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Richard Macon


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#1 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 19:25

I would like to start a thread for the members of the forum on RC Macon of Fairhope, Alabama.
The October 1965 Times GP at Riverside offered one of the finest gatherings of sportsracers seen in the world: Chaparral, Lotus, Cooper, Genie, Scarab, Cheetah, Ford, McKee and McLaren. I was there in my Cheetah coupe.

After 200 miles the top 10 finishers read like a Who's Who in racing: Hap Sharp, Jimmy Clark, Bruce McLaren, Charlie Hayes Chris Amon, Hugh Dibley, John Cannon, Roger McClusky, Augie Pabst and one Richard Macon. Richard Who? Who the heck was he? Finishing a stellar 6th overall of all places!

Richard Macon just offered us access to his racing archives, a perfect opportunity to have a look at the background of this little known driver from Fairhope, Alabama. Macon started competion in 1959 with a Healey 100S owned by his dad also named Richard who ran a local finance company. Richards pit crew consisted of his wife, brother in law and cousin. The 21 year old scored his first victory at Gainesville, Georgia. Where he took the Healey 100S to first in DP in the 1959 Enoche races. Richard soon progressed to a 1.1 Liter Lotus 11. He won Saturday's feature for small eninged cars in the 1959 Confederate Prix held at Tuskegee's Sharpe's field, near Montgomery, Alabama. With help of an impressed E.D. Martin, the young driver was invited to the Nassau Speed Week where he placed first in GM class in 1959 and won again in 1960. In those days first in class in 1959 paid a whopping $500 and in 1960 he got $250 for first in class. A 1.5 Liter Cooper Monaco followed in 1961.Then a 1.6-Liter Alfa Romeo engined Lotus 23 in 1963. Both these cars were campainged on numerous tracks in the South. Fort Worth based John Miller, also Allan Connell's chief mechanic maintained the cars for Macon at this time. Richard was stationed at nearby Camp Hood for military service. By 1965 Richard had moved on to a McLaren Elva Mk 1A which he purchased through Carl Haas. He chose the Traco Olds aluminum power plant. This was the same power that Graham Hill and Team McLaren were using at this time. He entered the professional West Coast Series, soon to become the CanAm. Roy Gane, the same wrencher who in 1962 built Roger Penske's Zerex-Duralite Special trom Cooper remains maintained the McLaren for Richard. All photos below lent to site by Richard Macon- all research by Willem Oosthoek.

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#2 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 19:50

Here is Richard doing what is now referred to as drifting. This is 1959 long before it was popular. The venue for this picture was a small airfield near Montgomery, Alabama, where E.D. Martin was the instructor of a driving school. Richard Macon got his competition license here. All Richard Macon's cars were owned by himself and his supportive dad, although he also raced a Joe Treadwell owned Mustang in the 1965 Pensacola USRRC and the 1966 Daytona 24 Hours. Competition came to an end after Richard went back to school to get a PH.D. in engineering, with a brief comeback in 1971-1972 racing a Porsche for Gene Nearburg. All research done by Willem Oosthoek all pictures from Richard Macon.


Edited by Jerry Entin, 09 October 2017 - 01:55.


#3 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 19:55

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Here is Richard Macon chasing a Jag XK-120 in his Healey 100S.

#4 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 20:00

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Richard's Cooper Monaco he bought for $4,500 in June of 1961 off Luigi Chinetti in New York. It had a 1.5 Liter Motor. That jack under the Cooper isn't one of those NASCAR aluminum jobs. In the old days to lift one of those Jacks back into the truck it took a buddy to help. The photo was taken at Corry Field near Pensacola, Florida.

#5 Twin Window

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 20:00

Originally posted by Jerry Entin

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Here is Richard doing what is now refered to as drifting.

I love it!

:up:

#6 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 20:10

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Here is Richard Macon's McLaren Mk 1 he ran in the 1965 Riverside Grand Prix. Glad you enjoy the drifting picture Stuart. Richard ran this car 2 weeks earlier at Monterey and finished 11th in the first heat, but dropped out of the second. He also entered it at the Las Vegas Stardust GP. He qualified the McLaren in 1:46.3 between Augie Pabst's Scarab and me in my ex Graham Hill McLaren Mk. 1. Richard retired on lap 4. I took it easy the first time out in my new car and finished 13th.

