N. Lake Drive One-Hundred Per Hour Club

 

 Car Stories


 

 

This is from Tom Schultz, our Historian.

 

 

About two weeks before the KIC I received a call from Johan Worheide. He is a vintage race car collector and racer, as well as being the US representative for Lola Heritage, which is the 'official' repository of Lola information. He called me with some questions about the upcoming KIC. In the course of the conversation he mentioned that he was coming with a Lola T-70. I told him that I loved the look of the cars, considering them perhaps the most beautiful rear engine sports racers. To my surprise, Johan said that I should stop by and he would give me a ride if I was interested. Guess how long it took me to make up my mind!
 
Saturday morning Jerry Entin (who was at our last dinner and who knows everybody in the game) took me over to the car and said that Johan, who was off at the driver's meeting, told Jerry to see if I could fit. Not as funny as you may think. The car was a T-76 coupe, s/n 76-144. I emptied my pockets and took the various pouches off my belt, stepped over the threshold, stood on the seat, and then slowly lowered myself into the cockpit, laboriously threading my legs under the forward cockpit bulkhead, and slid down into the seat. I fit! Very snugly, to be sure, but I was in. It would work, and I would get the ride! Then I had to get out, which is another story, but with a lot of grunting, bending, and pulling, managed to heave my way out of the car.
 
An hour later I went to Johan's transporter, the car was there, the door was open, and Johan said, 'let's go!" I repeated my clown act from earlier in the day, and got seated. Johan, with much pulling and tugging, got the six point harness in place, and I was strapped in. The door was then closed and I was surprised at the head room. But I should not have been all that surprised, as my seating position was very inclined, with my chin almost resting on my chest. Johan got in on his side, belted up, and there we were, packed in rather tightly, but ready to go.
 
Worheide flicked a few switches and pushed a button. BOOM!! the engine roared to life just inches behind my head. Johan took both hands and moved the gearshift into first gear, necessary because of a built-in detent to prevent accidental use of the gear. He drove through the paddock and out to pit exit. Then he floored it. The engine thundered violently, the car shot forward as if out of a cannon, and my head snapped back and hit the rear bulkhead each time he upshifted. Suddenly turn one was here and he simultaneously braked and downshifted. Even though I was securely strapped into place, my body strained against the harness, then was thrust left as the Lola roared through turn one. Up through the gears in a couple blasts, then heavy braking as the car whipped through turn three. Down the Moraine Sweep in a crescendo of noise as Worheide went up through the gears. In what seemed to be just seconds we were hard on the brakes and leaning left through turn five. Up the hill with an explosion of sound and then we were through six and whipping along in Hurry Downs, braking for turn eight. A long, long turn to the right took us through the Carousel and then the Kink was right in front of us. Through that and we were roaring through the Kettle Bottoms, which is anything but straight. We had to tip toe through Canada Corner since there was a lot of oil on the track from a blown engine in the previous session. Up through Thunder Valley, looking straight ahead at turn 13. I noticed that from such a low seating position that one cannot see over the rise at what is now called the Billy Mitchell Bend and that one crests the rise quite blind. Into 14, around the turn, and roar, wham, roar, wham, roar, wham, up through the gears along the main straight, with turn one rapidly approaching.
 
We did three laps, all much as the first one. Finally, Johan pulled into the paddock and I could not complain at all, as he had promised me but one lap. Two more, what a bonus!
 
Worheide threaded his way through the paddock traffic to his stall, blipping the throttle incessanlty, using the engine as a horn. The Lola pulled up alongside his motor coach and he cut the power. Silence. Sudden silence, only some ringing in my ears, even though I had earplugs in place. A mechanic opened the door, and I very slowly levered myself out of the cockpit. I felt as if I had just stepped from a small boat onto a pier, as my legs were wobbly and I was a bit unsteady. Jerry Entin handed me my wallet, cell phone, camera, etc., which I slowly put in my pockets. He did not have to ask me if I enjoyed the ride. My ear to ear smile told everything.
 
Thanks very much to Johan Worheide for the opportunity; a marvelous thrill indeed, especially for me who never raced but has enjoyed in vicariously for 54 years.

 


 
Notice Tom's N. Lake Drive 100MPH Club  shirt!
 
 

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