A man for all seasons
It is with pleasure that I picked up the new book Sam’s Scrapbook by Sam Posey. Full disclosure: I am already a long-time Sam Posey fan. My passion for motorsport led me to IMSA and LeMans, Indy and my relatively close-by track at Lime Rock. Sam Posey was everywhere in those arenas racing seemingly everything.
The thing is, Posey is far more than a racing driver (and pretty good one at that). Posey is also a fine writer, artist and tv personality. You may have seen him providing commentary on ABC broadcasts of the Indy 500. He also provided those beautiful preambles to so many Grand Prix broadcasts. Mr. Posey’s previous book Where The Writer Meets The Road was wonderful. Like the current book, it’s a collection of his favorite past motorsport escapades on the track, in writing and on tv.
In Sam’s Scrapbook, Posey recounts highlights of his life and career in short form. Photos seemingly Scotch-taped to the page illustrate his thoughts. This is a peek behind the man and his thoughts, while exploring his curiously varied careers.
Posey’s blessed career
Having a sufficient budget to start racing with decent rides is important. Even Mario Andretti couldn’t win races without a good car and that holds true for everyone else too. Mr. Posey was able to graduate early from some endurance racing to compete in the 1966 Can-Am series with a McLaren. It did not go well with many DNFs.
Later forays into F5000, Trans-Am, LeMans, Indy cars and more Can-Am brought considerable attention to his talent on-track with more good rides.
Posey may be best known for driving the bright green factory Dodge Challenger in the historic 1970 Trans-Am series, widely viewed as a classic season for all time. The Challenger was not the match for the Penske Camaros or Bud Moore Mustangs, but was thought to be the next best car. It certainly was easy to pick out in photos.
A 4th place finish at the 1970 LeMans in a NART Ferrari 512S led to another Ferrari drive at Lemans in 1971 in the NART 512M.
Indy in an Eagle, drives in more Ferraris and some for the BMW factory placed him as a driver that was now at the top of his game.
The Calder BMW at LeMans
For me, the pinnacle was his drive in the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL decorated by the mega-famous artist Alexander Calder. Apparently he got the drive because of his interest in art. This was the first of the “BMW Art Cars”, and is one of the most valuable. The car qualified 11th overall but only lasted 6 hours before the engine broke. However, the part about Calder himself was funny as heck. And eye-opening!
A career to remember
Top drives followed at LeMans, notably with Harley Cluxton’s Mirages, the same one that won LeMans in Gulf colors in 1975. Posey raced the cars with some success in 1976 and 1977 and then concentrated on racing in America until his retirement from active racing.
This is another terrific Posey book
This is an easy read with illuminating text coupled with lots of photos. It would make a great gift for yourself or any racing enthusiast. The book contains great prose about a very interesting and successful racing driver.
You can pick up a copy of Sam’s Scrapbook by Sam Posey from Motorsport Collector or your favorite book seller.
More books, art and other racing diversions can be found here.
The complete array of racing craziness here.