Tuesday, December 13, 2016

From co-racing in Le Mans with Dan Gurney, team driver of the Scarabs to directing episodes of Rockford Files, A Team, and Chips.... a guy I've never heard of before, and can't figure out why! Bruce Kessler

Ferrari 250 Testarossa serial number 0666, Dan Gurney standing by their race car for Le Mans

In 1954, after graduating from Beverly Hills High School, he decided college was going to slow down his racing career so he became a crew member, driving the parts car for Porfirio Rubirosa’s Ferrari in the last Mexican Road Race.

He started in the big leagues in May 1957 with the 1st race at Lime Rock, for Chinetti, in a Testarossa. And won. BAM!

The motor sports editor for the New York Times wrote that when Bruce was asked where he learned to drive like that, he said “Everyone in California drives like that”.

After Lime Rock. he was sent to Le Mans to drive for Porsche. Auto Sport said “The young American’s test was very impressive turning lap times very close to Jean Behra’s lap time in the same car”. He finished the season at Nassau winning the 2 liter modified class driving for Chinetti.

In 1958 he was deeply involved with the development of the Scarab and was a team driver, and ended up 3rd in the USAC sports car standings.  Carroll Shelby even lived with him for a while when moving to California and they were teammates for Maserati.

After a crash ended his racing career, and he started directing, and did this short film on the Scarab Formula One team

Kessler — acting as producer and director shot the groundbreaking The Sound of Speed at Riverside Raceway in California during 1961. It featured the Scarab car fielded by his friend Lance Reventlow, and went to the Cannes Film Festival.

Just take a look at the IMDB page for Bruce, it's nearly every tv show in the 70s and 80s http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0450314/

He directed tv episodes of the Monkees, Sally Field, Barbara Eden, Raymond Burr, James Garner, Robert Blake, Buddy Ebsen, Claude Akins, William Shatner, Lee Majors, Stacy Keach, and the tv shows Chips, Greatest American Hero, A Team, Hart To Hart, Knight Rider, Hunter, and Riptide


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