<VV> On my way to Ioway with the Fitch Sprint (long, but a good story)
pkoehler01 at atlanticbb.net
Sun Jun 20 07:38:22 EDT 2010
Fellow VV'ers, I am writing this from our Michigan
residence. My truck and trailer with the recently
completed CPF Fitch Sprint are parked in the driveway.
Tomorrow I'm heading back out on the road to Iowa and hope
to arrive at the host hotel later in the day on Monday.
The past few days have been very exciting and rewarding
(aside from the 1200+ miles driven in my faithful Chevy
Silverado with a box trailer trying to slow me down all
the way!). Friday morning I picked up my brother at his
place of business in New York and we headed over the
boarder to Connecticut. When we arrived at John Fitch's
home in Lakeville the Hemmings editor, Dave Lachance, was
already there. We sat with John and listened as he told
amazing stories of his life. I turned and looked at a
small framed picture on the wall next to me. It had four
portraits of racing drivers: John Fitch, Karl Kling, (Sir)
Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. Oh yeah, they were
autographed by each racing legend! That is how the day
Next, Dave (Koehler) and I unloaded the car while John
watched and Dave Lachance snapped pictures. I wish you all
could have seen the smile on John Fitch's face! More
pictures and then we decided to take the car over to Lime
Rock Park for more pictures. John wanted to drive "his"
Sprint and he wanted to have some pictures with his Fitch
Phoenix as well. So he tossed the key to the Phoenix to me
and we headed over to the track. I knew it was going to be
hard to get the keys back for our Sprint!
If any of you have been to Lime Rock Park, or any racing
venue for that matter you know it isn't that easy to get
inside. Credentials, signed waivers, questions and such
are the order of the day. Our little caravan of the two
most historically significant Fitch automotive creations
in the world pulled up to the gate with the Phoenix in the
lead. A track official came over and said he knew the car,
but where was John Fitch? We just motioned behind us as
John and Dave Lachance pulled up in the CPF Sprint. We
were allowed in...
Now, in order to actually get your car or race car or
whatever close to or on the track itself is another matter
once you get past the gate, right? We just let John lead
us in with the Corvair Sprint. A few words with the track
manager and we had the entire starting grid in front of
the timing tower to ourselves as a photo backdrop. Wait
'till you see the pictures in Hemmings Classic Car
magazine and the CORSA Communique. You racing guys know
this just doesn't happen every day.
At the end of the day my brother and I loaded the Sprint
back into it's portable garage and said our good-byes.
John asked if he could buy the Sprint back I think he was
serious! No, I didn't sell it to him. I'm bringing it to
Cedar Rapids for you. Anyone who didn't plan to do the
whole convention week thing but is only several hours'
drive away would should reconsider and maybe at least stop
out for a day or an afternoon to see the CPF's Fitch
Sprint. I could bore you for hours with stories straight
from the mouth of the great man himself. What an amazing
couple of days it has been! - Pete Koehler, CPF Fitch
Sprint Project Manager - Retired
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