Michael Callaham -- Lotus Mk.23
(4-8-12)   From Paul G Imrisek:

"I think that the unidentified blue Lotus 23 #19 is Mike Callaham. You know I am sure that his Ferrari 625 TRC is to be auctioned at Monaco next month. 

(4-9-12)    Tony Ferrari to Michael Callaham:

"I saw someone on Tam's site said your Ferrari was going up for auction, but with the original 4 cyl. engine. Last time I talked to you you said you had a chance to pick up a 4 cyl. but declined because of the price. Did you buy one in anticipation of auctioning it? What is the story here?

(4-9-12)   From Michael Callaham:

"You have a good memory!  That first opportunity happened about 12 years ago, and I declined because I knew I would not actually use the engine. 

When it became available again I went for it (although the delay was very costly!) because the 2.5 L engine is very rare (only 3 ever made) and this is the original one my car left the factory with. So now an owner could choose the more enjoyable and glorious V12 for vintage racing etc. (as I chose to do) or the 4 cylinder if they wanted to go the full bore concours route or get Classiche certification. (The engine is not fully assembled but is complete and original, and also comes with proper TRC gearbox). 

BTW I have now reached the point where I have run more vintage races with 0680 than von Neumann put on both of the 625 TRCs together back in period. It will be sad to see it go, but I have had a wonderful time with it for 30 years and it was time (you'll notice how cars of that ilk have progressively disappeared from the race track in recent years)."

(4-9-12)   More from Michael Callaham:

"My thanks to all the vintage racers and spectators over the years (as well as those who raced for real back in the day) who have admired the car and provided me additional information about its history. Additionally I thank the great mechanics who have worked on it over the years, particularly Phil Reilly and more recently Patrick Ottis and David McCarthy, who rebuilt the TR V12 engine last year to as high a level of performance as a legitimate 250 engine can reach."

(4-9-12)  Your webmaster asked Dr. Callaham about the disapearance of 1950s sports/racers from recent historic events.  Here's his response:

"It depends. For some cars, like mine, it was partly valuation and expense. Not just that it becomes so expensive (and time consuming) to fix things that break (which often have to be made from scratch), but also at some point driving a car worth a zillion dollars in a race weighs on your mind. I think this is true not just for those of us who aren't zillionaires, but I know some who could afford to restore a TR every year but it still weighs on their mind - thus diminishing the pleasure.

More importantly for all cars of that vintage, there has been a change in the motivations of some of the drivers and many "safety improvements" which have transformed them into something other than the original 1950's cars they were and that their owners enjoyed. All of a sudden you are racing with guys who really need to prove something and think they are going to get a big trophy. 

The guy you should really talk to is Butch Gilbert; he recently formed the "Nifty Fifties" group of vintage racers to try to combat this trend and is trying to reintroduce self-policed authentic 1950's vintage racing. More power to him!"

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