James Lowe – Scott Rubin
James R. Lowe
[1904-1969] To other San Francisco Region Club Members he was known as “Gentleman Jim”, a nickname that typified has demeanor on and off the racetrack and would serve him well during his leadership of the club during its rapid growth of the 1950’s.
Lowe was born in 1904 so by the time he joined the SF Region he was perhaps a bit on the “gray side” to begin road racing in sports cars but he undertook the sport and his association with the club with enthusiasm. He entered his first race in a Willys/MG at Madera in November 1952 at the age of forty-eight and thereafter was a regular competitor in regional events until he retired from racing at the end of the 1959 season.
Jim Lowe is best remembered for racing a Frazer Nash LeMans Replica along with his wife Marion in a similar car. The Lowe’s eventually moved to a matching pair of Lotus 11s in which they finished their racing careers. Jim Lowe was a talented driver who had nineteen class wins in twenty-five races in his Frazer Nash; he was a Regional Champion and raced outside the region in Hawaii, Elkhart Lake and the Bahamas. In the Bahama Speed Week races, he was a member of the “California Gang’ which included Harry Banta, Phil Hill, Lou Brero, and Jack McAfee among others. This group brought home an arm full of trophies from those races.
His racing accomplishments aside, Lowe’s contributions to the region as an administrator were much more important. Having lived through two world wars and the Great Depression plus developing several successful business, Lowe had the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the kind of leadership the fledgling SF Region needed to survive and grow. Lowe worked on current issues but also had “the long view” of where the club needed to go over time. Here is a list of his major contributions to the club during his active years:
– General Chairman for the Santa Clara Races in 1954 and the Pebble Beach Races in 1955
– Regional Executive and National Secretary – 1955
– Regional Executive in 1956 and 1959
– He re-introduced the races at Buchanan Field; oversaw the first races at Arcata and Cotati
– Driver School Administrator and member of Drivers Committee – 1957
– In 1956, met with SCRAMP to help choose the site for the future Laguna Seca Raceway
– Membership Chairman – 1958
– Formed Executive Race Committee to supplement the Activities Chairman in 1959
– Oversaw the first Pro-Am race in Northern California held at Vaca Valley in 1959 sanctioned by USAC
– In 1960 he convinced the National Office to allow the SF Region to sanction the Monterey Grand Prix pro races
– His concern with driver safety lead him to prod the National Office to make roll bars and Snell approved helmets mandatory
– Upon his retirement from racing at the end of 1959, he auctioned off his Lotus 11 with the proceeds going to the Snell Foundation for helmet research
– SCCA Board of Governors – Area 10 – 1960 & 1961
During his time as a key club administrator, his primary goal was to work towards coordinating the aims and activities of the SF Region, Cal-Club and USAC for the betterment of the sport.
Scott B. Rubin
[1958-2010] From the time Scott was in high school, he was enamored with road racing. In the mid-70’s, he and his friend would sneak in to Sears Point and watch the Pro-Races which set the stage for his obsessive involvement with SCCA Road Racing. Scott did whatever was necessary to be involved and get others involved. He worked as a flagger and as a crew person until he was old able to attend Drivers’ School. He would talk to his friends and tell them how exciting racing was and many followed him to SCCA. And when he could not afford to drive, he continued to support and help other racers and volunteer.
Scott Rubin started racing with the San Francisco Region in 1980, driving several types of cars, continued to volunteer, and in the late 1990’s, became co-Chief for the SFR SCCA Drivers School. His primary interest was road-racing and he was able to take his passion for the sport and became a respected coach and hardworking expert providing racecar service support. He drove in the IMSA Firehawk Series in the late 80’s gathering more experiences and knowledge that he could use with SCCA. Even though his customers raced with many organizations, he always supported SCCA and encouraged the customers to run with SCCA, doing whatever was needed, unconditionally, to get them out on the track.
Racing was his hobby and it became his business. He started working in a race fabrication shop in 1986, helping it evolve into race car prep, and ultimately became the sole proprietor for the business known as McGee Motorsports. Today it continues supporting many clubs, many drivers and keeping with Scott’s desire to “always sees the joy through others’ having fun”. Scott loved the sport and the desire for individuals to be safe and encouraged teens to get involved with the SCCA Tire Rack Street Survival School.
Scott was Co-Chief of the SFR SCCA Drivers School from the late 1990’s until 2010. He ran the Ground School and brought to life the concepts of the driving skill and the importance of flags, stewards, car prep and having fun. He also was a Group Leader and he inspired the other Driver Instructors and Students, always being fair and firm on expectations while providing various options for someone to be successful. With knowledge of various race organizations and his practical approach, he provided insight on what SCCA should consider for prerequisites and expectations for Driver School students, which were shared with SCCA National during their 2008 Driver School Review.
Scott was a man of a few, but impactful words, including his puns at which he was an artist. He was a great listener and analyst and he touched many with his style and words of wisdom, resulting in a person looking inside to better themselves, racing or otherwise, plus realize there was a positive message from Scott. His philosophy of life was how he ran the business, everyone should have fun and not get tied up in who is better than whom. As several SCCA racers said, “his words were so reassuring, calming and wise, and always with the message to ‘go kick butt and most importantly, have fun’!”
Scott did not promote himself. He gained respect from others through his actions and positive ways to handle things. Because of this, many of his contributions were unknown yet his contributions had an impact. On several occasions he was contacted by members of some of the SCCA Comp Boards for his thoughts or expertise and on many occasions Scott did endless research to provide sound advice or facts. The SFR Tech Crew also reached out to Scott for his input and he was there helping or laughing to raise spirits while his customers waited for inspections after races. He was also consulted by the Historic Trans Am group for period correct technical and mechanical car set-ups. Drivers asked questions on various aspects of technique, mechanical and even attitude for improvements. Throughout all of these consultations, Scott gathered facts, being a constant student himself, based his thoughts and input on the facts, was respectful to others, conducting himself in a positive manner and finished the conversations with a smile.
Scott was genuine and had great enthusiasm and love for the sport and always wanted you to do the right thing. He did not laugh over crazy ideas, in fact, he helped them come alive. This was true in Scott’s Road Rally days and his support for others rallying. On one occasion a fellow racer flipped his car. Scott stopped to help and get the racer back on track while never saying a word when it came time to reflect on the race with the Sponsors. Scott never made you feel uncomfortable when someone asked questions. He always had the time for everyone and never made you feel that he was rushed.