32 - Jay Gillotti and "Gulf 917"


I and. I thought people might appreciate hearing the lives of what happened to these individual cars over the last almost fifty years when we finished writing because at the end of thousand, nine, hundred, one, all of these cars were obsolete. Some of them were sort of left for dead. This is cars that matter. This is Robert Ross with cars that matter welcome and I would like to welcome a very special guest today Jay Jay. Jay is up in Seattle at present I'm in Los Angeles and we are having a great conversation over Zoom J.. Welcome to our program takes Robert. I'm glad to be here. You've got quite a story and I think we've got quite a conversation in store especially for people who love very very special and very important race car. But before we tell everybody what that is a little something about you, you retired from the big corporate life in two thousand sixteen and by my reckoning, you're still a young guy, you've been able to focus on a centrally a second career as an. Automotive writer I don't want to shortchange. You've been actually doing that for a long time but now you're doing full time. So I don't know if I should say condolences are congratulations but I, think that's a great transition. I. Think it's congratulations good news is when I retired from the corporate world I said that I wasn't really retiring I just wanted to work on things that I wanted to work on. So that's pretty much what I'm doing you certainly are, and of course, your name ring a bell with me when I first got this notice too have a podcast with because. Time Porsche CLARICA member I've seen your name in Panorama, and obviously you've got a lot to say about porsches. We're here to talk today about a book that you have just published with Halton Watson Fine Books. It's a book called garden of nine seventeen or that one word and that one number it just pulls at the heartstrings of race fans everywhere. It would not be an understatement to say that this book is really a majesty aerial achievement is damn near two inches thick about five hundred pages and almost as many images. J I wish our listeners could actually hold it in their hands because it's a hugely impressive thome Oh thank you very much. Obviously, culminates a close to a forty year love affair with a porsche nine seventeen actually longer than forty years. If we really want to get into it that goes back all the way to the first time I saw Steve McQueen's film which would have been the first time they showed it on network television in the US which we think was somewhere around nineteen, seventy, two or three. So I would have been eight or nine years old and impressionable age obviously made a pretty deep groove in the psyche enough to make you the acknowledged expert on the cars well, maybe one of the acknowledged experts there are several out there besides me certainly a modest. For those listeners who may be familiar with the name Gulf and familiar with Porsche model designation nine, one seven, it's a pretty complicated historical talking points. Tell us what makes the nine seventeen such an important car. First of all, it's a car that was designed to win the twenty four hours of Lamont. Time and perhaps still is the most important motoracing the world. So at that time I think globally, it was the most important motor race and Ferdinand who was head of research and development for Porsche clearly set out to build a car that was capable of winning overall at Loma Porsche had been many many class wins at Lamont in the first twenty years of their existence, but they hadn't won the race overall. So that's what he really set. Out to do with the nine seventeen and he was successful Porsche was still a relatively small company in one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, nine when they started building the nine seventeens I think Porsche assault about fourteen thousand cars. So you compare that to some of the other manufacturers and Porsche really was still a small family owned company. Mercedes was like gm by comparison, and of course, Porsche has gone on to win the Mall Nineteen Times in total. Since. Then the second thing on the nine seventeen is as with everything porsche does is engineering based and they're always looking for transfer from the race cars to the streetcars. So the nine seventeen brought us a lot of experimentation with exotic metals and alloys. It was the first use of vented and cross drilled brakes. It was the first experiment with ABS antilock braking system, and of course, turbo charging for the can am nine seventeens that's technology that. Very quickly made its way to the streetcars, and now if you look at what portions doing today, the majority of all of forces cars, especially, sports cars are turbocharged. The third thing is the nine seventeen has become a car culture icon in part due to Steve McQueen in the film. As we mentioned, it's a pretty high power association between a very charismatic individual and I would argue the nine seventeen is a highly charismatic car in fact. Steve. was famous for upstaging his co stars especially early in his career in film and I would argue if you watch Lamont, the nine seventeen actually upstages him. The fourth thing on the nine seventeen is just speed people love sheer speed and the nine seventeen set numerous speed records in seventy vic. Elford was the first person to look Lamont at one hundred, fifty, mile an hour average speed in the nine seventeen, seventy, one, they were pushing something over. Two hundred forty miles an hour down the Malzahn Straight and at SPA in seventy one, our Gulf cars average speed was one, hundred, fifty, four miles an hour for a thousand kilometers, and that includes the time the car stationary in the pits and federal Rodriguez set the lap record at one hundred and sixty two miles an hour on a