 David M. Kane

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 12:18

I too think we tend to put too much emphasis on F1. The great drivers can drive anything effectively. Elford obviously could do that, from Rally cars, Sports Cars...look at the Targa Florio, AND F1. In fact in the old days a lot of people judged drivers that way, i.e. Jim Clark won in ANYTHING he got in, same with Mario, and on ocassion even AJ Foyt.

I consider Vic Elford and Brian Redman the two most underrated of all times.

#7 Joe Fan

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 13:07

Originally posted by Mark Beckman


This is exactly what I am talking about Joe, look up the mans record and you "only" put him in the top 100 ??

Exactly what more would he have had to do to make your, say, top 20 ?

Is this where the "F1" factor (or lack of it) comes into play ??


Not sure. I don't have a magic resume that a driver needs to achieve to be in my top 20. I try to look at as many angles as I can regarding a driver and I look at all drivers in all forms of motorsport. Then I sort them out. Note that there have been a ton of great drivers over the last century.

#8 Vican

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 20:52

Mark Beckman told me about this site this morning and I promised to check in and say "Hello".

So Hi there everybody. Thanks for the nice things I have been reading about me.

Sorry Ray about the chain smoking. The worst part of that was fourteen and a half hours on Quantas from Los Angeles to Sydney - and back.

best regards,

Vic Elford

#9 Don Capps

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 21:00

Please feel free to come back often and join in any of the discussions. :up:

Wow! Dan Gurney and now Vic Elford! Whoa!!! This just made my day.... :rotfl:

#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 21:03

Way to go guys, you finally figured out how to get rid of me. With Mr Elford knowing exactly how uncapable I am in a racing car, I shall not be returning any time soon :lol:

#11 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 21:06

I'll second that Don! Welcome Vic! I see you've found the BB Search facility too .....

Sorry Ray about the chain smoking.


:lol:

#12 jarama

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 21:08

I'm without words...

Vic's typing here... amongst us... :up: just unbelievable...
:clap:

one of the great all-rounders ever...

Carles.

#13 troyf1

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 21:34

Originally posted by Don Capps
Please feel free to come back often and join in any of the discussions. :up:

Wow! Dan Gurney and now Vic Elford! Whoa!!! This just made my day.... :rotfl:


Don I don't know what you are doing to attract these legends to TNF but keep it up... :lol: .. :up:

#14 Ian McKean

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 22:27

Just like to add my thanks to Vic for dropping in. I watched Vic race quite a few times in the 911 and firmly believe he would have achieved F1 wins if he had got into a good team.

#15 David M. Kane

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 22:33

Welcome aboard Vic. Please jump in time to time if we get too far off base.

#16 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 19 August 2002 - 23:23

Welcome aboard Vic !!

I still can remember this race and that amazing Porsche 917 of the Martini Racing Team :clap:

Posted Image :eek:

Posted Image :eek:

Posted Image :smoking:

Posted Image :wave:

#17 mickj

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 00:13

I agree with everything that been said, Come back and visit regulary Vic.

#18 lynmeredith

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 00:32

Hi Vic (if you're still reading)

and greetings from the Goodyear rally guy from the 1960s.

Lyn Meredith

#19 Vican

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 01:04

Lyn the rally guy,

Hello, and and also to Clive Miller the Firestone guy from the 60's if he is still around.

I can't beleive all you people still remember me. It' been a long time, but thank you.

Where do I find Dan Gurney's comments? He too is an old frien and we saw each other again at Sebring this year.

Vic

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#20 Wolf

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 01:29

All I could find was this post , from Justin on Dan's behalf (actually, it was Dan but was using Justin's ID). Hope it helps. :)

A hearty welcome, Vic (I hope the first name is not out of order, since I do feel 'wrong' speaking to people I admire in familiar manner) from racing fan in backwoods of Europe! May Your stay be as enjoyable for You, as I'm sure it will be for us. :) And thanks to Mark (BTW, do You check PMs Mark?) for luring You in! :)

#21 Don Capps

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 02:56

The irony of this is staggering: last night I was going through some of my Autosports and on the cover is a shot of Elford & Stone on their way to victory in their 911T. Later on in the year there is a photo of Elford clowning around with the wing of the Cooper with a mock Lewis gun... at the German GP if I recall.

