Upon arriving at Laguna Seca for the Monterey Historics in 1987, after accepting the invitation of his American friend Carol Spears, Denny Hulme settled comfortably into his original seat in the cockpit of Bill Chizar’s McLaren M20-Chevrolet and took a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane.
Photo: Photos Courtesy Carol Spears
In the late ’60s, a boyfriend introduced me to motor racing. Until then it had been all horseback riding and 4-H. The big thing then was the Can-Am, so we went to the l967 race at Laguna Seca and sat outside Turn 9. When the relationship ended, I discovered I still really liked motor racing. It had gotten into my blood.
In 1968, I went to the Can-Am solo and watched John Cannon win in the rain. By 1969, I’d learned you could go down to the Auto Row dealerships in Monterey and watch the teams work on the cars. One evening I was the last one watching and the mechanics started talking to me. On race day, I was looking through the fence and a McLaren mechanic came over and gave me a pit pass! At one point Denny Hulme came over and draped himself on the pit wall and started to chat, seemingly much more interested in what I did than what he was doing. Jimmy Stone, one of the mechanics, invited me to the team victory dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf and I found myself in a rental car with several mechanics and Bruce McLaren driving. As he bounced over a curb his wife Pat turned and said, “would you believe my husband drives a racing car?”
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