For a “round peg,” John Cooper Fitch fits remarkably “squarely” in the pigeonhole marked “True American Hero.” In his 85 years so far on this planet, he has risked life and limb for his country as a WWII fighter pilot as well as for his own pleasure in racing cars and has saved thousands of other peoples lives through his commendable and important work in road and race track safety. While wearing his “racing” hat, he drove for both Mercedes and Corvette and had a long and successful association with Briggs Cunningham. He tried his hand at European Rallying, winning a Coupes des Alpes in 1953, had a brief flirtation with Formula One, and even attempted to qualify for the Indy 500. He was also Corvette Team Manager in the mid-‘50s and later became manager of Lime Rock race circuit; but he excelled as a sports car driver, especially in arduous and difficult long distance races such as the Carrera Panamericana, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio and the Le Mans 24-Hours where concentration, fitness and fine judgement are all essential ingredients for success. Our Steve Havelock recently had the chance to talk with Fitch, who seemed incredibly modest about his achievements.
VRJ: You have had a very illustrious career, much of which has been intertwined with Briggs Cunningham. How did this association form?