I have always admired Vic Elford as one of the true 'All 'Rounders' like Andretti, Gurney, Moss, Clark, Redman, and a small handful of others.... :up: Sadly, that seems to have gone the way of the wind, as they say.... :(

#22 Buford

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 05:46

Hi Vic. You don't know me but I watched you race many times and got your book and autograph on it a few years ago at the Motorsports Collector shop in Illinois. Check in and tell us stories when you have time.

#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 06:07

Hello again Vic - fantastic to read you! - welcome to the most extraordinary enthusiasts 'motor club' in existence.

Any reference you want, any memory jogger - just ask these blokes and there will be somebody around here who can either provide you with complete chapter and verse, or who will point you at somebody else who will... or will argue like fury that black's white, and then often prove it.

This place is dangerously time consuming - but fantastically useful, and brilliantly rewarding.

Do tell us the way it REALLY was... what was your reaction the first time you saw, say, a 917, or a 908/3...and can you describe the impression you had of either of them the first time you drove it????? You were only a rally bloke after all... :cool:

DCN

#24 Ade Maritz

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 06:42

:clap:

Vic Elford ... my word. A driving superstar, and right here on this forum. Fantastic. And what a survivor - raced during some of the hairiest years, in what were definitely some of the hairiest cars, and lived to tell about it. Amazing.

And now he's here. FANTASTIC!

And with a master wordcraftsman like Doug Nye here as well. Hey guys - don't you think it's time we were able to buy a new motorsport book? I know I'm already itching to lay the money out. I can just see it in my library - "Driven to Race - The Vic Elford story" by Doug Nye.

Oh, joy ...... :blush:

#25 lynmeredith

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 09:22

Originally posted by Vican
I can't beleive all you people still remember me. It' been a long time, but thank you.

Vic


No it must seem unlikely. After all you haven't done much in the past 40 years have you?;)
Lyn M

#26 dmj

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 10:09

Welcome, Vic. I hope you will share your must-be-unique memories of so many interesting kinds of racing with us.

#27 Don Capps

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 13:14

I have several pictures of Vic Elford and the Chaparral 2J at Road Atlanta that I can send to anyone who wishes to post them since I am lacking an on-line site to post from.

#28 MPea3

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 13:29

Originally posted by Don Capps
I have several pictures of Vic Elford and the Chaparral 2J at Road Atlanta that I can send to anyone who wishes to post them since I am lacking an on-line site to post from.


i was there too that day. the sound of the 2J and the macs exploding from under the bridge, down the hill, and drifting through the sweeping right hander onto the start-finish straight on that first lap was a helluva way to start out one's first ever race. great memories, mr. elford. hope you keep coming back, as your perspective on many matters would be fascinating.

#29 Mark Beckman

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 13:44

Originally posted by Don Capps
I have several pictures of Vic Elford and the Chaparral 2J at Road Atlanta that I can send to anyone who wishes to post them since I am lacking an on-line site to post from.


Don please e mail me and I will be happy to give you plenty of server space of your own for that purpose.

mailto:mdbeck@optushome.com.au

#30 paulb

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 14:10

What a pleasure to see the legendary Mr. Elford here!

Please visit often and tell lots of stories.

By the way, what was it like to drive that bizarre Shadow Can-Am?

#31 Dave Ware

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 15:28

"Quick Vic" was also one of my favorite drivers. Welcome aboard, Mr. Elford.

I can't beleive all you people still remember me.



Well, this is the Nostalgia forum. This bunch is greatly occupied with the past. The good old days (at least, from this perspective.)

I hadn't known there was a bio. I will look for it. :)

I would like to hear/know more about Vic Elford.



Mark, get the video The Speed Merchants. A fine, fine documentary of the 1972 World Endurance Championship. The principle narrators are Mario Andretti, Brian Redman, and Vic Elford. This film is worth having on many levels. I find that I need to view it every few months to "settle my mind." Get it here: http://www.autosport...om/smvideo.html

Well. :)

Dave Ware
Formula Vee #94

#32 RSNS

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 15:43

How could we forget you?? You were Mr. 917L !!