public road. That's the fastest sports car race ever run and I doubt that record will ever be beaten. Jay this is an incredible overview of an incredible car putting it into context. Probably everybody listening to this show as seen the recent film for versus Ferrari, and of course, the Ford GT and the Ferrari three thirty s of the period were remarkable cars but they essentially became antiques wants the nine seventeen hit the scene. It changed the game for everybody didn't the funny thing is the nine seventeen in a way also grew out of the Ford. Versus Ferrari period because the FAA theoretically was not only worried about the sheer speed of the GT forties with their seven leader big block American engines but also people tend to think that the French maybe weren't too happy about the Americans coming over and winning them on the way they did with a kind of a crushing display of money and horsepower. So the FAA changed the rules after Gurney and foyt one in sixty seven in the mark four. The FAA change the rules and said for sixty eight you've gotta come down to three liter prototype, which was the same as a formula one motor, but they left the door open to a quote unquote sports car series produced sports. Car could be up to five years, John Wire and the Gulf team carried on with. GT, forty with a small block because the GT forty, they had already built more than fifty. So it was approved from a homologation point of view and they could continue to race the GT forty with the two, eighty nine. Yeah. So the golf team went onto win lomb again, sixty eight and sixty nine with their GT forties and Porsche in sixty eight. Of course, came out with a three liter prototype the nine hundred eight which had invested a lot in an thought was going to be very successful and it was successful a lot of drivers like that car. They're a terrific cars however at the end of sixty eight, the Gulf. Team had won the championship for Ford, the Manufacturers Championship because Lamont counted for more points than any of the other races. The Gulf team had used all three chassis. He's during the season whereas Porsche had built somewhere around forty or more racing cars for their racing effort in sixty eight so that I think became a concern for ferry Porsche just amount of money that or show is spending on the other hand Ferdinand. Win The FAA changed the rules and said okay, we'll bring it down to twenty five cars for group four, five liter homologation Ferdinand. Had that light bulb moment said wait a minute we're building these cars anyway why can't we just go ahead and build twenty five cars all at once and will get a molestation approval for a five litre sports racer based on our nine, and that's really how the nine seventeen project got started. Let's jump off and help me understand and those listeners who may not have a full taxonomy of nine seventeen under their belt. There are so damn many of them what are all the various you talk about short? Tails and long tails and spiders in these evil canam cars and even a sixteen cylinder prototype at one time, and let's talk about the Gulf cars because that is what your books about. The first twenty, five cars that were bill actually came with two tales. You could have a short tail or a long tail. The Tales were detachable and you could run them either in a short tail or long tail form. The problem was the car was highly unstable. No matter what till you put on it at that point. Those. Sales obviously were the fashion statement. Tell us what they were used for the long tail was supposed to be lower drag for high speed circuits. They did use the short tail at SPA even though spas a high speed circuit, but neither tale worked particularly well because the car was so fast. The Art of aero-dynamics in motor racing at that time was still something of a black art and they just didn't understand that the cars were going so fast that they were creating lift at the rear of the car. The rear wheels were literally trying to take off at speeds up around two hundred and beyond, and so of course, when you rear reels lift up off the ground, it's unstable and hard to control but in sixty nine, Porsche also tried the first open cockpits spider of the nine seventeen for the Canam Joseph drove the car in the Canam in sixty nine kind of an experiment. They didn't have the horsepower to really race against the mclarens but Joe did pretty well I think he finished in the top five and. All of racist he did in sixty, nine, four, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, and seventy one you mainly have to variations. You have the short tail nine Seventeen K and that's the tale that was jointly developed by the golf team and Russia Porsche also developed a new version of the long tail for Nineteen seventy-one in cooperation with Sierra. ESI are a which is the French arodynamicists and that car was much more stable and much faster and allowed vic as I said, do that hundred and fifty mile an hour lap at. Lhamo. Then we have the spiders again both for Canam and Inter Siri Racing in Europe where you didn't need headlights, you didn't need to have a roof. There were sort of canam rules and there was no minimum weight. So you could cut the roof off and have a spider, and then for Canam in seventy two, they developed the nine seventeen ten which eventually became the first Porsche to be turbocharged and from nine seventeen ten, we went to the nine seventeen, thirty in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, three, that was. The big brute wasn't all nine, seventeen thirty as raced by Mark Donohue and Penske team developed. You hear all kinds of numbers and it's hard to really nail down what the numbers were certainly something in the region of twelve hundred horsepower or more depending on the boost was available to mark in the nine seventeen thirty, probably the