|Mike Savin, son of AC
Bristol owner Edwin Savin, contributed his memories of this Sacramento
"Bob drove for my dad.
The AC was tuned by mechanic Bill Rudd who worked at Dad's shop.
Dad (Ed Savin) owned the car. Bob did a great job of driving the
I was present at this
particular race weekend. It was a big deal for me. I had just
started 9th grade, and I was allowed to travel with the men from our home
in the LA area (Monterey Park) to Sacramento. I had never seen the
state capitol -- and was excited about it. Took some time off from
school. (My dad had the same philosophy as Mark Twain: "I never allowed
schooling to interfere with my education". I shot some great 8 mm
night shots of the Capitol building all lit up, besides shooting some movies
at the races.
On Saturday, only the
second race for the AC (and the first with its new paint job), Bob drew
the dead last starting position. The crew joked, called him "Dead
Ass Last Oker" -- seems he often drew last position (drew numbered marbles
from a jar).
In this event, there were
many cars of larger displacement: Jags, 300SLs, etc. It was a 10
lap event. Before too long, Bob had passed everyone and was beginning
to lap the field. The crew signaled him to slow down. He didn't.
When he came back in, the crew asked why he ignored their signal.
He said he was trying to catch Drake (Bob Drake). Drake was supposed
to be driving a 300SL in this event (he didn't make it).
On Sunday morning, there
was a huge to-do about the AC. This was the first AC Bristol imported to
the US. The argument was that AC would never build enough of these
cars to qualify as a true production car (and thus wasn't actually legal
to race in this class). An AC Bristol had a 2 liter engine -- the
AC six was rated at 100 hp. The Bristol, in it's lowest stage, about
120 as I recall. Anyway, the car's performance, and Bob's driving,
really impressed everyone. The protestors wanted the car's engine
torn down, but no one put up the necessary money to have it done.
I do remember the announcer
saying how beautiful the car looked. Bob ran this car in 22 races.
Got 20 first place trophies, and many overall production class wins, 1
second, and one crash (at Honolulu). Quite a record.
Carroll Shelby was a friend
and business associate of dad's.
Dad had exclusive distributorship
for the first synthetic lubricant, Steen C. Carroll was a distributor
for Texas under dad. I always thought that 59's performance inspired
Shelby to build the Cobra."