My love (sometimes temporary hate) affair with the Little White British Car (LWBC) began nearly fifty years ago. Influenced by a group of older guys driving some cool English and German sports cars, this was quite a change for a guy who worked weekends at the Alton Dragway and was pretty consumed driving a 57 Chevy fast in a straight line. I sold the Chevy and bought the LBWC from DeBrecht Imports in early May 1966.
“Ready for the Senior Prom”, May 1966
In the Fall of 1967, I was living at home and back to school at SIUE while sending most of the money I had earned that summer at Laclede Steel to Leyland Triumph-Midwest in Detroit for just about every factory competition part offered. Kas Kastner’s competition manual was, of course, a must have for any aspiring race car driver.
Fall 1967,”it’s much easier dismantling…”
I was fortunate to have had a lot of help from friends preparing the LWBC and getting to the point of fielding it for competition. I was also very fortunate that while attending an SCCA regional race, I introduced myself to a gent competing a buckskin colored TR-3…Bill Boemler. Bill installed my no-spin differential/gears, prepared my overdrive transmission and, more importantly, provided mentoring sorely needed by a very young guy wanting to be involved in a sport where money equals speed. The following photos were taken in March 1968 during SCCA Drivers School at Mid-America Raceway (MAR), Wentzville, MO.
“At speed heading down to Turn 1…”
“All lined up, ready to go…”
“Up the hill to Turn 3…”
“Ready for the next heat…”
Alas, my vision of being noticed and steadily moving up the performance ladder to drive faster production cars and eventually move to driving formula cars for someone never materialized…surprise. I fell in love with and married my best friend’s sister, graduated from SIUE and received a commission in the U.S. Navy, where I spent nearly eight years traveling all over. The photo below is from January 71, in front of our home in Monterey, CA. The LWBC has spent most of its life dormant in the garage in Godfrey, IL, while we attended to things at hand…3 kids through school, weddings, etc. Things have now changed though!
“January 1971….Laguna Seca is just a couple miles down the road…”
Front end rebuilt, carbs overhauled, a fresh coat of paint, and it’s back streetable since July 2012 as a vintage circa 68 SCCA spec prepared race car….available for dry weather touring and taking the grand kids for rides around the neighborhood.
“LWBC and Grand Kids….what a hoot!”