Publish date:


Sports car racing teams dress the part for a reason

A new heraldry is developing in America—that of the sports car racing fraternity. Its car-paint colored uniform is the coverall, but a coverall as far removed from the grease-monkey variety as a Lancia is from a hot rod. Its knight-errant is James H. Kimberly of Chicago, who since 1950 has raced in custom-made fire-engine red, from crash helmet to Ferrari. "Red's easy to spot," says Kimberly, who has to take signals from his all-red crew at a 150-mph clip. This summer drivers, mechanics and timekeeper wives at the Chanute Field, Ill. races wore the yellows, reds and greens of MGs, Jaguars and Cunninghams or the lucky checks of the finish flag.

When in the pit Mrs. C. L. Attaway Jr. wears chartreuse two-piece coveralls—"So my husband can see me when I wave him by," she says. Another crewman shows driver his position.

Chanute Race chairman Ben Harris III (left) checks with Mrs. Alice Kremer, captain of timers. Mrs. Kremer chose her black-striped yellow uniform from her own sports car apparel shop in Chicago. Above, driver Walt Gray, begrimed with tire dust, climbs judges' stand. His cuffs are secured for clutch and braking freedom.

Millionaire Jim Kimberly's plastic visored crash helmet, like gloves and coveralls and even socks and shoes, matches his red Ferrari. He won two races at Chanute—the Chicago Cup at an average of 82 mph and the Chanute Trophy at 79 mph. Below, a Kimberly crewman watches race from the custom-made maintenance van.

Redhead Ruth Victor and her Jag-driving husband Bill are track veterans. Ruth crews for her husband in a vest checkered like a winner's flag. Other checks at Chanute: socks, shirts, caps.