I'm Jim Hayes
and this is my page about my vintage racing
- While growing up in Nashville, Tennessee,
my brother and I became interested in sports car racing. While drag
racing and stock car racing was more popular there, we had lots of
"road races" being held on abandoned military air bases throughout the
southeast, in places like Courtand, Huntsville and Montgomery, Alabama
and Bainbridge, Georgia. We also had several purpose built courses
like Mid America Raceway outside of St. Louis, and War Bonnet near
Tulsa which are long gone, but Mid Ohio and Virginia International
Raceway in Danville, Virginia, are still with us.
While we started in sportscars with a MGA Coupe, my brother gravitated
to selling cars, exotics to be exact (Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes
Benz, Fiat and Ferrari) and we soon traded the MG for a '62 Alfa
Giulietta Spider. After a year as my personal transportation, the
Spider became a SCCA racecar and we began a five year stint of SCCA
racing. In those days, I was the mechanic, he was the driver.
Besides the courses noted above, we ran on roads in places like Burns
Park in Little Rock, Arkansas and Montgomery, Alabama. Here's
what Burns Park in Little Rock looked like:
Those were great times in Nashville. At one point, there were three or
four Alfa Spiders being raced out of the dealership, along with an
Alfa GTA, a 904 Porsche, several Abarths (one double bubble and a
Allemano spider) and even a Ferrari Monza with a Corvette engine! We
even ran a '65 Giulia Veloce at Sebring in '67 (photo shows the Alfa
being passed by one of the factory Alfa Tipo 33s.
- Alas, an aborted year in grad
school intervened, then a short time back working on my brother's
McKee ASR car and a Zink-Alfa sports racer, even crewing a little
Can-Am, before I gave up and went to a conventional job.
Fast forward to the late 1980s, when the company we started was
successful enough that I had some spare time and money became
available, I restored a Giulia Spider followed by a Giulietta Sprint
Coupe racecar, formerly raced by Rod Chambers of Glendale, California.
That got me into vintage racing, where I felt very much at home.
In 1993, I found our original Spider racecar in a barn in Nashville,
where it had been stored since 1971! Unfortunately, that same year, I
had a suspension failure on the Sprint at Mosport and did three
spectacular "snap-rolls", fortunately only damaging the car - not me !
But the coupe was a writeoff.
- I restored the Spider as a 1600 Veloce
(in yellow as it was raced) with a GTA gearbox and disks as a
I raced the yellow '62 Spider from 1993 to 2001 and it was fast!
Got a bunch of trophies and was second in class one year in the SCCA
vintage series in the NE. The photo below shows me beating the VSCCA
hotshoe in a Jaguar at NHIS to win the feature race.
- I decided in 2002 to retire from racing.
We rebuilt it completely and I sold the car to a friend in New England
who continues to race it actively - appropriate for a racecar with a
real history - now spanning >50 years!
- In 1995 I had the opportunity to test
the new Alfa Spider on a visit to Italy for the US club
magazines. While there, I travelled all over northern Italy, visiting
Maranello (Ferrari was closed!), Mantova to see the new Tazio Nuvolari
Musuem, Monza, and the Alfa Museum in Arese. I also attended a vintage
car show and swap meet in Ferrara and shot this photo of the new
Spider with a '59 Giulietta Spider!
While I was racing
I even had my own trading card!
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© 2002-2018, Jim Hayes