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Marshall Motors of Miami


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 07:00

(posted on behalf of Tampaguy, and the words after the quote are his. The opening quote comes from this earlier thread on Roy Schechter.)

After selling his damaged Lotus 11 in February 1958, Schechter started the Porsche phase of his race career. He bought a used 1.5 -liter 550 RS from Mike Marshall in Miami, to be run in F Modified. Marshall himself had been very successful with the car until he crashed it in practice for Bill France's professional New Smyrna Beach races in February 1957. The car wasn't that badly damaged, but Marshall ended up partly paralyzed, confined to a wheel chair. The unfortunate owner was not deterred and continued campaigning as a car owner. Schechter's 550 may well have been the same car that carried Eddie Crawford to Victory for Marshall at Fort Pierce in September 1957. Roy bought it with a service contract, meaning that Marshall Motors did the maintenance.

I recently came across this photo of Marshall Motors in Miami. Mike was instrumental in providing Porsche 550’s to many drivers in the southern portion of the USA. My late friend Joe Sheppard was a very close friend of Mike’s before and after his accident.

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Roy Schechter had a grudge against Joe Sheppard because he always beat him in similar cars. Here is the two lined up in Cuba.

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#2 WINO

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 14:18

It looks as though Joe Sheppard was still in his Porsche 550RS at Cuba, for the September 1959 Alamar 4 Hours, while Roy Schechter raced his newer Posche RSK there. Yet Sheppard won, with Schechter finishing 3rd overall due to a slipping clutch.

 

Looking at the race report in the Tampa Times, a few errors and inconsistencies with other sources. Schechter's codriver was Lew Rappaport [not Rapport], while various sources have different codrivers for Sheppard. If it was indeed his mechanic, it would have been Fritz Schidel [not Schiedel], but other sources have the codriver as his brother Bob Sheppard [a brother Joe did not have] or his brother John 'Jack' Sheppard Jr [a brother he did have].



#3 B Squared

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 16:54

A previous Joe Sheppard thread by our late friend Jerry Entin

https://forums.autos...e/?fromsearch=1

#4 tampaguy

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 18:22

Tim I appreciate your help with this post. Joes co driver at Alamar was indeed his factory trained 550 mechanic Fritz Schiedel. Fritz was a very accomplished motorcycle racer before he became a Porsche apprentice. He was later blackballed by the factory because he would not return to Germany when instructed . Fritz maintained three separate 550’s for Joe. 0144 being his favorite one. The photo of Marshall Motors in Miami is quite rare. Driving past at night must have been amazing with the neon ablaze. You can just make out the 550 sitting inside, far left. Again I appreciate the assistance of others in my quest to bring attention to Mikes for his contributions to the community…Jack 



#5 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 15:33

I lived in Ft Lauderdale from 1956 and have been a Porsche enthusiast and owner since the late’60s, but this is the first I’ve heard of Marshall Motors!  Does anyone here know the history of the dealership, street address, etc?



#6 tampaguy

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 16:27

Jack the dealership was located at 2100 Biscayne Blvd. looks like that area is still auto row. Mike was responsible for brokering numerous 356 Carreras four cams and early 550 Spyder's. He had an accident in 068 that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was also one of the first racing teams to support others by having a well equipped transporter on location. I have a wonderful photo of it at Nassau during the Speed Week 56/57 time frame. I will ask Tim to post it for me. I appreciate your interest..Jack 



#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 07:50

Here are Tampaguy’s photos. The first two show Mike Marshall’s team and transporter. The third is of Mike himself.

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#8 Tim Murray

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 07:54

Willem Oosthoek has sent me this history of Mike Marshall’s Porsche 550 chassis 0068:

550-0068 was one of the later built Porsche 550RS customer Spyders, completed on 19th September 1955. With an original four cam engine number 90071 and matching transmission number 10061, the Spyder was used by Porsche to promote the latest models available at the Frankfurt IAA Auto Show three days later on the 22nd September. According to the Porsche records, the Spyder was delivered with the body painted silver with blue tail darts and beige interior.

After the motor show, 550-0068 was shipped across to Porsche’s US East coast dealer – Max Hoffman located in New York. The car was soon purchased by Miami based Porsche and Volkswagen dealer, Mike Marshall who was new to racing and was drawn to the lightweight, high performance of the 550 which he had seen racing on local circuits. As Marshall had a dealership with a workshop, he was able to customize the 550. With new safety regulations set by the FIA for the 1956 season, Marshall made some upgrades to his 550 adding the additional safety of a roll bar under the cowl on the driver’s side and also replacing the single centered exhaust with long dual exhaust pipes for greater performance. He also did some cosmetic changes to the Spyder, painting the tail darts red plus fitting a red interior.