nine seventeen tens everybody else was racing were somewhere close to that in terms of horsepower big power for the time especially given the rubber technology and breaking and everything else they had contend. With, turbos were pretty primitive animals back then to turbos were common in all track indy-car racing and had been for quite a period of time. But to use a turbocharged engine for sports car racing on a road circuit was a whole new different animal to try to make the car controllable and make all that power usable on a circuit where you have to speed up and slow down and go around corners and so on. That was all new territory donahue and the PENSKE team helped a lot with Orsha in. that. As we say, the rest is history nine, hundred, seventy four we had a nine thirty nine eleven. Amazing. How quickly that technology made it to the street and then Porsche went on win numerous additional victories Atlema with turbocharged nine, thirty, six, nine, fifty, six, nine, sixty, two thanks for that primer on the nine seventeen, a fascinating family tree of remarkable cars. But within that family tree, you have focused on the so-called Gulf cars everybody probably. Knows Gulf blue I'm fan of it. A true confession. I've got a car skull Luke because for me, it represents probably the most iconic racing team in history. So you've got a book called garden nine seventeen. We got the Porsche Factory we've got Gulf oil the John Wire racing. Tell us what it's all about. How did it all come together? It's actually what I would consider an early experiment in what today we would call outsourcing Porsche. Counts Ferry Porsche thought that Porsche was spending too much money on their racing not just money but also engineering resources in a small company. He thought perhaps his engineers were spending too much time actually traveling to the races and conducting the race as opposed to being at their desk and designing the next generation of Porsche streetcars as well as racing cars, and then there is a. Little bit of if you can't beat them, join them I mean Porsche had lost the championship and lost at Lamont to John Wires team in sixty eight. So they came up with this idea to actually outsource the factory, the official factory Porsche racing team to John. Wire with golf sponsorship for Nineteen Seventy and seventy one that's how the Gulf nine seventeen story. Got It. Start important piece. Of It was toward the end of nineteen, sixty nine, the very first test session that was attended by John Horseman who was the Chief Engineer for the golf team was a test session at Zell Egg in Austria, and they still couldn't get the nine seventeen to behave on track. The sixty nine was a troublesome debut for that car. Is that right? The drivers were afraid of it? Some of them were anyway my friend Vic Alfred, was not afraid of it. He loved it even though it was spooky handling but being a rally driver I think gave him a little different level of confidence with being able to control the car on track at least Lama, which is where he almost darn near one them all in one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, nine, they were fifty. Miles in the lead when the transmission case cracked nine seventeen did win its first race in August of sixty, nine at Zolt but the car is still wasn't handling in a way that gave the driver's full confidence in the car was doing. So in October of sixty nine, the first test that was attended by the Gulf teen with John Horsemen the engineer they basically figured. It out John Notice that the little nats little bugs were collecting on the front of the car but there was nothing on the tail. There were no little bugs. No little dead bugs even though the tail flaps were raised almost full vertical position there was just nothing e just said there's no air getting on the tail. So there's downforce back there. So the Porsche guys let him. Borrow. One of the two coupes that was there and they cobbled together using some she aluminum and pop rivets tape. They basically created this upward sweeping tale. It was an amazing transformation Brian Rudman was the I gotta drive it when this cobbled together tale was ready and I think he was pretty skeptical at first, but they had been trying to fix the car by adjusting the suspension. With spring rates and shocks and nothing was working and the drivers would only go out for two laps and then they would come in and they would shake their head would say, no snow better. But when Brian tried the so-called entail the first time you say it out for five laps and was going progressively faster came in the pits and famously said now it's a racing car. In the service of Motor Sports, and by the way, the resulting cars were some of the most beautiful profiles of any race cars there. John Horsemen gets a lot of good credit for some the problem, but I think that we also have to remember that it's pretty well accepted that the Porsche engineers that were out the test at least Helmet Flagel and Peter Falk over the Porsche. The test they knew full. Well, what the problem was. Their problem was with their boss 'cause Ferdinand had a mandate that the cars must be low drag. He wanted to go fast down the street. So minimizing drag was it for him, and so they didn't quite know how to tell their boss. We've gotTA SACRIFICE ON DRAG to get some down for us. So this car will handle, but they were conveniently then able to blame it on John Horsemen and the Gulf team, and they could go to their boss and say, look the Kars four seconds a lap faster, and when you think as Brian would say when you think how you struggle for a tenth or to. Turn it. That's a lifetime. Then when they put it on firestone tires, five seconds faster Porsche had to do the engineering of actually creating new rear bodywork based on the experiment that horsemen had done and that allowed