|I recently received an email from Bill
Culkin, Peter's son, who shared some of his memories of his father and
the great car. (Photo by Ortega Gomez)
From Bill Culkin:
"Your site and the list of drivers brings
back endless childhood memories. I spent most of my childhood on
the road around those fellas. I even spotted two of my father's (Peter
Culkin) cars in your pics. Here's a little trivia for you :
The Mercedes-Corvette was a monster!
Scared everybody ! My father painted it silver (the same color as his MB
300SL) and terrorized the racing circuit. Overpowered everyone.
Now, something you didn't see. Both cars were stored at our home
in Clover- dale under a covered carport. Cloverdale, CA, was
a small town, ~ 2500 population, one of those towns where everybody knows
When my father used to fire up the Mercedes-Corvette
people from all over town could hear it roar and came running up to our
house to watch the show. People on Cloverdale Blvd. (Highway
101 thru town) lined the streets knowing what was coming next.
For you see, Cloverdale Blvd. / HWY 101
was my father's test track. Burn rubber down Haehl Street onto Cloverdale
Bl. / Highway 101 thru town and head north. Miles of straight stretch to
blow the carbon out! He road tested both cars this way but at least
the MB 300SL was street legal.
However, as you know, the Mercedes-Corvette
was about as street ILLEGAL as you could get! Anyway, the local police
knew the routine and would head north and escort him back into town and
back home. The cops loved it !
In the mid-60s the Mercedes-Corvette
was retired. The car minus the engine was sold and the engine lived
on to win championships in a super modified and a sprint car. The
engine's last run was in a sprint car at Calistoga the night that Dave
Ridenour was killed (driving a Cobra sprint). We were with the Ridenour
family that night and our sprint car was retired the same night.
My father's true love was the MB 300SL.
It, along with hundreds of trophies and awards, was sold to a pharmacist
in the Sacramento area by the name of Jerry Jensen. Jerry was
a long-time admirer of the car and had a standing offer for years to buy
it if my father ever wanted to sell. It is my understanding that
Jerry built a special display room in his home for the car.
Thanks again for sharing your Old Racecar
site and memories. Good luck."
William ( Bill ) Culkin