Posted 30 June 2007 - 19:26
I worked at McNamara in the Fiberglass shop, still have the work permit, one of the brochures in mint condition, and a pay stub. How did we live on so little money? The first FV was already obsolete when I started there and the last model, with very Aerodynamic bodywork on which I helped make the body molds was one of the jobs on which Gustav was involved. I also helped build the molds for the racing Capris and made endless series of hoods, trunk lids and doors, later seeing my handiwork in action. The fiberglas shop was well run and managed by Tony Waterman, who is still active and owns TW mouldings in England. The Indy car project ruined McNamara, the STP staff sent over was difficult, and spent McNamara money. The Marketing Manager, after a dinner date, described Andy Granatelli as a "Pig". Andretti visited the fiberglas shop got his jacket caught in some gel coat and left quickly, almost falling down the stairs. To this date, he refuses to answer correspondence I send to him. After I sensed failure in the company I left and worked for KG Murdock Lotus in Ramstein and Kaiserslautern. When McNamara failed I returned and helped to make the mold for the KMW cars, shipping the bodies to the assembly shop on top of my VW bus. Then I left for the United States, did some racing work in the Southeast and finally traveled to Tucson Arizona where I still reside, having done some 20+years work in Aircraft Maintenance, manufacturing and Engineering and now designing heavy mining equipment. The McNamara era was short, typical of the period and probably would make a very good movie. By the time Bonnie died the company was in trouble, having lost its steam and drive. The actual STP McNamara Indy sits in a museum owned by Don Garlits. BTW ALL racecars from that period were basically unsafe. On the Indy Cars, the drivers were surrounded by fuel tanks, same on Most Porsches, Ferarris and so on. Pits stops were extremely dangerous for both the mechanics and the drivers. No safety equipment of any kind for the pit crew. At one Daytona IMSA race I was fueling a Porsche when the party holding the fuel can lost his balance. The hose I was holding on the filler neck came loose and I got 20 some gallons of gas all over me. As a result of this incident everybody around me ran away and I finally found a water hose and cleaned myself off. Basically after that my racing urge was also cleaned off. According to E mail I have received from Tony Waterman and checking the Google satellite images, the McNamara buildings in Lenggries are gone and a hotel complex now sits on the property. BTW, the F3 cars were just as good or bad than any other ones out there. We helped Lauda many times on his cars "off the clocK" I hope one of these days he might say "thanks" even after all of these years.