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Vega Coupe at Holtville

Thumbnail:  Vega coupe at Holtville paddock

1972 Vega GT Coupe, Holtville Aerodrome International Raceway (HAIR), 1974. This is a Polaroid taken by a family member. The man is Scott Bell, eminent Vega and Cortina racer, and photographer in his own right. He's on the NEXT page..

Racing was fun, and Holtville was the most fun place to do it. A great compromise among facilities, safety, and informality. I believe the San Diego Region SCCA still does a couple events there before and after the summer heat (It is a few miles east and north of Mexicali, in the Imperial Valley) (sorry: Holtville is no longer useful to the SCCA-SDR). 

This is one of the venues Steve McQueen utilized to spruce up his considerable skills in preparation for the movie Le Mans. He said he appreciated how the organization made him feel right at home. Dick Smothers, Peter Deuel,  and another racing-oriented celebrity whose name eludes me flew in to watch the process a time or two.

Or was it the other way around? Maybe Deuel was doing his licensing thing and McQueen and/or Smothers came to support him. This had to be late 60s or early 70s. I forget. Shucks.

Four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears consolidated his road racing license here while making the transition from off-road to open-wheel track racing. I was Chief Steward of the Driver School, and got to sign off his logbook. Heh.

To see an aerial view of the Holtville track and a link to frames from a lap of the long course recorded on 8mm film, click here.

You may not have taken the Vega seriously, but at one point Chevrolet did. They took the trouble to homologate it, as evidenced by these two pages from the FIA/SCCA packet.

Thumbnail: FIA production certificate     Thumbnail: SCCA recognition certificate     Thumbnail: Tallaksen's discouraging word

The third document is Dave Tallaksen's response to my query about approving the Kammback for SCCA racing.

NEXT (Scott Bell's Vega at Holtville) Page

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