for a bunch of other changes to the car that we're now. So familiar with all the exhaust could exit out the back of the car, the race tail allowed for the transmission theoretically stay cooler because there was more air circulation back there than in the original car. So to figure all that out and they only had about four weeks to create the new body shape. Oh, by the way at the same time. They were also working on a new shape for the nose. So it was a combination also of the new shape of the nose with the horsemen tail and they only had about four weeks before they had to go to Daytona for the super-secret test in November of sixty nine, and that is something I cover in the book because it's an interesting task because no photographs exist it was so secret in the book, I actually commissioned a couple paintings that are kind of like what if paintings? What if there were photographs what might have looked like at that test but that test proved that the cars were ready to race in this? New Configuration in seventy one the rest is history as they say, your book really is an exercise in obsessive detail and that's a good thing by the way one of the reasons that it. So again, I use the word magisterial is that it doesn't leave any stone unturned and it provides a Vin by Vin analysis of every single Gulf nine seventeen and they're fourteen chassis, and you talk about all of going into there was thought in the back of my mind, why do we need another book about the nine seventeen? The nine seventeen has been written about a lot more books have been published about the nine seventeen than any. Other. Porsche racing car I think I counted something over twenty books that have been written in the lasts forty plus years of course about the nine seventeen but I thought it would be nice to tell the story. The story hadn't fully been told from the English side from the Gulf team's perspective wire was British and all of this work was German car with German engineers at British development people and of course, international team driver there's certainly were politics because not everyone at portion necessarily thought this was the greatest idea to outsource their factory cars to the Englanders. The thought is that not everybody necessarily went along with us and Ferdinand Did a few things perhaps to hedge his bats, his mother, Louise, PEAC, own Porsche, Salzburg which is the Austrian arm of the Porsche business that was the importer for Volkswagen and Porsche in. Austria Sutton at Daytona in nineteen, nine, hundred, Seventy Gulf team shows up with two cars and all of a sudden. There's a third nine seventeen there that they weren't expecting and it's entered by Porsche. Salzburg Hair PEAC is there with worship factory mechanics he's got theoretically to Porsche factory drivers including Vic Elford, and so there was some question about internal competition there but the Gulf team did. Very well in that first race and Rodriguez and Kenan one with some help from Brian Rudman won the race by forty five laps. It was pretty crushing display, not only by the nine seventeen itself finishing first and second but also the Gulf team conducted the race in the way that Porsche was hoping they would, and that's really i. think what Porsche was betting on was the conduct of the racing program would be very effective under John Wires leadership and with golf oil from the United, states helping with paying the bills. Was it just by accident that Gulf was wrought? In and not Shell or Union or somebody else chapter three in my book is a chapter called Gulf verses Porsche and it talks not only about the period of time where golf was racing against Porsche. But it also talks a little bit about how the relationship got started between John Wire and gray. Davis, who is the executive vice president of Gulf Oil Grady bought GT forty for himself. That body might race that really started the relationship between Gray Davis and John Wire Gray Davis apparently consulted with John Wire about how golf could best deploy its marketing dollars relative to. Motor sport. Most of the other oil companies were spreading their dollars out very widely with Sinus, at the race tracks and putting one small decal on everybody's Car John? Wire. Very occasionally I think said if you would just sponsor one car in your callers, you would get much better exposure. Then the other fuel companies like elephant shell and wire may have been a little bit self serving in that advice. But as it turned out the combination of golf and John, wire was pretty successful right out of the gate in nineteen, sixty seven, which was their first season they did. Pretty well, there's an interesting story about the colors because initially great Davis, they used his GT forty at Daytona and see bring in sixty seven and he had it painted in the more traditional dark metallic blue with the orange, which was more the official Gulf corporate collars. But all the guys thought that color combination was a bit on the dull side. So they went looking for something that would pop a little more and so they came across the light blue with Marigold, which is the official name of the orange people just instantly took a liking to it in the. livery developed a little bit during the sixty seven seasons but carried on for a number of years. There's a whole color science to the light blue and orange and why they worked together and they're opposite each other on the color wheel and complementary colors. Yeah and again Steve McQueen movie The great question is if he hadn't made the movie when he made it, would we even be here talking about the golf cars I don't know I can't answer that question but it's an interesting thought experiment talking about Chief Engineer John Horsemen for the wire racing he was instrumental in. Informing your book is that correct? Yes, and we lost John this