Lubbock, Texas, July 1958. Sporting a surplus Air Force helmet, Connell in his first race aboard a Maserati 250S bought from Jim Hall.
Photo: Connell collection
On June 7–8, 1958, the Texas Region of the SCCA hosted a weekend of sports car racing 10 miles north of Fort Worth. The organizers laid out a 3-mile course at the National Guard Air Base near Eagle Mountain Lake, where 112 entries showed up to contest 10 scheduled “Sunburn” races. The weekend was a great success. For a 34-year-old spectator by the name of Alan Benton Connell Jr., the owner of a 50,000-acre Fort Worth ranch, it was an especially memorable day. Connell [pronounced ConNELL] had just witnessed the first race of his life, and he took an instant liking to the sport.
The Eagle Mountain feature race went to Frank Davis in a potent Devin/Chevy nicknamed the Mangham-Davis Special, chased by Ray Jones in A. D. Logan’s Monza-engined Ferrari 500TR. A young Jim Hall captured 3rd overall aboard a red 1957 Maserati 250S, chassis 2430. Essentially a long-nose 200SI with its 4-cylinder engine enlarged to 2.5-liters, Hall’s Maserati had proven to be very competitive on Texas and Louisiana tracks earlier that year. It did not take long for the impulsive Alan Connell to make up his mind. He wanted to go racing himself and this was the car he planned to do it in. Hall ran the Maserati distributorship for the Southwest and used the 250S to promote his business as well. Days after the Eagle Mountain races, Alan Connell became the proud owner of the $11,000 Maserati, while spending an additional $10,000 on spare parts.
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