#33 Ian McKean

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 19:12

I mentioned to my friend Ivan over a beer or 4 at lunch today (all right, we were in the pub all afternoon) that Quick Vic had posted at TNF and he said something about Elford having put his name to a tuned Mazda RX7.

I could not remember at once but after a few seconds it did seem to ring a bell. But was it auto-suggestion (if you pardon the pun) or did it really happen?

#34 Vican

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:14

Hello again everyone.

I can't believe everything that has happened here since yesterday! I think Mark owes me a vacation in Australia!

To reply to some of the questions, here goes.

I fell in love with the 917 when I first saw it at the Geneva show in 1969. I described it in great detail in an article with Bill Oursler a few years ago but have no idea where to find it now. I immediately started lobbying for one at Le Mans, but Herr Piech and Bott said "No, it will only run about 6 hours. Take a 908 if you want to win". But I insisted and eventually they gave in. The rest is history. Stommelen did indeed last only about 6 hours, but Richard Attwood and I treated the car with kid gloves. When we did retire, it was for none of the reasons Porsche anticipated - just a proverbial 10 cent oil seal! After 21 hours at the front, we were leading by 50 miles!

I am frequently asked "What was your favorite car?" The answer is simple: "The 917. Any and all of the 917's, even that first one that was so difficult to drive".

The Shadow. Which one? The terrible thing with cotton reel wheels? Probably the worst thing I ever drove - anywhere. In fact George Follmer, Jackie Oliver and I all drove it once, and then said "never again!" The big one with twin turbos that I drove in the last CanAm race at Riverside? The most powerful race car ever built - yes even more powerful than the 917/30 that I also drove - but with 1400 HP in an undriveable chassis, it was also something to forget.

Thanks Arturo for the photos of Bueno Aires. A track and a city that I loved. Especially the pedestrian streets with those wonderful restaurants and huge chunks of meat roasting on swords before being chopped off in front of your eyes.

I was arare of an Elford-Mazda in England - but it wasn't me. Another Elford that I do not know. Sorry.

Maybe here, maybe elsewhere but there were questions of "why only one 908/3 at the Targa Florio?" Politics. John Wyer was supposed to have everything first, but Piech thought the best chance to win was with me so he insisted that I have a 908/3 with the Salzburg team in 1970. Just to prove the point to Wyer, he had brought along a 917 as well. So after setting (I think) the fastest practice time in the 908/3 he then asked me to do a lap in the 917. I think I then did the second fastest lap in that. But what a monster around those tight twisty roads. I was in second or third the whole way except for the four mile seaside straight where I was up to well over 200 mph and using ALL the road to do it! At the end of one lap I was a total physical and nervous wreck and had to be lifted out of the car.

Piech/Wyer politics also played a role at Monza in 1970. Jo, Pedro and I had all practiced with the new 5.0 litre engine (up from 4.9) but for the race Wyer elected to stay with the 4.9. Piech said "OK, but I want the 5.0 litre to run, so if you don't want it, Elford gets it." What bliss. After all the usual cut-throat battles between Jo, Pedro and me, it was sheer bliss to be able to simply drive away from them! Unfortunately it didn't last. A right rear tire failure as I came into the flat left Ascari curve (as it then was) sent me spinning into a massive crash with the guard rail.

I won't promise to do this every day so I hope you all enjoy these memories.

Vic Elford.

#35 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:19

Vic - never 'just' a rally bloke by any means. As one who often watched your exploits closely from just the other side of the rails thanks for that - and for your time and trouble now. Just wait for the reaction from the other contributors here....

DCN

#36 jarama

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:30

Vic,

thankyou for sharing your memories with all of us. :up:

#37 cheesy poofs

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:36

Thanks Vic :clap:

You've just made my day !

#38 marhal

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:39

Hello everybody...........


