Lou, Thomas, and Chris' Return Visit

The COVID thing really messed with traditions, regular visits, and get-togethers.  Things are still not quite back to normal which is irritating.  But we are all making progress.

My best example was a return visit by Thomas and Chris Payne and their Bonneville Racing legend buddy, Lou Bingham.  This happy three-some have visited Nan and I here in Carlsbad multiple times -- virtually every time they are in the San Diego area.  Every visit is pure joy.

And joy was on the the agenda in April when they stopped by for an afternoon visit.

Our first order of business was to check out the new Corvettes in Cary's garage.  Thomas, Chris, and Lou were already aware that Nan (finally) got her C8 Stingray convertible in October, followed 17 days later by her C8 Z06.  None of the three had ever had a ride in the C8 Z06 -- so we cured that issue immediately.  


Everyone took turns making a quick spin around Carlsbad in NAN'S Z06.

Next, we needed to check out the recently-repaired COKE machine in the garage.  

Nan served up pizza and salad and we spent our time catching up on everything since their last visit in 2018. 

Conversation flows easily when people have so many things in common.  We talked about the home and garage back in Philo, Illinois, discussed updates on all the cars, recounted the happenings in the Garage Journal, shared their travels to Bonneville and other car events, and, most importantly, the status of the famous "World Traveling Copy of Beltsville Shell"!

Lou told us about a scary incident when they were driving back from Bonneville recently as they were  side-swiped by a reckless driver on the Interstate in Lou's new truck.  Thankfully the damage was repairable and no no one was injured!  We all appreciated the reminder that, in an instant, your life's plans can be permanently disrupted.

Lou brought his laptop and we began looking at his classic photos of his Bonneville escapades from years ago.The part that I enjoyed the most was the retelling the story and photos of Lou securing his "Rookie" SCTA driver license at Bonneville in 2019. Here is the way Thomas tells the story:

Attached are some pictures from Lou's qualifying run for his rookie license in 2019 at age 87 years old in the car that he originally built in 1961. The first 3 pictures,  #4834-4869 are Lou demonstrating to race officials he can climb out of the car by himself in full race gear in case of an emergency. 

The pictures below show us  waiting at the starting line, and strapping Lou into the car prior to his rookie run. 


In the photo below, we see on the far right, Jill Iverson- chief starter at Bonneville, holding Lou on the line until the race course is clear, 5 miles of clean salt. 


The two photos below show us recovering the car down the course after his successful run. Rookies have to hold speeds under 125 mph for their licensing rookie runs and successfully deploy the parachute which Lou did correctly. 

The image below is just after his licensing run showing Lou's Fun Meter is peg at full MAX and the last picture is putting the car away after his licensing run. Thus, Lou Bingham, at age 87 became the oldest racer to earn his rookie license at Bonneville and the first to do it in a car he had originally constructed in 1961 and had set several speed records through the years with an eventual top speed in excess of 185 mph.

 Thank you, Thomas, Chris, and Lou, for sharing this classic story and these wonderful photos!

Nan and I look forward to your next visit, and the day that we can cruise up your driveway in Philo Illinois!

Cary & Nan

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Remembrances (and appropriate comments) are always recommended! Thank you, Cary