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Pobst Position: My Choice for Hall of Fame
Page: 1 Links
When I ran my first season of Volkswagen Cup, I became great friends with an amazing SCCA racer from Niagara Falls, NY, Peter Schwartzott, The Professor. We were thrown out of first and second together at the Mid-Ohio VW Cup round in 1985. Our independently-written appeals were almost word-for-word the same, and though they failed (see my old column), the whole drama led to our lifelong long-distance best-friendship. Peter is now in his 50th year of SCCA racing, having started at Mosport when the locals still warned that there were wolves, in the early sixties, in a TR3.

Peter is an amateur/pro racer, but as he so insightfully pointed out to me, amateur is from the French word amour, which means love. Amateurs race for the love of it. Peter always has, though usually in pro series, like the early Trans Am, all of Volkswagen Cup, then Escort Endurance and World Challenge. He has had great success and many wins over the years, always stretching the dollars of a teacher's salary, with three children, too boot.

Peter's career as a college professor of art design left him with many summers off to pursue racing, while wife Carol held the fort at home, bless her heart. THAT is love. He worked so hard, assembling slim-budget sixties' Trans Am cars like a Datsun 510, a Shelby Mustang notchback (sold for $3500, now worth a million), and a Camaro, then found the SCCA Scirocco, then Rabbit, then Golf, Volkswagen Cup as a place he could afford to race competitively, and did so for almost all of the races ever staged (same place I started). Always preferred the pro series', because he was good enough to win the money he needed to make the next race. Without it, he would have been unable to do so much. In the Scirocco/Rabbit days, he often drove to the races with the race car, sometimes bringing his kids for "cultural enlightenment". He even had a nifty trailer made from the back half of another Rabbit with, of course, a matching paint scheme! Many a time he flew in late or drove overnight because of his teaching commitments earlier and later in the year.

Peter had great success also with the Pate brother's team of Volkswagens in the SCCA Pro Racing Escort Endurance series, then in his own Hondas in World Challenge, winning races and championships all the way to this very day. Peter finished fifth in his own brand-new home-constructed Civic at the last WC race at Sonoma, at the ripe old age of 73! His son Pete, Jr. is racing a B-Spec Mazda, by the way, and is still working to match the pace of his old man.

The SCCA career of Peter Schwartzott spans hundreds of races and fifty years. Always intensely competitive, and a classy, smart, enjoyable, eye-twinkling presence in the paddock. And never mentioning the fact that he did it all with only one and a half arms! He will hate me for this one, because he would never, ever say a word about it himself, but he is a true inspiration to anyone with a physical challenge, though he never had a PR person working the media for the attention that he truly deserves for his amazing accomplishments. Peter's left arm was injured as a child, he almost lost it, and it ended up rather stunted. Well, it never slowed him down. Peter is always a fast guy, always a threat to win, including today. We co-drove TC Kline Racing Firehawk Hondas in the nineties, winning almost everything. He was champion in 1993. I don't know how he does it, but I so admire him for his abilities as a racing driver and his delightful personality.

I have submitted this humble, heroic SCCA driver for our Hall of Fame, and I hope he makes it. Either way he is a real credit to this club, and I am lucky to have know him so long, yet only half of his career!
 
 
 
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