#7 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 20:29

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Here is Richard Macon behind Graham Hill at the 1965 Drivers meeting at the Riverside Grand Prix.

#8 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 20:36

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Richard's competition License

#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 21:28

All these historic pictures of cars and events from US racing in the 60s that you and Chuck Brandt have been posting recently are just fabulous - many thanks for sharing them, Jerry. They evoke a period that we only read about on this side of the pond.

#10 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 21:38

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Here is Richard Macon's Lotus 11
I am glad you are enjoying these pictures Alan Cox and we appreciate your great photos that you have taken and share with the forum.

#11 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 02:19

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Richard Macon's lovely wife Karan and his McLaren Mk 1 how it looks now. Car is currently owned by John Bladon.

#12 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:34

:clap: Jerry , another interesting thread , what we cant read and see in mags , is being provided here !
Regards Bjørn

#13 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 20:25

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Richard Macon's Cooper in 1963

#14 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 20:33

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Richard Macon giving a test run to a Maserati 250F. I wonder if this is where Lyle Lovett got the idea for his look? This was at a track in Savannah in 1959. Jack Bellows owned the car and was attempting to sell it to AJ Foyt senior. That didn't pan out and the
car was sold to Chuck Nervine who put it on display at the local Chickasaw Bank.
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#15 Lotus11Register

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 21:14

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There are many Lotus Eleven photos in the Richard Macon file. Here's a sequence from Nassau in 1960 showing another feature of the times, a LeMans start. It couldn't have been easy getting that lanky frame into an Eleven either. He was really scrunched into the cockpit. Here's what Richard said about it:
"In 1959 I really tried hard to get away quick and I did. I was one of the first to get my car started and I jumped right out onto the left side of the road. Trouble was that I was down around the 400 cubic inchers when they got launched sideways and I felt very lucky not to get hit. In 1960 I intentionally started slower.

"The eleven in the next to last frame (# 48) was JC Kilburn. He was keeping his car someplace different than where John Miller and I were. While visiting before the race I noticed that they had the distributor out of JC's car's engine and had not covered the hole. After the race they determined the cause of JC's engine failure: a small washer got between the distributor gear and it's drive gear."


Richard went a long way for an amateur burning his own funds. That McLaren finally burned them up too. He was highly regarded as a fast, smooth driver who didn't get rattled. Not many others got to go wheel-to-wheel with Clark, Hill, etc. without mega-sponsorship.

Photos lent to the site by Richard Macon.

#16 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 23:16

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Color picture of Richard's Lotus 11

#17 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 23:18

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Richards Cooper Monaco with Body off.

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Here it is with body on.


#18 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 23:51

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Here is the Cooper in action

#19 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 15:40

lotus231600x425zn2.jpg
Here is Richard Macon's Lotus 23 with Alfa Romeo power. The fellow leaning into the engine adjusting it is John Miller. Richard said he learned a lot from John and that John was a great engineer/mechanic. This is at Desoto Airport for a Divisional race organized by the Shreveport Red River Region of the SCCA.


Edited by Jerry Entin, 10 April 2014 - 19:00.


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#20 David M. Kane

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 19:35

Jerry:

Thanks for providing all this great material. I'm ashamed to say I knew nothing about him; now I'm happy that I do!

#21 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 19:40

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Here is Richard Macon Again in his McLaren Mk 1

Glad you are enjoying the site Dave. Richard is a real nice guy and I thought the members would enjoy seeing some of his cars. Notice the 250F Maserati looks nothing like one would today. This is how cars looked when they were raced and not over restored. Also look at the color picture of his Lotus 11. That is what cars appeared like in the day.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 11 November 2010 - 07:45.


#22 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 00:06

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This is the Program cover of the Ninth Annual Confederate GP at Courtland, Alabama, featuring two interesting images: Stirling Moss, who would present the trophy carrying his name to the winner. And the luscious Sandra Howell, at 35-23-35 crowned the 1963 Miss Confederate GP, in front of the new Sting Ray.