year unfortunately but I'm so glad that I met him and had a little bit of a relationship with them enough to consult with them. We got him to allow us to scan all of period documents that he still had from that period. Many of those documents we present in the book the race datasheets are particularly interesting I. Think what John would do is when he came back from each race, his handwritten notes would be typed up by his secretary in a standard format that they had started using. With the GT forties for each car at each race, there is to page onion skin like documents they were taped together and they're in a loose leaf notebook. John had for all these years and Halloween of two thousand seventeen actually is when I'll never forget spending a couple of days with John Going through the first draft of the book and all my questions, and then we went and scanned all those documents very carefully untamed ping taking them out of the notebook and then scanning them and putting everything very carefully back into the notebook, but it's great to share all that. especially. For people who really want to keep out on gear ratios, suspension settings, he makes note of the weather. That's fascinating. Love it. Take a short break, but we'll be right back. Welcome to like done better listen to the weekly episodes where supermodel and health coach Jill D. Young talks to some of the world's most inspiring women in health and wellness. It's the place for all the UNICORNS who strived to create a life on their own terms. Join us to explore, discover and create a life done better together. Listen and subscribe from Kurt Co Media Media for your mind. We're back with Jay. Gave One of interesting things about your book is that you obviously have a lot of pages to the drivers I. Know that a few of these guys have become friends talk about some of the stars that were actually having these cars. One of the perspectives I took on this book is that people might not necessarily know a whole lot about this period of history maybe they've seen the movie and. So they're interested in the cars but they don't maybe know the history in great depth maybe don't know a whole lot about the drivers themselves. That's why I also include a very brief introductory chapter on the early history of Porsche because people might not be Porsche Aficionados. But they might think the cars or pretty cool and that way they can learn a little bit about where Porsche came in first. One years but the drivers who are still with us many of whom have become friends of mine and helped a lot with the book would be Brian Redman, Vic Elford and Derek Bell. But we have a sidebar for each of the important drivers that did multiple races with the golf team. So that includes also the Great Joseph and the Great Pedal Rodriguez who were the number one drivers and who. Were two of the top drivers of that era both in sports, cars and Formula One both very charismatic individuals. There was a tremendous rivalry at least on the track between SIFFORD and Rodriguez. They famously hit each other at the star of the race at. Spa. In nineteen seventy, there's quite a bit of video of that. So it was pretty intense rivalry they both thought they were the best driver and were. Out to prove it and they were both very successful federal Rodriguez was a little more successful in the. Gulf. Cars as it turned out but they made for an exciting pair I. Don't know how John Wire he tried to manage them but I'm not sure he was tremendously successful and I think once they got on on the track they kind of did their own thing. Yeah they were unmanageable at. That Point Pedro Rodriguez by most accounts, he was the more calculating driver. He was the more naturally strategic driver who would wait and look for his opportunity not overstressed the car because remember this is endurance racing. We're about we're not talking about sprint racing Sifford was more the charger as Brian Redman would say so sifford pretty much only knew one way to go and that was as fast as possible and. That, unfortunately, cost them the race at Lamont in nineteen seventy which turned out to be cautious I win at long really should have gone to the Gulf team of Sifford in Redmond but didn't because different Mr Gear and blew the engine which was the Seventeenth Achilles, heel like all great heroes are nine seventeen have an Achilles heel that you have to watch out for and unfortunately that costs Sifford in. Redmond the race in seventy that injury was obviously a layout that had not been explored by Porsche until that time. So Metzger designed essentially a flat twelve is that right? I? Mean that was quite complicated power plant I'm glad you brought that up because we need to give great credit to Hans Metzker who was porsche's engine genius for many many years in participated in or designed many of forces crate engines. Certainly. One of those when you think about it, the layout is similar to a date nine away what with four more cylinders? The main differences the power takeoff is from the center of the crank through a system of gears. It goes down to a prop shaft basically, and that was done to minimize vibration. So they used a lot of the dimensions and even some of the exact dimensions of the nine. Eight engine, but just made it four cylinders bigger took the power off the center of the crank. The most amazing thing to me about it is they ordered the parts for all twenty engines without ever building a prototype talk about a leap of faith and some confidence in their own engineering and it worked first time on the dino. It made something like five, hundred, forty horsepower more horsepower than any previous. Porsche. and was the first porsche engine to make more horsepower than it's weight, and then pretty soon with little development and tuning, they got it up to something like five hundred and