Monday, June 29, 2015

Denise McCluggage 1927-2015

No fool she, young or old, McCluggage lived in Santa Fe NM from the 1970's to her death.  (I love Santa Fe.)

I learned from Stirling Moss's website, from which these pictures were taken, that Denise McCluggage died earlier this year.  She was a pioneer.  She started her career as a newspaper reporter in the late 1940's--unusual enough for the times.  The sports car bug bit her in the 1950's.  She turned to (first) racing cars and (then, simultaneously) automotive journalism, which was even more unusual for a woman.  She was still writing and blogging about cars a couple of years ago (when last I read her).  I devoured her writing in the 1960's--it was witty and funny.

Like her contemporary Suzy Dietrich, McCluggage was genuinely fast.  But she was better known because she wrote about the racing scene and her own races.  Her best-known win was a co-drive to a class victory at Sebring in a Ferrari 250 GT SWB in 1961.  Also like Dietrich, she raced everything from Sprites to high-powered production cars to Porsche 550 Spyders.

Fellow anciens: how many famous racing drivers surrounding McCluggage can you identify in this picture?  Five, for me.
The car they surround appears to be an MGB and the venue Laguna Seca.

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