Richard Macon was there that year. He did not meet Ms Howell at the checkered. That priviledge went to Jim Watson. Richard finished 3rd overall in his red Cooper Monaco, behind Jim Watson in a Porsche RS-60 and Charlie Kolb in a front engined Dino Ferrari.

But Richard Macon did capture the feature two years later, on July 4th 1965, when he beat Buck Fulp's Scorpion/Chevy with his McLaren Mk 1. all research by Willem Oosthoek.

#23 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 15:39

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Here is Richard Macon in Carrera de La Capital, In Austin, Texas. In August of 1963.

#24 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 20:21

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Richard Macon drove his Cooper Monaco in the first USRRC race of the 1964 season, at the new Augusta track in Georgia. It was so new that Sports Car Graphic forgot to cover the event. His Cooper Monaco retired with ignition trouble, while Dave MacDonald claimed the event in his Ford-engined Cooper Monaco T61, baptised King Cobra by owner Carroll Shelby. Jim Hall in the Chaparral was second and Bob Holbert was third.

Here are some photos taken by Richard Macon of the competition, on what seems to have been a gloomy day in March. Dave MacDonald #97 and Bob Holbert #98 King Cobras above. Photo by Richard Macon all research Willem Oosthoek

#25 Hse289

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 20:57

Thanks Jerry for putting up these great pictures. I really enjoy 1960s sportscar racing history and there is plenty of it here. :up: Paul

#26 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 00:11

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The Shelby Cobra in which Ken Miles won the GT race. He also ran it to 6th overall in the feature. Glad you are enjoying the site Paul.
photo lent to site by Richard Macon- all research by Willem Oosthoek

#27 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 00:30

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Dave MacDonald ran #16 in the GT race.

photo lent to site by Richard Macon

#28 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 00:38

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The yellow 1.7-Liter Elva Mk 7/ Porsche entered by Ollie Schmidt for Chuck Dietrich. Chuck retired after getting stuck in the mud of Alligator Hollow.

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The 1.6-Liter Elva mk7/Ford of Roger Heftler

photos lent to site by Richard Macon -all research Willem Oosthoek

#29 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 00:50

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Cheetah's entered by Budd Clusserath #46 and Ralph Salyer #25, with Grady Davis's Grand Sport in the background. Don Yenko drove the Grand Sport. All dropped out.

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Buck Fulp's brand new Ferrari 250LM, finished 8th.
Photos lent to site by Richard Macon-all research Willem Oosthoek



#30 rdrcr

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 01:39

Holly Cats! what great photos... Where did ol' Buck get his dough? That's some heavy-hittin machinery for a privateer.

Those Cheetahs are way cool too. Thanks Jerry for bringing all these snapshots from the past into the light.

:cool:

#31 rdrcr

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 06:03

My inquiry above has been answered - cross-threaded if you will. (sorry - pun intended)

(My thanks to David Pozzi)

#32 HistoricMustang

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 21:36

Sorry for the poor quality as these were taken very late in the day.

Richard used "Dick Macon" on his entry form here in Augusta.

Henry

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#33 Jerry Entin

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 22:08

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Competition Press article about 1965 Riverside Grand Prix.

#34 HistoricMustang

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 13:11

Can any of the TNF members I.D. the name on this transporter? Want to identify as many teams as possible.

Henry

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#35 Hse289

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 14:25

Im pretty sure that would be the Meister Brauser Scarab transporter Henry.

#36 Lotus11Register

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 19:37

Posted Image

Posted Image (cllick the link to see a big photo. Sorry about the magazine crease.)


Here's Richard at the Daytona 24-Hour in 1966. The car didn't hold up very well. But it's neat to see a Mustang, an MG and a GT40 in the same frame.

Copyright: AutoWeek magazine, April 2004

#37 RA Historian

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 23:12

Definitely the "Meister Brauser Diesel Duster"

#38 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 00:17

Thanks! :wave:

Henry

#39 iharos

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 06:24

Wonderful photo's of the Shelby King Cobras and Cobras. Even the Ford Station wagon is the same colour. Was this the official Shelby colour or just a handy Ford colour?

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#40 bill patterson

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 07:02

Excellent photos Jerry - thanks for taking the time to post them - and a big thank you to Richard for allowing you access to his archives.