eighty horsepower from the four and a half liter version that they race in sixty nine. One other thing that's fun about that engine is unlike many of our other Porsche flat engines are flat six, nine eleven and nine seventeen is not a boxer. The opposing cylinders do not box they move in the same direction and so that's why we. Argue about this endlessly but most of us, refer to it as one hundred Eighty Degree v twelve because the opposing cylinders move in the same direction. That's a fun argument in the facebook group that we have a little bit about that. Well, the primary group on facebook is called nine seventeen, the legend and I've been participating in it now for almost ten years and it's grown to an amazing number of members it's up to fifteen, thousand, six, hundred members, which is to me mind boggling, but it shows the tremendous enthusiasm. That's out there around the world literally around the world for the nine seventeen, the to gto groups combined I think have about six thousand members and we're sitting at fifteen, thousand, six, hundred for nine, seventeen, the legend. So that's pretty cool and the other really cool thing about the group is we are still to this day turning up photos that have never been seen before isn't that great how these amazing old photos many of them are just snapshots or whatever that have been digitized and show up in the group and We have some really lively column discussions about yeah. Some characters there's always a few. We have some unresolved chassis renumbering issues with a few of the nine seventeen, and so that becomes a very lively discussion. Occasionally, it's fun though we try to keep it fun and friendly. It really is fun to get into the weeds and again I mean your book does that in a fascinating way just being able to read the history of every one of those fourteen Chelsea's they've all had interesting lives. It's so interesting to me, I. Thought people might appreciate hearing the lives of what happened to these individual cars over the last almost fifty years when we finished writing because at the end of Nineteen seventy-one, all of these cars, Rob Sleet, some of them were sort of left for dead. These things were just old used cars. Once their racing careers were over and I guess one of their drivers was able to actually acquire. One Joe SIEFERT got a nine seventeen and that nine seventeen of course resurfaced after a long spell, a barn and it came. To Auction, that's chassis twenty four, a lot of US refer to it as twenty four dash to because it's really the second car to carry the chassis number Oh to four, but it was sold to Sifford and he leased it to sell our productions for the filming of the Lamar movie that's The star of the movie. Well, it's one of them because the other one is chassis twenty two which was actually owned by Solaar and is mainly driven by Steve McQueen in the stage sequences that were filmed for the movie. So, the two cars are both stars. SIFFORD's car than a sad moment came when it appeared in his funeral in nineteen, seventy-one Sifford and Rodriguez were both killed in one thousand nine, hundred, seventy one. That's sad. Part of my story is both of my number one drivers didn't survive Sifford was killed in a Formula One accident and Rodriguez was killed in Ferrari in a sports. Car Race is a dangerous job back. Then those guys were there double sifference car appeared in the funeral procession fifty thousand people and Freiburg Switzerland turned. Out For his funeral and they had the big black piece of cloth across the car but then the car was sold and it was gone, it was lost for the better part of twenty five years. It was stored in a barn near Paris? I. Think in France and then eventually it was discovered and restored, and then that's the car that sold at auction a few years ago when seventeen I was all over that thing and of course, the closest I'll ever get to owning one is thirty seconds scale model but. It was a remarkable thing to see, and of course, the secret is to the broom collection and it's on display there. Now, it's definitely a piece of history and never actually raced probably why it's still in one piece. Yeah, yeah, and again, all the individual Kassy's have led rather interesting lives since the end of nineteen seventy, one, seven of them were actually had their roofs cut off and they were converted to spiders for intercessory racing in. They've all now been restored back to coupes because they're more valuable that way some people are not happy about that part of it, but they're all back in Gulf colors now and restored to coupet form. Nobody was ever thinking fifty years ahead of power, the historians going to know. What we did with these cars, they had no way of knowing how valuable they were going to be book does serve to bring things up to the current state and will be regarded as a reference tool going forward to actually support the provenance of each one of these important automobiles and not to put too fine a point on it. These are important automobiles because the SEAFORD car that sold at gooding twenty seventeen sold for fourteen million dollars. That's not chump change and clearly I think it indicates the. Significance of these cars, not just to Coterie of collectors who can afford them. But in the whole fabric of motor sport, it's a rare racecar that achieves that kind of valuation. They're not the rarest of Porsche racing cars because Porsche did build quite a number of them but because of their appeal I, don't think I'm out on too much of a limb to say that the best of the nine seventeen, the most valuable of any portion is in the world we don't know exactly how valuable the. Best of the best are because they don't sell publicly. So we don't know exactly how much they're worth a few of them that have really superb race histories have been in the same hands for