My Car Quest

December 11, 2014

John Fitch – A Great Racing Driver And Much More

by Mike -

John Fitch has a background that many of us may not know. Below is a recent photo of John Fitch with the Fitch Phoenix at his home.

John Fitch and the Fitch Phoenix

John Fitch and the Fitch Phoenix

This week Stephen Mitchell wrote about his interview with John Fitch for Stephen’s upcoming documentary on the Carrera Panamericana.

I know the name but did not know a lot about the history of John Fitch. Motivated by Stephen’s article I searched, and read, about John Fitch. You should read too, I have included some links for furthur reading.

John Fitch won many sports car races including the 1953 Sebring 12-hour race in a Cunningham car. He ran the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times, finishing as high as third.

John Fitch and the Fitch Phoenix

Photos of John Fitch with the The Fitch Phoenix are by Jeanette Dumouchel, supplied to me by Stephen Mitchell.

John Fitch was the only American on the Mercedes-Benz racing team, he later served as the first manager for the Corvette racing team and he was the first general manager of the Lime Rock Park race track.

He was also a pilot in the US Army Air Corps during WWII.

Plus there is much more about his inventions in safety innovations – the Fitch Barrier (aka “Yellow Barrels”), the barrels filled with sand that we all see on US freeways, and more. Click below and read on.

“Star Driver” John Fitch Honored By Mercedes-Benz At 2006 Pebble Beach Concours

Racing Safety with John Fitch

UPDATE:

Sports Car Digest wrote about the 1957 Sebring 12-Hour Grand Prix today. John Fitch was mentioned several times in the article here.

Click on the images for a larger view.

John Fitch and a Corvette

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Comments

  1. Stephen Mitchell says:

    A nicer man than John you could not meet!

  2. I've seen the Fitch Phoenix at the Greenwich Concours, when it was gray. It must've been repainted, looks great in blue.

    He is truly a remarkable man, so incredibly accomplished!

    Darren

  3. Mike Gulett says:

    He is indeed remarkable. He also was the original distributor of Bizzarrini cars in the United States.

  4. jeepdave says:

    He is a great guy a wealth of info on the subject of cars,racing and life. Have had many great times over dinner and beers up at lime rock park. By the way the Phoenix looks ahsome in blue!!

  5. Mike Gulett says:

    Thanks to Stephen for making these pictures available for my use here. I am looking forward to Stephen's documentary on the Carrera Panamericana.

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