#41 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:43

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
Posted Image
Richard Macon giving a test run to a Maserati 250F. I wonder if this is where Lyle Lovett got the idea for his look? This was at a track in Savannah in 1959. Jack Bellows owned the car and was attempting to sell it to AJ Foyt senior. That didn't pan out and the
car was sold to Chuck Nervine who put it on display at the local Chickasaw Bank.
Posted Image


First photograph appears to be the front straight at Roebling Road. Pit lane to viewers left.

Second photograph appears to be entrance to the front straight after a very fast sweeping turn. The large run off area to viewers right has been used by yours truly on several occasions.

Henry

#42 Jerry Entin

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 14:39

Bill: I am glad you enjoyed the pictures and stories on this site. After his racing Richard Macon pursued a life in the FBI and Law enforcement. He is now retired from the FBI.

#43 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 21:37

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Richard Macon at Riverside in 1965 with Bruce McLaren hot on his heals. We called Bruce's car the Mk2 and the one Richard had the Mk1.
photo lent site Jack Wilkening.

#44 Keith Bradshaw

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 02:19

What Porsche did Richard drive for Gene Nearburg? I was with Tricor in 1968. We had the special
John had built with a mid Porsche drivetrain.

Smokey Drolet and Ed Hugus came by sometimes.

What happened to them?

#45 Cynic

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 04:40

Hi, Keith,

I remember that car when it was covered with a brick patterned contact paper, and called the Flying Brick or some such. Was this when Gene Nearburg raced it out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area?

Someone claimed that the wheelbase and track were the same measurement, and that certainly seemed to be almost true. Wasn't it built around a 906 drivetrain?

Ed Hugus died a few months ago, in his early 80s. He was active and a gentleman to the end.

Jerry -- absolutely great photos, as usual. They've added a great deal to this site. Are you back on the West Coast yet?

David

#46 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 08:08

Dave: That last photo was sent to Richard Macon, he hadn't seen it in 41 years. A friend of his Jack Wilkening took it and he has allowed it to be shown on the forum for the members to enjoy. I am still in Michigan.

#47 Keith Bradshaw

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 16:11

Dave:

When I was with Tricor, the Porsche special had yellow and black stripes. We also had a Lotus 47 with the BMW engine and hewland. Front end was red and white stripes, rear was blue with stars.
Very patriotic. One weekend John put the racing BMW engine into Gene's street 2002, and
terrified Dallas for a while.

There was also a Lotus 7 tucked away in the back. Several blocks away was Gus Hutchinson's HRE ; he ran the Factory Firebird Trans Am team for a bit there.
I had a Lotus Elan and would go there for engine parts, when he was prepping the Firebirds
the smell of fiberglas was incredible!



I have some pictures of that time, will find them.

cordially

Keith

#48 Cynic

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 16:49

Hi, Keith,

I was living in New Orleans at the time, but we used to go to Lotus Southwest on occasion, I think at least once to look at the (new) Lotus 51 FF. I remember the Lotus 47 with that paint scheme in their showroom. I also found my photos of Gus Hutchinson and the three-car Lotus 41C team he drove for -- was the team owned by Gus, or Lotus SW? This would have been in '67 or so.

Now I'll have to go digging for photos of the Porsche special. I do remember that I was both impressed and amused by it.

(And Jerry -- Jack Wilkening is an old friend of mine, from probably 30 years or more. He has some great photos of racing in the midwest. At least one of the photos in the McKee thread is his, too.)

Dave

#49 Jerry Entin

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 15:09

Posted Image
Richard Macon in his Lotus 11
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Richard Macon in his Austin Healey.
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Richard with his spoils of Victory. His trophy collection.

#50 Jerry Entin

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 19:08

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Richard Macon practicing for Daytona in February of 1966 in Joe Treadwell's Mustang.
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Richard Macon being chased by the Ferrari 275LM of Drummond Racing. It was driven by Innes Ireland and Mike Hailwood. Behind them is a Plymouth, Barracuda. The Barracuda finished 26th. The Ferrari retired after 90 laps. Richard's Mustang retired after 168 laps. This is at Daytona in February of 1966. Richard's co driver at Daytona was Roger West.
photos lent site by Richard Macon-research by Willem Oosthoek.