Pete van der Vate

Fairfax VA

Like Ed Diehl, Randy Canfield and Brian Fuerstenau, van der Vate was noted as much for his car prep as for his driving. He prepped Pierre Mion’s ’59 National E Production Champion AC Bristol. The Sebring Sprite he piloted in •62 and ’63 was prepared for Pat Mernone, daughter of Ed Mernone who later was involved in the construction of Summit Point Raceway. Pat drove on Saturday; Pete, on Sunday, winning the ’63 G Prod national title. In •64, he built and shared a Morgan 4/4 series 4 with Mernone, winning his second straight G Prod National title in the first Runoffs at Riverside. He opened an Alfa Romeo repair and prep shop in the D.C. area and in •65 hooked up with Monty Winkler to co-drive and prep Alfa sedans in early Trans-Am Under 2-Liter competition. The pair won the •65 FIA 12-Hour at Marlboro, besting Colin Chapman’s factory Lotus team in an Alfa Guilia TI Super. Was retired for five years when a sponsor bought him one of three F Prod Spitfires that Group 44 had built for the ’72 season. He won the NEDIV championship but crashed at the Runoffs amidst a spirited lead duel with Rick Cline, John Kelly and eventual winner Jon Woodner. He has since confined his efforts to car prep for Winkler’s racecars, both professional and vintage. Pete passed away in March 2017.

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