Sebring 1960: John and Jack Win the Index
Originally published on September 9, 2009
By Jack Gordon
Jack Gordon continues his narrative of the Le Mans and Sebring events of 1960, in which he and journalist John Bentley competed in two different 750cc OSCAs. His first article covered the Le Mans event (read OSCA at Le Mans) which came after the Sebring race addressed here.
In 1957 I began to think seriously about driver schools and what to take to school, knowing that my 56 Healey’s handling and (un)reliability needed improvement. A friend of mine told me that John Bentley had a used Alfa for sale that ought to be suitable, so I went over and liked it as the Alfa already had the stock 4.1 axle changed to a 4.55, which is what you want for short or medium SCCA courses.
The next year I went down to Sebring as part of Bentley’s pit crew, he had a really crappy looking Elva MK.3 1100 set up with 4 Amal carbs and no paint on the body; in fact it was all lumpy. I said to myself who is this Ray Nichols guy who doesn’t know how to finish off a car? I kept doing driver schools and regional races and picked up a few trophies along the way. In 1959 the SCCA gave me a National ticket and I did one race at Montgomery airport but my drive-to-work Alfa was not competitive with the big boys from Cleveland and Chicago. It was about then that Bentley suggested we go halves on an OSCA for Sebring and we were off and running.