<VV> On my way to Ioway with the Fitch Sprint (long, but a good story)

peter koehler 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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