a long long time. So we don't really have an idea of how they would compare with safer are GTO money or whatever, but they're up there for sure I don't particularly love the word icon but if there's a good use of the word icon, Gulf nine, seventeen are right there nor argument at all. Well we're GONNA take a quick break, but we'll be right back. A moment of your time. A new podcast from Kirk media. Currently twenty one years old and today like magic defended from her fingertips down to the picture of yourself because the world needs you and you. Got It asked about me was ready to spit on my drink. Seniors were facing feel like your purpose in your worth is really being stopped me from. She buys walkie-talkies wanders to whom she should give the second. Humans we never did we never will we just find Rock climbing is that you can only focus on what's right in high and so our American life begins. We may need to stay apart but let's create together available on all podcast platforms. Submit your piece by Kirk Oh dot com slash a moment of your time. We'll come back cars that matter. Let's talk about the book itself as a Wannabe writer I think I understand what it would take if I could become a good writer and clearly I've seen that in your book, is it a fair question? Ask How long it takes to actually complete a book? Can you take us through that process? I'm not sure if my answer is representative of most books in the automotive space might be in my case you. Could argue it's a forty year process because I started collecting the information when I was in high school or certainly in college. When I was a freshman in college I bought my copy of John Wires book called the certain sound. That's way back in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, two, the book had come out I think in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty one but you still have it. Yeah. I still have it and I'm glad I, have it. Because if you go on Ebay, you're looking at three hundred and fifty bucks for a copy of that particular book. It's funny. The cars have gone up in value, but even some of the things like books and posters have gone up tremendously in value as well. But in the early nineteen nineties, I had a little bit of an epiphany where you have certain car guys who can just quote you facts and figures and just they can carry all. The information in their head about every portion of her bill or every BMW or every Ferrari or whatever, and I just realized I wasn't going to be that guy so I said, well, what can I do? Maybe I can focus on one car and really try to develop my expertise in one particular car and I said well, the nine seventeenth my favorite. So I'll concentrate on that since the early nineties I really tried to collect every shred of. that. I could find from a writing perspective. I did a fair amount of writing in the corporate world when I joined the Porsche Club in two thousand nine I started writing for our region newsletter here in the Pacific Northwest region called the Spiel and I did over forty feature articles for the Spiel before I sat down to do the books I'd had quite a bit of practice with that kind of writing. So when actually did sit down to write the Book on January third of two, thousand, seventeen I had a lot of information, a lot of experience going for me. So I think the writing of the first draft and then completing the book actually went pretty fast just because of all the prep work I know there are other projects in the automotive book space that go faster and I know there are a lot take much much longer than what we took on this book it sounds like you were able to. Take. Many many decades of experience and study in all of a sudden bring it to life within a short period of time advantage was I had a vision in my head, my other hobbies, music record, a number of albums of original songs that I've written. When you go to make an album, you sort of have to have an idea of what you want the finished product to be and with the book it was very much the same thing. I. Had A. Pretty clear idea of what I wanted to finish product to be I knew the structure I knew I wanted it to be chassis by chassis race by race. So it was already pretty well organized in my head and it was just a matter of pulling all the information together into some kind of a sensible narrative and also knew that I wanted to try to thread that needle between being a reference Book and a story book in the world of car. Books. Some books are really really great reference books and the authors are really concerned about getting all the information in there for posterity. But boy, they can be as dry as a piece of Melba toast. You need something to wash it down exactly and then there are great story books that are written about cars and automotive history that you can't really necessarily use as reference books at all. So I tried to go down the middle between those two and produce something. With a lot of good reference material, some of which had not been seen before had not been published before, but I was hoping people would actually read the book. So I tried to also make it readable the way it flows from one car to the next an within a certain chapter, how it goes from one race to the next my advice to people who buy the book is Read More Than One chapter at a time because there's a lot of information. There and if you want just read one race a time for that particular car, that's not a bad way to do it either can you tell us a couple of discoveries you made as you were writing the book I made it was there some stone you turned over and all of a sudden oh my gosh. Look at what's under this? Yeah. There were a few I didn't think that I was necessarily the greatest networker in the world, but I had some. Success networking amongst the owners and their representatives and previous owners of