The Florida racing scene was very active in the late 1950s and Marshall saw it important for his dealership to be involved. Many European cars were popular and very competitive on the local airport tracks including a mix of both Porsche and Lotus drivers like Jean Spidel, John Cuevas, Duncan Forlong, Joe Sheppard and also Mike Marshall, who always raced against each other in the same classes and were great racing comrades.

Marshall raced 550-0068 in close to a dozen races over two and a half years with podium finishes in many. His last race was the New Smyrna Beach National Sports Car Race in February 1957 where he crashed his 550 in the Preliminary race and sustained serious injuries leaving him partly paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. This also ended his racing career.

550-0068 remained with Marshall until early 1958 when John Cuevas convinced him to sell the car. Although not seriously damaged, the Spyder needed the front end repaired. Porsche’s latest offering was the 718 RSK and Marshall thought the nose section of the new model would look better grafted on the 550 body.

Once repaired with a fresh coat of white paint, Marshall sold the car to Jack Sheppard Sr., who owned a foreign car dealership and repair service in Tampa Florida called Import Motors, specializing in Jaguar, MG, Lotus and other British sports cars.

Jack’s son Joe had just returned from the army and was keen to race. Starting in 1955 with a Lotus 9, he soon developed a winning reputation on the track and earned the nickname of ‘the Tampa Hot Shoe’ with his skilled driving ability. He raced a variety of other European cars but was also drawn to the Porsches.

Joe first took the Spyder out at the Chester airport track. The car was very difficult to drive compared to all the other cars he had raced. It was thought the new nose made the car unbalanced especially when cornering. Fritz Schiedel was Joe Sheppard’s mechanic and decided to drill holes in the chassis to lighten the rear of the car to help rectify the problem. Joe raced it again at Gainesville and encountered the same problems and never raced it again. Duncan Forlong, a friend of the Sheppards, raced it once at the Dunnellon Park Road Race in late 1958. Jack senior sourced a 550A for Joe to race while 550-0068 remained at the back of the workshop.



#9 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 12:26

Here are Tampaguy’s photos. The first two show Mike Marshall’s team and transporter. The third is of Mike himself.

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With permission I would like to post the second one on FerrariChat. 


Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 29 May 2024 - 12:27.


#10 WINO

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 13:09

Jack,

 

Since the first two images came from me originally, feel free. The second one does not show the Marshall team though, but the John Edgar team. John sits on the right with straw hat, while on the left are Carroll Shelby and Masten Gregory with wife Luann [sp?]. The first photo shows the production Porsche of Johnny Cuevas, in its Cuban race colors



#11 WINO

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 15:42

And looking closely at the second photo, the guy on the right in the white polo shirt looks very much like Phil Hill.



#12 tampaguy

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 18:40

That is not Shelby in the photo. It’s Joe Lubin? Correct spelling? He was a master mechanic on the Edgar team. Also drove the team transporter. He could drive from the west coast to Sebring non stop on cigarettes and coffee. 



#13 tampaguy

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 18:40

Thanks Tim as usual for your help. 



#14 WINO

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 19:29

Joe Lubin never ventured out of California, and this is Nassau. I presume you mean Joe Landaker, Edgar's wrencher. But Landaker was much skinnier.



#15 WINO

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 19:52

The photo was taken at Nassau in December 1956. Behind Shelby, the Edgar Ferrari 857S [chassis 0588] raced by Richie Ginther can be seen, next to the Ferrari 250GT raced by Jan de Vroom.

 

In the feature race Gregory [500TR] finished 2nd overall, and both Shelby [Edgar Ferrari 410S, chassis 0598] and Ginther retired. Eddie Crawford took the Porsche 550S owned by Mike Marshall to 6th overall. Marshall retired the second 550S he entered. Phil Hill retired his Ferrari 857S, as did Joe Sheppard in his dad's Lotus 11. They were all there!



#16 tampaguy

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 19:30

Wrong Joe ! Thanks Willem ! Joe had some incredible adventures driving the transporter across the country. Shelby was quoted as saying that he never could have competed successfully in the USA whiteout Joes wrenching and driving that tractor trailer.



#17 WINO

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 20:17

It is interesting that Carroll Shelby offered such positive feedback on Joe Landaker, because Chuck Daigh, who raced the Edgar Maserati 570S in the 1959 Times GP at Riverside, wasn't so complimentary. When I interviewed Chuck at one time, he remembered:

 

"... Joe Landaker was so crazy. When we arrived at Riverside, the car would not run at all. So, I went over to Lloyd Ruby and his guys who had brought over a 450S from Texas. I asked him what spark plugs, what timing, what jets you were supposed to run in these engines. I went back to Joe to tell him. But Joe didn't understand the concept of hot plugs to warm up the engine before you put the other, colder plugs in. He actually took some spark plugs and started heating them up with a torch. That's what he thought a hot spark plug was! I thought I would die laughing! He finally managed to put the right size jets in, and the car ran pretty good."


Edited by WINO, 03 June 2024 - 12:06.