top of page

My PV on the hook at Virginia International Raceway 1969.   This was my second DNF for the season.   The other being at Bryar when an oil line leading to the gauge let go.  This time it was an axle shaft.   The "Achilles heel" of the Volvo PV-544 and 122S models.

Entering the turn at the top of the hill to the left, the shaft snapped and the right rear wheel parted company with the car.  I had no idea what had happened.    I  had just moved into third place when Wilbur Pickett's Porsche had a tire go flat as were side by side on the previous straight.  

All I could think of was that I had to keep going.  My momentum carried me around the next turn and part way down the hill.  By then I was in the dirt, having plowed up a good deal of real estate and making a fair sized "yump" as the Swede's say, over a ledge.   When I finally slid to a stop, 

revving the engine and crashing around in the gear box attempting make the car move, I heard a knock on the roof.   It was a flag man, dragging his finger across his throat.   The international sign for, "kill it".   I looked at him wild eyed and yelled, "did I lose a wheel".  I've often wondered what must have been thinking  right then.

bottom of page