Posted 04 July 2007 - 00:56
Jerry Hansen was a Minneapolis stock broker. He also was quite active in real estate, and at one time was the biggest landlord in the Twin Cities, according to a story in Sports Illustrated.
He started racing in 1961, with an Echidna. His first win, I believe, was at an SCCA Regional at Wilmot Hills, Wis., in fall, 1961.
He quickly moved up, as for the 1962 season he purchased a Scarab. This was chassis 003, which had run in the fall, 1961, pro races entered by Skip Lehmann for Chuck Daigh. He painted the Scarab a maroon color, which was the color of most of his race cars through 1966. He ran the Scarab at Meadowdale in May, 1962, at a Midwest Council race, finishing second to Harry Heuer in the Meister Brauser Chaparral. His next race was the Road America June Sprints, where he stated confidently that he could take the infamous "kink" without lifting. Augie Pabst, who of course had great experience both at Road America and in the Scarab, advised against it. Jerry tried it anyway, on I believe lap two of the race.
When the dust settled, the Scarab was upside down in a tree on the outside of the kink, some ten feet in the air. When the uninjured Hansen popped the seat belt release, he tumbled to the ground, breaking his nose in the process!
Jerry had the Scarab rebuilt, and drove it at Meadowdale in July and the Road America 500 in September, but was a dnf both times. He was a dns at Meadowdale later in September, and then had the car burn to the ground in a garage fire. (This car was rebuilt and is currently in the Collier collection)
He replaced it with a Chaparral 1, chassis 001, for 1963, but drove it very sparingly. He also had a Cobra and a Formcar FV. For 1964 he bought a McKee, the Mk II. He won many, many SCCA races with that car in 1964 and 1965 before having the Wolverine Special built for 1966. While he was awaiting the Wolverine, he bought Jerry Grant's Lotus 19-Chev, which he drove early in the year.
For 1967 he bought a McLaren Elva Mk III (M1C) with which he won still more races. He drove that in the 1967 Road America Can Am, and finished a very respectable sixth overall. Following the 1967 Can Am season, he bought one of Roger Penske's Lola T-70s, which he used to win his first of 27 SCCA National Championships, taking the big sports racing class at that year's Runoffs, held at Daytona.