[1916 – 2009] Sid has been an SCCA member for over 50 years and classic car collector and exhibitor since 1952. Sid raced both formula and production cars in SCCA and vintage events from 1959 to 1997, and he was a regular participant in hill climbs in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. He was the SFR Activities Chairman in 1963 and Regional Executive in 1964.
But he is best known for his enthusiastic involvement in Concours d’ Elegance events. He helped to establish or participated in most northern California concours, including the prestigious Hillsborough Concours (which he founded 50 years ago), Pebble Beach and Palo Alto Concours. In 1974 Sid headed a committee that essentially “saved” the Palo Alto event by introducing high-performance race cars with traditional classics and vintage autos. He helped found the Classic Sports Racing Group (CSRG), the second oldest vintage race organization in the U.S. His encyclopedic knowledge of automobilia has made him the voice of Concours for SCCA, strolling amongst the cars on display with his “Walk Through the Classics”. In recent years Sid has been involved with numerous automobile enthusiast groups including the revitalized Mille Miglia in Italy.
[1933 – 2010] Roger Eandi joined the region in 1962 as a driver, having raced a Sprite, a Fiat Abarth and a Sunbeam Alpine. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1973 and held various positions for the next 20 years including Competition director, Assistant Regional Executive and Regional Executive from 1976 to 1978.
During this time he also became a steward and eventually Executive Steward of NORPAC from 1976 until 1993. In 1993 he was elected to the National Board of Directors and served 2 terms until 1999 and was the Vice Chairman for 3 years. Roger also held various chief steward positions for professional series including the S2000 series from 1982 to 1984 and the Super Vee Series from 1984 to 1991. He became Clerk of the Course, or Chief Steward, for the United States Formula 1 events at Detroit, Dallas, and Phoenix. He has received several local and national awards through the years. In 1981 he received the David Morell Award, presented to encourage continued participation in the stewards program. In 2003 he received the Wolf Barnato Award, SCCA’s highest honor for outstanding continued service to the club, and in 2006 he received the John McGill Award for significant contributions to the SCCA Club Racing program. He is presently the Chairman of the National Court of Appeals.
[1908-1983] At the SCCA National Convention held in Portland in 1981, Martin Illgen received the prestigious John McGill award for significant contributions to the SCCA club racing program. The honor was for 25 years of service to the racing community. Marty came to region in the early 50’s and eventually became the Chief Turn Marshal, training many people over the years, some of whom are still race officials or stewards. In 1984, for the 25th anniversary of the Racing Drivers Club (RDC) 4 Hour Enduro, the race was re-named the Martin Illgen Classic and then when Marty’s wife Margaret died in 1985, it was re-named again to the Illgen Classic Enduro.
John & Pat Kelly
[1935 – 2016] John Kelly of Pleasanton, California passed away unexpectedly on Saturday,
April 2, 2016.
[1933 – 2016] After a brief illness, Pat Kelly passed away October 14, 2016 only a few months after the passing of her husband, John. Pat and John Kelly founded the San Francisco Region Solo program and were key in developing the local autocross culture.
John and Pat joined the region in 1962 and 1966 respectively. Their involvement in motorsports began with the Highland Touring Club (John) and the Twin Cities Sports Car Club (Pat), progressing to the Nor Cal Sports Car Council. They initiated the SFR autocross program with Bob Leard, Jr. at the request of Region Board in 1971 which has grown to the largest and most successful program in the country, having produced more national champions than any other region. John served as chief of Solo2 from 1971-1973 as a member of the Solo Events Board for 3 years and as a region board member from 1974-1977. Pat served as Secretary of the Board and is currently Chief of Scoring for Solo2. Together they produced and published The Wheel for 17 years from 1977-1994, winning the SCCA Best Publication Awards for 13 of those 17 years, with worldwide subscriptions. No one has done more to encourage, endorse or promote the Solo2 side of SFR than John & Pat. About 20% of the region memberships are solo members. As a bonus the region is now getting many racing officials as a benefit of this connection.
Richard Lee, M.D.
[1919-2003] Dr. Richard Lee was an institution at SCCA events for well over 30 years, first as a Porsche driver and then as San Francisco Region’s resident race physician. He received his M.D. in 1944 from the Stanford School of Medicine and was a longtime obstetrician/gynecologist at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. Dick regularly raced a Porsche Speedster from 1958 until 1973 when he became the region’s chief medical officer and later national medical director for SCCA. He actively worked to improve racing safety and provided medical services at Laguna Seca, Sears Point and other race tracks in northern California, becoming known as the inventor of the racing safety harness, which he adapted from his flying experiences during World War II. Dick was instrumental, in the mid-70’s, in helping the region purchase its own fleet of ambulance units to reduce the per race expenditures of renting this equipment. With his clinic, a pair of ambulances and a team of doctors and nurses at every event, Dick and his wife Louise would be a constant presence, taking care of anyone who needed medical attention.
[1921-2005] Ed Leslie was a member of the Pebble Beach Sports Cars Club, a charter member of the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP). He was one of a group of local businessmen to attend the formation meeting for the track and was instrumental in the building of Laguna Seca.
