Preserving Memories of Watkins Glen

Special Guest post by Jim Hayes

My high school art teacher, who in the 60s drove Alfas and Porsches and shot using Leicas and Hasselblads, got my brother and I started on the right track. My brother went on to run a Ferrari, Porsche, Alfa and Mercedes Benz for dealer that at one point had nine cars racing in SCCA competition and in international events such as Sebring and Daytona. While I went to college and grad school, I spent my spare time as a mechanic on sports racing cars and amateur photographer attending many races, including SCCA, Can Am and the US Grand Prix. I always had my Leica M2/Summilux 35/Elmarit 90 with me and shot thousands of photos.

Roger Penske Mark Donahue

In 2002, as we were preparing for a move from Boston to Southern California, I began to think about all those photos and all the books I had collected on cars and racing. I had three boxes, almost 100 books, just on racing technique, covering racing sprint cars in the 1930s to brand-new books.

Ferrari Dino Sebring

I had been racing vintage Alfas for more than a decade and had met the founders of the new Watkins Glen Racing Library. When I offered them the books, they were delighted to have them. They also asked about old photos. I had already scanned hundreds of the the photos from the 60s and 70s and posted them on my website.  I was often asked to contribute to magazine articles, books and websites like this one.

Jim Hall, Chaparral

Since then, I have convinced others to make similar donations to the Library. As we get older, we all wonder what will happen to all those photos and other “junk” that we have collected. Finding them a good home like at the Watkins Glen library ensures that they will not get tossed in the trash by someone who wonders “who would want all those old car photos?”— Jim Hayes