It remains to this day one of the most controversial and fiercely debated Formula One Grand Prix races of all time. Coming up on the fortieth anniversary of the legendary 1973 season that saw Jackie Stewart win the World Driver’s Championship, there’s still the controversy of who should have won the Canadian Grand Prix, which took place on September 23, 1973 at Mosport International Raceway. What should have been a routine race ended up being anything but, with the race marking the first time in Formula One history that a Safety Car was deployed and the resulting confusion over who the actual winner of the race was.
Over the 1974 season I made many new friends in racing among the drivers, the crews, the marshals and the other journalists. There was one other prize I had spotted several years ago and this I wanted. It was the red armband of either the European Racing Press Association(ERPA) or the American Racing Press Association (ARPA). I applied to both. I got a reply from ARPA and was accepted into this exclusive organization. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a reply from ERPA. The ARPA application I found out later nearly did not make the cut. I catered mostly to the drivers and the sponsors. I did not work for any particular magazine or newspaper. I did a number of covers and the odd story, but it was the sponsors who paid the big bucks and it was them I geared up for. The letter of acceptance from ARPA was a big day for me. The package arrived with a red leather armband with gold embossed letters and my photograph neatly tucked inside a small window for all to see. I stood in front of the mirror just looking at it on my left arm. At the track I wore it off my belt as it was tight on my arm. I had arrived!
The car business had given me new powers! I now knew how to sell myself. I knew how to project my ideas to any listener. I knew how to sway a potential client to my intentions and I now knew how to persuade that client that what I had to sell him or her was going to have a long term benefit, not that owning a Porsche or Volkswagen would have any other effect on them than drain their bank account. I also learned that the sale was everythingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦that is until I sold my own Mother an Austin Marina! That thoughtless act and my failure to protect my Mother from financial ruin through the endless sinkhole that car represented left great rifts between us until I eventually bought her a decent car to make amends. Unfortunately the new Toyotas of the day were not the best choice either! It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t until I got her a new Honda Civic that she was happy that is until not one, but both front fenders, fell off due to rust. These two delightful incidents happened within about twenty miles of each other! She was really pissed at me and promptly went out and bought a brand spanking new Dodge Omni! She liked the colour. She eventually rolled it over north of Newmarket in a snowstorm and spent some time in the hospital. This actually brought us closer together as I spent a lot of time visiting and listening to the whining about cars and weather and every other thing that generally put her off. My son, my girlfriend, my Mother and I all lived in a nice little home in JacksonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Point on Lake Simcoe. Unbeknownst to me, my Mother and my girlfriend did not get along at all, but both kept me in the dark about their problems. My brother wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talking to me for some reason and I later found out my Mother was sharing her experiences with him which pissed him off. No explaining family dynamics at times.
Over the past few years here in The Garage we’ve discussed the legitimacy of clone replicas and continuation builds. All of us agree there is a place for these cars, just so long as the owners don’t attempt to deceive anyone as to the actual provenance of said car. Thanks to Paul Chenard, we have just one such example today.
Paul’s friend Jennifer Revson is the late Peter Revson’s sister. She remains active in the enthusiast sister and continues to manage her brother’s affairs since his death during practice for the 1974 South African Grand Prix. At the 2009 Monterey Historics, Jennifer saw the McLaren M8F above and was informed by the owner that it was indeed a McLaren team car. A few inquiries around the paddock brought to light that the car is actually a replica that was built by the Commander Motorhomes racing team from spare parts.
A few weeks ago, Ms. Revson saw the same car at the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance, again being passed off at the original Revson car. I’ll let her take up the story:
Sports Car Digest has published a great story by friend of The Garage, Lou Galanos, about Peter Revson at the 1972 Daytona 6 Hour Continental. As always, Lou’s article is accompanied by some incredible photos. Lou describes the changes that were made to the FIA sports car endurance racing in 1972 and follows Revson and the Autodelta team through the Continental weekend.
For those with an interest in the history of sports car racing, this is an absolute must read.