In 1957 he began competing in local sports car races. Known as one of the nicest guys in racing, his career took him all over the world. He was able to race for, and alongside some of the greatest names in motor sport, earning several honors, including numerous awards for “Driver of the Year.” He campaigned independently in an MGA, Triumph TR-4, Cooper, Gemini, Lotus, Austin Healey, and others. In 1964 Ed won the United States Road Racing Championship. He was one of Carroll Shelby’s drivers in 1965 with the Cobra Daytona Coupes that won the only World Championship won by an American team in an American Car. In 1966, he was invited to drive for the factory Mercury Cougar team in the Trans-Am series as teammate to Parnelli Jones, Peter Revson and Dan Gurney. In 1968 he teamed with Mark Donahue on the Roger Penske Chevrolet Camaro team that won the series championship. He subsequently drove Camaros for Jim Hall’s Team Chaparral in 1970. In 1968 & 1969 he drove for actor James Garner’s American International Racing team in both Corvettes and Lola prototype coupes. They contested both the Sebring 12 Hour and Daytona 24 Hour races, finishing second at Daytona in 1969.
Somehow during all his racing, he found time to become an Area Director and President of the Board of Governors of the Sports Car Club of America. In 2005 the volunteers of SCRAMP and the staff at his beloved Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca honored him with the creation of a special trophy to be known as the “Leslie’s Leap Trophy” that will be presented in his honor during the annual May U.S. Sports Invitational at the track.
[1919-2013] Kjell Qvale, an auto retailer who helped pioneer the importation of European auto brands to the United States after World War II and also played a key role in motorsports, died Saturday, November 2, at the age of 94.
Kjell was involved very early with San Francisco Region (1948) which included helping to organize the very first sports car road race in the west (Buchanan Field, 1949); organizer/race chairman for the Pebble Beach Road Races (1950-1956); organizer/race chairman for the races in Golden Gate Park (1952-54); sponsor of numerous cars in regional races (MG, Jaguar, Lister-Jag, Jensen-Healey, etc); founded British Motor Car Competition Department with Joe Huffaker; largest manufacturer of sportscar races in the U.S. in the 1960’s (BMC FJr, Genie Sports Racers). He was not only influential as an SCCA Official but as a team sponsor, owner and supporter of sports car racing for three decades. He organized the San Francisco Import Car Show in 1958 when the domestic car dealers refused to allow the imports into their show. He hired Don Seike to run the car show. He also donated office space and furniture to the region from 1953 to 1990, 37 years, when the office was in San Francisco.
Kjell was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2008.
[1929-2011] Don joined the SCCA in 1957 and served on the region board for 13 years, eventually becoming Regional Executive in 1972. Don was also the region’s chief starter and he started many pro events including the Can-Am races at Laguna Seca. He became the National Administrator of Starters and a well respected steward in the region. Don organized the 1973 and 1975 SCCA National Conventions in San Francisco, the first on the west coast. He ran the San Francisco Import Car Show for Kjell Qvale and got San Francisco Region an entry into the car show, which it still has today. He obtained sponsors for the races at Cotati, Vacaville, Stockton, Golden Gate Park and Candlestick Park. He hired the first regional office manager and began the first “commercial” Wheel, prior versions being mimeographed.
Dr. George Snively
December 2014 update: Dr. Snivley was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2014.
[1921-1983] On Aug 19, 1956 well respected and liked racer William “Pete” Snell was hit from behind while driving his Triumph TR-3 at the Redwood Sports Car Races at the Arcata Airport. His car rolled over 3 times trapping him underneath and he suffered severe head injuries, which proved fatal. The loss of one of their most popular drivers was a shock to all who knew him. As a result, the members of the San Francisco Region voted to establish the William Snell Memorial Fund and donations were solicited from the club’s members.
A long-standing member of SCCA, Dr. Snively was present at the event as a racer and the track physician. Since Snell’s death had unquestionably resulted from inferior head protection, the immediate need for headgear standards became apparent. Dr. Snively decided it was time to begin a formal research program. In March, 1957, the SFR published preliminary results of Dr. Snively’s tests in The Wheel. At this point, the trustees of the William Snell Memorial Fund decided that helmet testing should be their focus so they contributed the money which had been collected to Dr. Snively for use in his research to find a better helmet. Subsequently the SFR announced that after August 30, 1957, all drivers must wear either of the two approved helmets in races sanctioned by the club. Shortly thereafter, the SCCA National Contest Board followed suit in establishing helmet standards.
From that day until now the Snell Foundation has been testing helmets and the procedure has been continually improved over the years and the test instrumentation have become progressively more sophisticated allowing standards to be elevated to even higher levels. They test helmets for auto racing, motorcycle riding and racing; snowmobiling; skiing, bicycling; skateboarding as well as equestrian use. From that tragic day in 1956 every driver whoever put on a helmet to race have benefited from Dr. Snively’s research. In 1988 SCCA established the George G. Snively Award which is presented to the SCCA enthusiast for outstanding contributions to safety in motorsports.
[1928-2006] Don joined the region in 1961 and began competing in a Morgan Plus 4, switching to a Triumph Spitfire in 1964. He was the regional G Production Champion in 1967, 1968 and 1969. In 1971 he was a class winner in the RDC 4 Hour Enduro. He became the Chief Driver Observer from 1969 to 1971 and then was the region’s Competition Director in 1972-1973 and board member for a number of years.
Don was hired in 1973 to be the first Regional Office Manager, a position he held until 1989. As the region’s office manager he handled all the phone calls and routed all the paperwork that is required for entry and insurance forms. When the office moved to Livermore in 1991, he became a chief executive assistant and consultant to David Vodden. He wrote “Region Business Guidelines” in 1990 and “Guidelines for Processing Membership Applications” in 1992. He has received the Regional Executive Award’s as Region Manager in 1973, 1983 & 1984 and as Assistant Region Administrator in 1992. After he retired in the mid-1990’s, Don was the region archivist.