December 30, 2013

122913-Motor-Mario-Andretti-and-Andy-Granatelli-PI-CH_20131229183536557_335_220.An icon of American motor sports, Andy Granatelli died yesterday at age 90.
A generation ago he was at the heart of US folklore — STP stickers seemed everywhere, with Granatelli becoming a household name.
A long time ago, it seems, and in another world.

I was enormously-enchanted by auto racing while in my 20s, which coincided with Granatelli’s tenure, and a great fan of his most-noted driver, Mario Andretti.

(Illustration found here)

He was also a showman — race cars became high-speed billboards, starting with “King” of NASCAR, Richard Petty in the early 1970s, and continuing to this day.
This morning, from NBC NewsMotorSportsTalk:

From the beginning of the partnership in 1972 through the end of Petty’s driving career in 1992, STP was there to back NASCAR’s “King” on his car, which often sported both STP’s day-glo red and the famous shade of “Petty blue.”
The car became iconic to millions of race fans, and it is still one of the most important representations of NASCAR today; recently, the Smithsonian Magazine named a 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix version of Petty’s No. 43 as one of the “101 Objects That Made America.”

Memories are always hampered by crass reality.

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