Frank Issacson, wheeling the 'Lyne Spl.' (Martin T-2) to a fourth-place-finish at Wilmot on October 14, 1962 for an SCCA Preliminary G and H-Mod race.
Thanks to everyone who showed it love this past weekend at KMPR, especially Eve Pribel for bringing her father's trophies and her mother's orange #33 sweater to reunite with the car, some 55 years after it last turned a wheel with their family. I had to bite my lip so I wouldn't tear up when she placed that sweater on her Dad's old car.
As well, I learned a lot from some notes she brought, and the engraving on the trophies. For one, it raced at nearby Lynndale Farms in 1963. Lynndale was a short-lived road racing course from 1963-1967, situated in Pewaukee, Wisconsin just north of Hwy 16. After its closure, it became a subdivision, and its where my friend Bryce Dunn grew up. A scant 12 miles from where I was raised.
The notes and ephemera she passed along also had a very sweet hand-written message from the late James MacArthur, son of racing legend Edward 'Sandy' MacArthur, from April 1991. Among other things, he mentioned the following:
"One thing you might consider- there is a body and frame of a race car in the storage room that is decaying. I believe this 'car' is worth some money to the right persons. It is a total basket case from a rapidly disappearing era.
My suggestion would be to sell this 'car' to an interested buyer, before the people who are most interested, i.e. the people who raced in that era, pass on."
Lyne took up Jim's advice and contacted Gene Leasure, who already had Martin T-5 in Arizona. Gene had been in-touch with Frank Issacson before his passing in 1989, and he and Lyne struck a deal. A few months after Jim MacArthur's message, Martin T-2 was on its way to Arizona, and hopefully a new life.
30 years later, it arrived at KMPR along with T-5 and a slew of random parts thought to fit the car. Some do. Some are mystery meat.
At present, the car is easily the saddest car in terms of shape and fatigue that has ever made its way to KMPR, but it pulled at the heartstrings of all of us this weekend, even PJ.
It will fly again, it has to. We'll track down bits, and figure out how to fix up a car that was already showing wear in 1962- but we'll make it endure.
The fact it was stored for so many years at Sandy MacArthur's shop also raise an interesting question. Currently, we have no information as to its ownership from 1967-1991, but based on the notes we can surmise that Frank Issacson reclaimed ownership of the car at some point and stored it at his friend Sandy's shop. But was it raced after 1967, and by whom?
And why, now that its all hitting me so suddenly, is the top layer of T-2 painted the same color green as Sandy's Bandini and Giaur specials? Sandy had raced the car at Meadowdale in 1960 for Issacson when it was still plum in color, but did he perhaps purchase or borrow the car from Issacson after 1967?
Forward into the past!