Peter Argetsinger, and Mike's Elden
Every once in a while, a photo is sent our way of one of our racing vehicles dug out of the past. A photo attached in an email from the IMRRC’s Josh Ashby floored us. The photo he sent showed our 1973 Elden PH10B on display outside the American Express office at the Kaiserslautern (Germany) Military Community in early 1973 with some young men who are checking out the Elden, and its would-be pilot. We know it is before June 2nd, 1973 as it is still sporting chrome mirrors in this photo.
And while most of the photos of the car showcase our late friend Michael Argetsinger, in this case, it is his brother Peter shown, whom we lost in 2019. Peter helped us greatly in our quest to identify the car as Michael's, and it seems he may have had a bigger role with the car than we first thought.
In the early part of 1973 Michael called Hamburg, Germany home, as he among other things worked out of AmEx offices there. Meanwhile, his brother Peter was in Holland. After the Int. ADAC-Bavaria-Rennen, held at the Salzburgring in Austria on May 19-20, 1973 Michael listed Bremerhaven, Germany his port of call on entry forms for the rest of the ’73 season. Both Hamburg and Bremerhaven are in 2023 travel time roughly 6.5 hours away from Kaiserslautern.
However, according to Michael and Peter’s friend Bob Crippen, the Argetsinger brothers of Michael, Peter and Rob all rented an apartment in April 1973 at Ramstein Air Force Base, which just so happens to be where the Kaiserslautern Military Community was located. Crippen mentioned in an email that he and Rob Argetsinger got jobs at the kitchen of the Officer’s Club at Ramstein AFB, and didn’t exactly recall what Peter and Michael were up to. He also mentioned Rob Argetsinger took the Elden out for a spin once, and did exactly that and incurring some damage.
We can tell you Michael’s 1973 activities are still classified, other than his on-track pursuits, which we’ve covered in great detail thanks to some amazing people who still hold Michael in high regard. We also know he must have logged quite a few miles with his Renault 16 road car during this time trekking all over Europe.
As for this photo and Peter being the man on display- we’ve had a suspicion for some time that he also drove the Elden at last one time in 1973. At the September 21-22 AvD/MAC-Rundstreckenrennen, his brother Michael was listed as running a Lotus, which could have been his old car from 1972, or perhaps rented or borrowed from another racer in the series. Peter is also listed as running in the event, but his chassis selection is simply stated as ‘FF.’
It might as well say ‘car.’
We think the Elden had a day with the younger Argetsinger, but we’re still waiting for a photo to pop up of a white helmet piloting the American Express Elden to confirm.
Until then, cheers Michael, and cheers Peter.
In the last few months we found out a bit more information regarding the Manta Twin Trac racer at our shop...
In the winter of 1974-1975, Speedway bike racers Rick Woods and Sumner McKnight raced two identical Mercury-powered Manta snowmobiles, modded up to compete in the USSA 440X category. McKnight's ride, s/n #2055, was later purchased our own Rick Dresang in 1980, and again in 2018.
Woods passed away in 2012. He was the 1970 and 1972 National Champion for Speedway competition, and was known largely as the first star of the sport. His younger brother Gene, also a Speedway rider, went on to race in Winston West and is still involved in the roots of the sport today.
McKnight was the first American to race Speedway bikes abroad against the British, before returning home and eventually finding his footing on four wheels, competing in Nascar Winston West from 1976-1989, and also managing six Nascar Winston Cup starts during that time frame, all at Riverside International Raceway.
[February, 1975 SnoTrack Magazine Photo]
Jim Herzig (1958-1998)
On Feb 22, 1998, the world lost Jim Herzig in a racing accident at the Grand Prix du Valcourt.
I only recall meeting him once, but he was kind, humble, and based on the tales of people I know- usually setting the pace wherever he was competing.
Somehow 25 years have passed since that date. I recall my Dad telling me after my final middle school basketball game that his friend had passed away, and in our recent escapades restoring a snowmobile together, this time in my life has been on my mind a lot.
Next Up: 340 SRX #8A8-000361
Now that our 1976 Yamaha 340 SRX chassis #512 is restored and flying, the build on chassis #362 can begin.
This frame was an eBay find in 2007 in Minnesota, and is absolutely pristine. Its great condition will shorten the restoration time significantly compared to #512, which we had to do some tunnel repair to.
Suffice to say, this sled is going to be a screamer, and it might have some speed mods when its all said and done.
Legend Laps - 2023
Juergen Foerster came by to handpaint the remainder of the logos on 340 SRX #512 today. Yamaha of Port Washington, in respect to the dealership that Elmer Koch purchased the sled from new on December 27, 1975, and Chargers Snowmobile Club, the association Dad raced his 340 with from 1980-1984.
It runs, and it sounds like a pissed off, rabid monster that hasn't eaten since the holidays.
Hold on to your hot cocoa.
Flashback: The Ski-Doo Mistake
8A8-000512: We have the power!