The Ironman of Daytona

May 7, 2013 – 09:43 pm
1929 Riley Brooklands Images

The Daytona Speed Weeks are upon us and I’ve really been enjoying working my way through the Speed Channel’s 15 hours of live coverage of the 24 Hour Grand-Am race.

The most interesting part of the race for me didn’t happen on the track. It was a part of the commentary that may have lasted around 30 seconds. A reference was made to a George Waltman of Kingston, NY, who had passed away on January 7th at the grand age of 87. It was enough to have me scouring the Internet to find out more about this remarkable man.

Waltman raced in the 1968 edition of the 24 Hours, and what made him different from the other drivers that year was, unlike the three/four/five driver teams, he competed as the ONLY driver in his Aztec Racing Morgan +4. No co-drivers, no pit crew.

Not only was he a one-man team, but he drove the 1, 000 plus miles from New York to Daytona by himself. In 1968, the racing regulations stated that he had to take a one-hour rest break after every four he was on the track. During that time he would service the car, grab a bite to eat or go and take a nap. He would place an “Out to Lunch” sign on the car when leaving the pit area during the rest period

Waltman’s Morgan was the last car running at the end of the 24 hours, finishing 30th overall, 335 laps behind the winning factory-entered Porsche 907. After the race was over he posed for a few photos, changed the oil, checked the tires and cleaned himself up before driving back home to New York. This wasn’t Waltman’s first barbeque when it came to driving solo in endurance races, though. In 1962 and 1963, he raced at the 12 Hours of Sebring in a Triumph TR4.

Source: Cruisin' Photography

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