Formula Vee. Nassau. 1964.

Usually when I can’t identify much in a photo, it languishes on my hard drive waiting for the day that I can turn up something meaningful to share about it. This one, though, I haven’t been able to bring myself to just let it sit.

I’ve rummaged through race results, searched on the Googles for anything I can dig up… It haunts me for some reason. I think it’s because I just love this notion of waking up in the morning in a seaside hotel, hopping in the Vee and driving her across town to the pits to get ready for the afternoon’s main event.

It’s a simple enough scenario, but this idea of racing cars on the street among everyday traffic is just so foreign and thrilling to my contemporary eyes that it conjures a romantic sentiment that I can’t easily shake.

I’ve had no luck finding Formula Vee results from any of the Bahamas Speed Weeks. This photo from the Henry Ford Museum Flickr stream says it was 1964. Anyone recognize the driver?

3 responses to “Formula Vee. Nassau. 1964.”

  1. Jim Garaventi says:

    Great shot – The Bahamas Speed Weeks by Terry O’Neil has results from 1963 on for FV races, as well as some pics. Given rounder, fatter nose, thinking this is a Formcar (vs Beach or Autodynamics that also ran in 1964.) #48 Formcar was driven by Kerr L (Lewis) in one race, Timken J in another. Don’t see any other X8 Formcars listed. 28 was a Beach driven by Dobkin S, 38 also a Beach driven by Gartner F. That’s all that’s listed with X8 numbers.

    Let me know if you want full results.

    Really enjoy the site – thanks.

    Jim G

  2. In 64 there was a VW Grand Prix in Nassau Speed Week with Vees and Beetles sharing the same grid. There’s a good picture here: http://www.rallybugs.com/64nassau.htm that shows the Vees lined up behind the Beetles at the start.

    Also, I came across this interesting and related story:

    A. J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, and 2 Volkswagens pulled off one of auto racing’s most outrageous and successful stunts. In 1964, during the Nassau Speed Week, a Grand Prix for VWs was held. The 2 drivers devised a strategy for winning the 100-mi. race. As the race began, Gurney came up behind Foyt and began pushing him with his own high-powered bug. After 7 laps, Gurney had pushed Foyt around at such high speeds that they had passed every other car in the race. The 2 drivers kept the tandem positioning until they were within 1/4 mi. of the finish line; then Gurney passed Foyt and came in for the winner’s checkered flag. Gurney was disqualified because his car was not a regulation production VW, and that gave the $1,000 prize to the 2nd-place finisher, Foyt. Actually Foyt’s car had been one of the slowest entries. (quoted from http://www.trivia-library.com/a/strange-trivia-in-sports-auto-racing.htm )

  3. The First Annual Bahamas Speed Week revival took place in December 2011 with a week of Events including a 007 Island Tour with a wonderful Concours d’Elegance at Lyford Cay won by Rob Walton with his 450S Maserati. Sir Stirling Moss was Patron and brought his own OSCA and enjoyed himself immensely showing tab despite his ‘retirement’ you cannot keep a good man down !

    The Second Revival is scheduled for November 24th to December 2nd and the central Events will, once again, be the Sprint on the specially created Street Circuit at Arawak Cay and the Fort Charlotte Hillclimb. Both tracks are walking distance from Downtown Nassau.

    As Event Director I am working towards building Speed Week back to a world class Event and for 2011 we are asking for two small groups of Formula Juniors and Vintage Formula Vees to join in with some Demonstration Races. Back in the day such great stars as Jochen Rindt, Chris Amon and Bruce Mclaren drove Vees and we are keen to revisit this history. To this end if any owners of Juniors or Vees would be interested please contact me via the website http://www.bahamasspeedweekrevival.com or david@forcegrandprix.co.uk

    We have a chartered dedicated Roll On Roll Off ferry from West palm Beach so why not join us for some winter fun and sun. Oh, and some racing too !

    Jochen Rindt was the overall winner and in fact Vees revisited Freeport a few years back with many past racers including Brian Redman joining in. Brian has recently joined Speed week as Grand Marshall.

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