In this video, RO enjoys a day at the races with Walter Carrel and his vintage racing car “Lizard,” a classic 1970 Zeitler. Sheridan Fahnestock, the cars original owner, then offers his thoughts on vintage racing and the camaraderie that comes with it.
A Day at the Races
[Walter] I’ve been racing this for five years. We’ve won two championships with it. So, it runs and runs and runs and runs. The Zeitlers were the absolute hot shoe back in the early 70s, and they won the SCCA championships. But now, I’m down horsepower, but I give everybody else a good race, and sometimes, old age and treachery. Currently, I’m the custodian of this car.
The “Zeitler” Brand
The original owner bought this car. It’s a 1970 Zeitler, and it was built in Pennsylvania, and he was living in Virginia at the time, and he raced it for about two years and had a kid, and wound up having to sell the car. Sheridan Fahnestock, the original owner, moved out to Vancouver, Washington, and he got a hold of Dennis, and Druten found out where his old car was, and went down to California and bought it in boxes. And he reassembled it better than when he raced it, and started racing it with Sovren, our vintage racing group, in about 1995.
Buddies Hanging Out at the Vintage Car Race
And he retired five years ago, and I was deemed worthy to buy his car. It runs and runs and runs and runs. Its name is Lizard, and you can see the little lizard on the side of it, and even the lizard has a story. Sheridan had a younger brother that had some sort of a congenital disease and passed away about age 10, and his brother gave him that lizard. And the lizard went on the car when it was first brand new, came off the car when it was raced in California, and then when he gave it to me, he left the lizard on.
[Sheridan] Vintage racing is like SCCA regional racing was, back in the 1970s, when I was doing it. It was fun, it was casual. You went out on the track, you had a good race, you came back in, and you pounded your buddy on the back, ’cause you had had such a good time out there. We all have this common interest in cars and racing machinery. Very often, we have absolutely no idea of anybody’s political leanings, and we don’t really need to go there, because our friendships are based on respect, and mutual competition, and the sheer joy that one has in racing, when you’re out there, and nobody can bother you. You are in the car, you are alone, you are totally concentrating on what you are doing, and you are racing.
Sheridan Fahnestock: “You Are Racing”