7 - Notes roughly
coordinated with Tam McPartland's Old
Race Car site - 7 -
Alan Brengle is from San Diego. He was pretty much my mentor in SCCA stewarding.
We worked a lot of races together. We developed a practice that was effective
at Holtville: A Chief Steward with all the responsibility for interfacing with
racers and rules, working in tandem with an Operating Steward, who ran the racetrack.
I got to be very good at the latter, and passable at the former. Jim
Chaffee was another racer popular with the workers. He was from Mount Baldy,
above the L.A. smog, and was said to test out his Pink Elephants on the winding
roads in those mountains.
More Class "G" Modifieds: Bob Engberg was also a San Diego racer,
and like his brother Chuck, was very quiet-spoken and thoughtful. Engineers, I
think, and runners; bearded, too. It seems to me the last time I saw either of
them was (very long ago) around the time we were running the Heart Of San Diego
Marathon. Maybe the Bonita half-marathon tune-up a couple of weeks before.
Hourglass Field is now the site of the Miramar
campus of San Diego Community College, where the Police Academy has its home.
I was there once, in about 1956, when some of my L.A. friends and I were out for
a Sunday drive, and somehow hooked up with a Morgan that had a sign on the back:
"Follow Me To The Gymkhana." We did, and enjoyed seeing something we knew about
but had not experienced. Beanbags and reverse gear in competition. The most spectacular
performance was by a man driving what I remember as about a 1940 to '48 Plymouth.
He really flung it around. The last time I was at that campus was four or five
years ago, when I was trained in use of Capsaicin spray. I thought some of the
pavement may have been original.
Some time in the middle or early 70s
Sandy and I ran a slalom on this lot in her '66 Elan. I remember the P.A. announcer
calling the car a "Spitfire" as I roared off the start. By the time
I had made half the circuit, someone had corrected him, and he apologized. I had
a CB radio installed in the Lotus, and a good noise-cancelling microphone. The
mic fell between the seats during one of our runs, and jammed "on."
I guess it was transmitting on channel 13 for fifteen or twenty minutes before
I realized it. The pylon-counters must have thought someone was sabotaging them
when they had to change to another channel. Thank goodness for the "talk
close" feature. I never had to face the music on that one.
John Timanus: I've mentioned that he may have been the driver of the silver
Lotus that spun through the flag station I was working at Pomona. Several years
later I had numerous contacts with him in his role as SCCA Technical Administrator.
He was a real resource, and a respectable negotiator. When someone got caught
cheating, or was accused of cheating, Timanus could usually make a plea-bargain
that obviated the need for an engine teardown. Racers knew he was strict but fair.