It was January 6, 1963, with fresh snow lining the course around Malboro Speedway in Upper Malboro, Maryland. The SCCA’s annual “Refrigerator Bowl” had 110 cars registered for one of the major events of the year on the east coast racing circuit. An amazing variety of sports cars took to the course. Dr. Dick Thompson, known as “The Flying Dentist,” debuted a Yenko prepared 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Z06 to take the win in A/P over Don Yenko himself. At the wheel of an FJr-class Elva, future SCCA Hall of Famer Mark Donahue finished second to Bus Brosenne in a Midget. Meanwhile, Don Greimel piloted his Morgan SS to victory after a hard chase by Hollis Webster in a go-kart!
Photographs of the race cars being flung around the track lined with snow, printed results by class, and a full accounting of the race can all be found in the February 1963 issue of The Straightpipe – the long-time newsletter of Washington DC Region. This amazing record of SCCA racing has been re-discovered thanks to the efforts of the archivist team working on the SCCA Archives which are now housed at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen. With funding from the SCCA Foundation, Joe Cali and Rick Hughey organized, rehoused, and inventoried some102 cubic feet of regional newsletters and magazines from the archive over the past year.
Lead Archivist Jenny Ambrose explained: “The regional publications document the activities of more than 100 different SCCA regions from all over the United States from the 1950s to the early 21st century.” The collection includes newsletters ranging from glossy, professionally printed magazines to mimeographed sheets. “They contain a wealth of information about regional races and club activities. Charming drawings and cartoons and photographs from local tracks provide visual documentation that enhances the articles, meeting minutes, race schedules and results, standings, party announcements, and lists of new members,” Ambrose noted.
Thanks to funding provided by donors to the SCCA Foundation, this amazing collection of region newsletters is no longer lost to future generations. Instead, visitors to the IMRRC will find the publications sorted by region and date to facilitate research. In addition, the staff created an electronic catalog of the full collection which will be available online starting in January 2018 at: www.racingarchives.org/the-collections/sports-car-club-of-america-archives/