Lotus Elan

PLN at first regional race...in an Elan!

PostPost by: jabingb » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:58 pm

A couple of old east coast Lotus friends unearthed this amazing picture of PLN, at least to those of us old enough to recognize him.

So, according to Don Tingle who commissioned this among other shots taken by photog Lou Jones, it's Paul Newman of course, at Thompson, CT, on June 18, 1972. As my other friend out there, Noel Poduje stated, "Newman with his steely eyed stare". Noel also related he thought the car was owned by Dick Yagami at the time and it may even have passed through Noel's hands later.

Don related as well that while downsizing a few years ago he decided to toss his mass of slides, projecting the better ones and taking digital shots of them first. I had hoped he still had the original but no such luck, but at least we've got this!

I'm not sure if Newman had already become associated with Bob Sharp at this point, Don or Noel may have mentioned it but, I suspect someone on the forum will fill in more of the blanks!
Jerry

pln.jpg and
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PostPost by: JimE » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:08 pm

Newman in an Elan. Brilliant. Jim
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:46 pm

Also at Thompson:
paulnewman_elan_cprod_1970.jpg and

Different race # though...
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PostPost by: nhhiker » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:18 pm

I just read a book on the history of Thompson race track in the last few days. There is a photo of this car in it. Driver was unknown!!! I had to laugh that they missed naming him!

I do remember being told that Bob Sharp was helping him at this time. Look at the number..33, Bob Sharp's number.

He was very friendly on the Friday and Saturdays, but was holed up on race days.
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PostPost by: cbguerrajr » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:53 am

Hey, the second photo was taken by me!! 35mm B&W film.
One of the photos was from a drivers' school, the other one his first regional.
I raced a TR4 in same race and took that picture in the staging area.

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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:27 am

cbguerrajr wrote:Hey, the second photo was taken by me!! 35mm B&W film.
One of the photos was from a drivers' school, the other one his first regional.
I raced a TR4 in same race and took that picture in the staging area.

Carlos G.


Wow, you raced with Paul Newman, now that's a great story to tell the grand kids!
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PostPost by: ecamiel » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:09 pm

As I remember, the Elan belonged to very nice guy who worked as a mechanic at Bob Sharp. Bob had a Lotus connection, he raced a Lotus 7 ( against my 7) before he became a Datsun dealer
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:25 pm

A friend of mine's dad used to own an XKE that got raced against Newman a few times. The story I heard about Newman was that he was hyper-competitive before and during the race but then one once the checkered flag fell he was everybody's friend and invited other drivers to his trailer for beers. I'm sure he's still missed.
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PostPost by: ftsoft » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:22 pm

Thompson was a very weird Track. The transition to the oval was always a free for all.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:41 pm

I agree on the friendliness part-we were racing at Seattle about 1983 and Newman was there racing - for Sharp probably- and he helped push start my friends Cooper Norton, thus giving him a story to dine out on for a long time!
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PostPost by: cbguerrajr » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:01 pm

"As I remember, the Elan belonged to very nice guy who worked as a mechanic at Bob Sharp. Bob had a Lotus connection, he raced a Lotus 7 ( against my 7) before he became a Datsun dealer"

That's correct, he's the guy with the striped shirt in my picture. I think he still owns the Elan which is being restored.


"Thompson was a very weird Track. The transition to the oval was always a free for all.".
Thompson was a very weird Track. The transition to the oval was always a free for all.
That's for sure! At the old Thompson, you entered the oval at the top of the banking while at the same time turning left. It felt like the world dropped off from under you and you couldn’t see what was coming up to your left. There was one very exciting moment in that race when I was following PLN entering the oval, me with a little too much enthusiasm got slightly airborne and out of control sideways and very nearly ran into PLN's Elan. That would have ruined the day for both, and for me, it would be one of those things I could never live down!
Good old days.
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