From the archives of Willis Weldin, and then through my friend George Alderman’s hands, I gained access to what appears to be the all the timecards from the 1964 Autosprint series of the Delaware Auto Sport Club.
They came in a ratty old box, but we upgraded it to a more recent shoebox.
I get a real kick of browsing this sort of thing, and finding names I recognize from the stories I’ve heard. My Dad was particularly interested to see what the timecards contained, since he contested that 1964 season.
There on the right, in the photo above, is my Dad’s timecard! That’s from November 15, 1964 so was probably the season finale. The center card is Horace Ott’s, and he had the Best Time of the Day in his ’57 Porsche.
While the Delaware Auto Sport Club is not the same as the Brandywine Motorsport Club, they did co-exist and shared many members. Those of us familiar with BMC Autocross history will recognize the words in the event description above “Will be an open and fast, but with safety in mind…” Those same words were still used to describe our events 33 years later when I was BMC autocross co-chairman in 1997!
My Dad decided to go through each and every timecard and enter it all in a spreadsheet. This way, he could sort and analyze it as he wished and it would all be recorded for anyone who wished to look it up. This is that spreadsheet.
The site they used at that time was the Greater Wilmington Airport here in Delaware. That airport is now known as the New Castle Airport even though it retains its “ILG” code. http://www.newcastleairportilg.com/
The photo below is of the first SAAB to enter my family. It was picked up brand new as a European Delivery car and was the family car for years. Eventually my Dad had so heavily modified the car that my Grandfather, proclaiming loudly that it now “Rode like a damn buckboard!”, gave up driving it and bought himself another car. Note the widened front wheels with wide Goodyear racing tires and the very tiny and narrow rear tires, to get the car to rotate! This photo is from 1965, but it shows what the airfield course area looked like.
Check out the Lockheed Martin Constellations (aka “the Connie”) in the background! The internet tells me there are only two Constellations left flying in the world today! They’re quite a beautiful and sleek aircraft compared to the ones we see today. By this time they were already out of production but I find it cool that they were part of the scene here. Have a look at one of the last two putting on a dramatic and fiery display in the airshow video below.
If anyone else has photos from this era of Delaware motorsport history, I’d love to see them!
This final photo is of my Dad, George Vapaa. This photo is from 1966 and shows his racecar for that season. This one was an ex-SCCA road race car that Dad re-configured for auto sprints. It had been stripped completely of anything unnecessary to the task at hand. Even the fuel tank had been removed and replaced with an oil tank from a Goggomobil!