the car. Another person that we lost this year unfortunately as a guy by the name of John Thomas who was a great friend co-driver and wingmen for Otis, Chandler and Otis Chandler. Of course, was the owner of the Los Angeles Times and owned one of my cars the chassis seventeen, zero, zero four he owned it for many years, but he couldn't really fit in it because he was too tall. Guy His friend and his car guy adopted brother John Thomas is the guy who really drove it most often when they would either go vintage racing or just go play with the cars for fun and John was very enthusiastic about the book he loved that car and he would just go on and on about how much he loved it how much she loved driving it that particular car has an unusual tale unusual looking tail with unusual rear wheel arches in our facebook group we have been speculating for years and years trying to figure out where did tale come from why does it look so strange et Cetera et CETERA I. Managed to solve that one by talking with John Thomas directly because he had really been in charge of looking after the car for all those years that Otis owned it. So we were able to explain that one. Another one is the two cars that were purchased by Jerry Sutter field directly from. Porsche. In nineteen seventy, five, one of which is the car that ended up with Otis, Chandler. But the other one chassis sixteen that particular car there was little mystery around how much work had Porsche Don on those cars before they were sold and so actually having the honor of being allowed to use Jerry Sutter fields photo of the Two cars when they first came from Porsche, really solved all those mysteries about the fact that portion essentially did nothing to them. cosmetically course just got them built mechanically got them running, but cosmetically, they still had their nineteen seventy-one paint jobs. Chassis sixteen still had the orange roof paint scheme on it from Nineteen seventy-one at Watkins Glen where it had that livery, and of course, in the case of the car that went Otis Chandler where you can see that it did not have those strange rear wheel arches that later appear and still appear on the car. So that kind of stuff was really fun. I, like the detective work even. Though there wasn't that much detective work to do because these cars are so well known there wasn't too much in the way of mystery to uncover out but we uncovered and sorted out a few of the cars. Themselves would have been a whole heck of a lot more well known if we'd all been able to go to double beach this year because I know that there was a special class and you're instrumental in organizing that the good news is that it's going to happen next year and twenty twenty one. Can you tell us about what was planned at the concord elegance at Pebble Beach say that I was instrumental I? Was One person who did a little bit of lobbying and suggesting gently that maybe this would be a great year to celebrate the nine seventeen at Pebble beach because. It's The fiftieth anniversary of Porsche, winning Lamont for the first time and I thought we appropriate for Pebble Beach to celebrate that kind of a milestone and there's never been a class for the nine seventeen at Pebble beach before. So I was one of the people are not doing a little bit of gentle suggesting and was very nice of the folks that Pebble Beach to invite me to be a part of the subcommittee along with Ken Gross and Paul Hagemann to. Just sort of advise the selection committee in the background about the history of the different cars and which cars might be worth going the extra mile to try to invite to be in the class. Certainly, if it had happened this year, I think it would have been a very, very good display, very representative display on the history of the cars and hopefully knock wood. If we can all be out there next August, it'll still be a good and who knows maybe it'll be even slightly better display always a chance that one or two cars you know weren't available. This year might be available next year we'll just have to wait. and see but the nine seventeen is a car that matters and pebble beach is greatest car show. So actually when I was talking to Derek, Bell for my book, I had this crazy idea about bringing the nine seventeen to pebble beach and I asked Derek about it because been involved with Pebble beach a lot over the years and Derek sort of said, well, of course, we have to have the greatest sports car at Pebble, Beach Immune for him. It was like so no brainer. So I was happy about that. Well, there is much look forward to, and that'll be a great opportunity to celebrate the nine seventeen and your book. As, well, we should mention that the other things that were planned for Pebble Beach. This year are pretty mind boggling. So assuming it all comes together with a lot of the same content for next year, it should be an amazing event. It always is an amazing event. But when you talk about gathering previous best of show winners and featuring Pininfarina, those kinds of things will be I think equally great even though I'll probably be hovering over my nine seventeen very closely but I'll make sure to spend some serious time with you there. Maybe we'll have a follow up to this coversation Jay. Thanks so much for joining US thank you. Thanks to JJ Lodhi author wrote the book Gulf. For joining us today on cars the matter come back next time as we continue to talk about the passion the. In the passions. Who Dr. This episode of cars that matter was hosted by Robert Ross produced, by Chris, border edited by Chris Porter Sound Engineering by Michael, Kennedy theme song by Celeste and Eric Dick. Additional. Music and sound by Chris Porter please like subscribe and share this podcast Robert Ross but thanks for listening. Comb media. Media for your mind.

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