Thursday, July 14, 2016

want to read a great true life story of right place, right time, met the legends - and became one?

here is just one short snippet for example from the life story of Nate Jones, who among other things works with JPL, helped to restore the USS Iowa, and founded the Long Beach Gran Prix:

Nate Jones Tires has been a Long Beach institution since the early 1960s when, during a road trip to the Yukon Territory, Jones found himself so impressed by the Michelins running on his 1955 Chevrolet that he called back home to his friend and mentor, Mel Hamer (himself a legend in the world of brakes and wheel balance), and announced that he wanted to be a tire man.

Once back home in Long Beach, Jones rented a single bay in Hamer’s shop and set about steadily growing his business, eventually becoming Michelin’s exclusive racing tire distributor for the western United States for 25 years.

By 1966, Jones thought that perhaps the racing world might have an appetite for his wheel-balancing services, too, so he loaded up his equipment and made the 70 mile trek east to Riverside International Raceway, then West Coast racing’s epicenter. At the track gate, Jones announced himself and asked the guard if he could offer his services to the teams gathered for the following weekend’s Can-Am race.

The guard directed Jones inside and mentioned that he might want to talk with a fellow by the name of John Surtees, who, rumor had it, was displeased with his current wheel balancers.

After talking briefly with Surtees – at the time only a few years removed from winning world championships in both Formula 1 and in motorcycles – Jones was permitted to see how he might help the team’s Lola T70 racecar. Surtees then hopped into the cockpit and headed out to test Jones’s work.

No comments:

Post a Comment