Jerry Melton’s 1968 Detroit SCCA Regionals
From yesterday’s shots of the ’67 LeMans—perhaps the biggest sportscar race in the world—to today’s snaps from a regional track in the midwest; there’s virtually no end to the historic images and stories that drive our
sickness passion for vintage racing.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Waterford Hills Road Racing course. This was my home track growing up. It was where I saw my first club racing and my first vintage racing. I vividly remember 911s and even VW Golfs lifting a wheel at the crest of Hilltop Turn; and seeing more than a few cars lift 2 and sometimes 4 wheels if they overcooked it. That was it. I was hooked. So when Cliff pointed me to these Jerry Melton photographs from the June, 1968 SCCA Regionals at my beloved Waterford, I couldn’t just keep them to myself—could I?
I can’t resist sharing one more: Many of us know Garret Van Camp through his dominance in Formula Vee. It’s marvelous to see him in his earlier incarnation racing a Porsche Speedster. Check out that strap to the roll bar holding the door shut!
I’d seen Formula 1 cars thunder down the closed city streets of Detroit, their cacophonous engine notes echoing off the windows of the Pontchartrain Hotel and reverberating through Atwater Tunnel. But it was these smaller club events at local tracks that made me a lifelong racing fan. Even today, it’s these regional events that give me the greater thrill. A thrill that Jerry has managed to capture beautifully in these images from the June ’68 SCCA Regionals. Check out more of Jerry Melton’s archives on Etceterini.
I saw my first ever road race at Waterford Hills. I have been, in one way or another, involved in the sport ever since. I leave Friday to marshal my thirteenth LeMans and it all started for me at the greatest little track on the planet in, if I remember correctly, in 1959. Bob Clift and the “white mule” ’53 Corvette ruled the track along with Martin Tanner in his homebuilt H Modifieds with Johnson outboards under the hood. His accelerator spring was a rat trap spring.
I saw racing at Waterford Hills in 1998 while attending a 356 Registry East Coast Holiday. Part of the Holiday was a day at the track event. Despite my affinity for Porsches, and there were scores of them there of all types,including the big boys,what impressed me most was a hot rod Mini that just went all out on that twisty track and dominated. Absolutely a challenging and memorable track!