Funny Story - Riverside CanAm 1972 | FerrariChat

Funny Story - Riverside CanAm 1972

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by Miltonian, Feb 4, 2004.

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  1. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
    Milton, Wash.
    Full Name:
    Jeff B.
    I was looking through some old Autoweeks this evening, and came across this story, which I thought I would share with you.

    "There were, of course, the usual Southern California oddities entered, but none was so odd as Parkes' 512F Ferrari. The car was bought by one Ray Keller, the 26-year-old proprietor of "Carpetbags of America" the nation's largest manufacturer of fabric handbags for ladies. Keller had never been to a motor race in his life. He had decided, some time earlier, that since he already owned six Ferraris, a seventh would be nice, and if it were a race car, it would be an appropriate present for the Cunningham museum. He set out for Europe to find a car. He went to London, no car. To Paris, none to be had. No cars in Rome and none in Amsterdam. Finally someone mentioned Filipinetti in Belgium and off he went to discover his curious relic just sitting there waiting for him. He fell in love on the spot and bought it.

    From Belgium, Rome is not a long drive, and Keller decided to motor on down. On the way, he stopped in at a tobacconist and picked up a copy of the Paris Herald Tribune to discover to his delight that there was shortly to be a race at Riverside. Perfect! He had just bought a race car and someone was having a race. He would enter it. Somehow he finagled Mike Parkes into driving and there it was, bright red and painted with the number 13. Everyone was delighted except Keller who was evidently a little overdelighted. First, he got into a punchup with a member of another crew when Parkes was maligned as a driver, then he was so overwhelmed when his car finished 10th that he jumped in it about 5 minutes after the race ended and started charging around the track. Since this was the first race he had ever seen, perhaps he could have been excused by really civilized men. But race stewards are not notoriously civilized and the sight of a red coupe with numbers on it wailing and weaving around a race track swarming with spectators was less than appealing.

    They flagged him down. But Keller, totally inexperienced in such matters, hadn't a clue what the flags were for except perhaps to give him encouragement. He raced on. Then they stood out on the track and tried to wave him down. Keller took that for hearty approval and continued. Finally, they blocked off the track with some trucks and Keller HAD to stop. Since he had entered the car under Parkes' name and his appeared nowhere in the entry or anywhere else for that matter, the only thing the stewards could do was disqualify the car. Such is the fate of the carb carpetbagger."
  2. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Er, that is interesting ... if somewhat weird :D

  3. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    Great story.
  4. wax

    wax Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 20, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    Nice story. I'll have to ask an uncle of mine if he recalls the event.
  5. Etcetera

    Etcetera Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 7, 2003
    Full Name:
    Wow, this is an odd story!
  6. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    that's great, my SCCA buds will love that.
  7. Roland E Linder

    Roland E Linder Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    Full Name:
    Roland E Linder
    I loved that story about the 512. For the record, Filipinetti was the Swiss
    importer and in Belgium it was Garage Francorchamps under Jacques Swaters.
    Jack-the-lad likes this.
  8. joopjoldersma

    joopjoldersma Formula Junior

    Dec 6, 2003
    Full Name:
    Joop Joldersma
    A good story. I had heard something like this, but did not know if it was true.
    I have it as a 512M"F"; the F is for Filipinetti and ít's sn 1048.

  9. manta22

    manta22 Karting

    Jun 6, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    Full Name:
    Neil P. Albaugh
    Although his was an old post, I can confirm that Miltonian's "Funny Story - Riverside CanAm 1972", was substantially correct. I was on Bob Peckham's crew during the '72 & '73 Can-Am season. Bob drove his M8C McLaren to an 11th place finish, just behind the Ferrari 512F of Mike Parkes. When the owner jumped into the car and drove it around the track, the car was disqualified and Bob's car moved up to 10th place. It meant a few more $ to us, a totally unsponsored shoestring effort, but I'm sure it must have been a disappointment to Parkes, who worked so hard to place the 512 as high as he had.

    Regards, Neil Tucson, AZ
  10. TooTall

    TooTall Karting

    Sep 15, 2006
    So Cal
    Full Name:
    Kurt O.
    I was at that race and remember the "victory lap" vividly. The 512 and the Zipper Alfa sounded great and contrasted so well with the big block V8s and the Porsche Whooshmobiles. I need to dig out my photos from that weekend.

    Kurt O.
  11. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

    Feb 9, 2005
    Bocahuahua, Florxico
    Full Name:
    Tone Def
    I was working that race also, I only remember a few people running down pit lane yelling. I was done with my assignment so I left when the checkered fell. Very interesting to hear what happened, but now disappointed I left before watching the action.
  12. Mark C Harvey

    Mark C Harvey Karting

    Jul 17, 2018
    West Hartford, Connecticut
    Full Name:
    Mark C Harvey
    I appreciate this thread is old now but have to give it a bump. You see I just met this Ray Keller guy, in Ely, Nevada. Last Saturday, I had just collected my first Ferrari from San Francisco, and was having a adventure driving it home to Connecticut. On Saturday, the 3rd day driving, I deformed a front tire on Highway 6.

    The road is a dream, straight, deserted, but very hot. We limped into Ely with the front of the car bucking around and pulled into a tire place. While we had a couple of new tires fitted this guy drives in, in a pickup and asks what I paid for the car. Turns out to be Ray, and I listened to him talk about all the Ferraris he used to own. He had an amazing collection at one point. These days he runs a firewood business in Ely, a town on the edge of nowhere surrounded by the greatest roads I have ever seen

    FYI some details of my 3500 mile trip:

    375+ likes this.
  13. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    from owning the largest woman's handbag manufacturer in America to selling firewood? read the racing story above again, unbelievable.
  14. ForzaV12

    ForzaV12 Formula 3

    Sep 15, 2006
    Laguna Niguel
    Full Name:
    I was at the race. True story. Miss that incredible track.

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