To me, Vic Elford deserves a special place in motorsport because he was a versatile driver, a thing that´s impossible to see today. Aditionally, he is a nice guy, I met him in 1996 in his first visit to Venezuela and talked about two hours about the fabulous 60´s and their fabulous drivers, and he is one of that group. Please, Vic, tell us about the history in the Targa Florio when Paul Hawkins used a firecracker to moved through traffic.................... :lol:

#39 Buford

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:41

Yes thank you very, very much. We certainly don't expect a daily rememberance, but whenever you have time please tell us whatever you want and don't be afraid to jump in and correct any errors you see anybody writing about in any thread.

Some of us have been around racing for a long time. Some of us have raced. But none of us have done the things you have.

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#40 Buford

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:49

Whoa - I just went and looked at Vic's website

http://www.vicelford.com/now.html

He raced a Mini!!!! Now I KNOW he's cool!

#41 barrykm

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 20:50

Thanks for your postings Vic - it brings a great racing era back to life. :up: :up:

#42 Joe Fan

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 21:27

Great to see you post here Mr. Elford!

I am writing a biography on the late Masten Gregory. If you have any anecdotes about Masten, I sure would love hear them. I know that Masten and you were hired to drive cars for the movie Le Mans, and that Masten (who drove an Alfa T33/3) was nearly fired by the producer because he kept passing the cars that were supposed to be leading the race. Any memories of this Mastoid incident?

mastoidfan@yahoo.com

#43 David Beard

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 21:31

Vic Elford!!!

I thought this forum was pretty smart when I arrived a couple of weeks ago...but it gets better.

I remember diving for cover in the Savernake forest in about 67 when a certain 911 hurtled through. :)

And a McLaren with Lancia panier tanks?

#44 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 21:39

You think his stories are great now, you should hear them at Siebkens while he's having a Guinness :clap:

#45 Buford

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 21:40

You have had the pleasure, Ross?

#46 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 21:47

Yeah, he was an instructor at Barber in 97 when I did my first race, in 98 when I wasnt racing but was attending, and was at a few races in 99 when he was coaching I think Milka Duno at the time. Ive had the distinct pleasure of being told "that move wasnt on" by the man himself :eek: :cool:

One of my favorite moments though was during 98 before Juan Montoya had won the F3000 championship and I was working as a flagger and Mr Elford and I were standing at Canada Corner at Road America during a pause in a session and I asked him what he thought of JPM (I was probably one of the few people in North America to really follow him up to that point) and Mr Elford gave me some really nice information about Juan Pablo and F1 in general. The one comment that I remember to this day was, paraphrased, "if the car is there, Juan can be world champion within 2 seasons"

And hell, he's probably the only Englishman ive met with a proper tan :lol:

#47 Buford

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 21:56

Well there you go. Until Vic himself has time to tell us more Vic Elford stories, Ross can tell us Vic Elford stories.

#48 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 22:47

Originally posted by Vican
Hello again everyone.

I can't believe everything that has happened here since yesterday! I think Mark owes me a vacation in Australia!

To reply to some of the questions, here goes.
.............
Thanks Arturo for the photos of Bueno Aires. A track and a city that I loved. Especially the pedestrian streets with those wonderful restaurants and huge chunks of meat roasting on swords before being chopped off in front of your eyes.
.................
I won't promise to do this every day so I hope you all enjoy these memories.

Vic Elford.


Thanks to you Vic !! great memories for sure !! and of course I am glad you like Buenos Aires and its' restaurants ..... they are still that way :)

Arturo

#49 Bernd

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Posted 20 August 2002 - 23:34

Wow Vic Elford has joined us.... Awesome!!

Now all we need is Chris Amon to join, although that would probably give old Keir a heart attack.

#50 911

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Posted 21 August 2002 - 00:02

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld


And hell, he's probably the only Englishman ive met with a proper tan :lol:


Ross, I think Vic gets his tan from South Florida... I chatted w/ him over the phone a few years ago and he mentioned where he lived. I didn't know it then, but we lived in the same community! I wished I still lived in South Florida.

Vic - thanks for joining this forum. We all have fond memories of you throwing the 911 around in the Monte Carlo rally, as well as the ferocious 917 at Daytona & LeMans. Btw, I really enjoyed your book, "Porsche - High Performance Driving Hand Book." I learned a lot from it - thanks.

Regards,

911 (I bet you'll never guess why my Atlas name is 911 ;))