The Ferrari and The Girls…

Ferrari, McCluggage, Pinkie Rollo, Sebring

For the 1967 Sebring 12 Hours Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team arranged the entry of a new yellow alloy-bodied Ferrari 275GTS/4 “NART Spyder” – a standard road car, although only 10 were built of which this was the first. Because it was a standard car without any special preparation for racing and because the drivers were to be a pair of ladies,  Denise McCluggage and Marianne “Pinkie” Rollo, the actual entry was by McCluggage’s so-called Northern Vermont Racing Team. These girls, both experienced amateur racing drivers, finished 17th overall and second in the class for GT cars over two liters, right behind the class winner, a Shelby GT350. The driver in this photograph is Denise McCluggage with her polka dot helmet.

Denise McCluggage started racing in the late 1950s, was the founder of the racing newsletter Competition Press, which continues today as the magazine Autoweek. She is a respected automotive journalist and author, often writes a column in Autoweek and lives today in Santa Fe. Pinkie Rollo, who earlier had been married to sometime Briggs Cunningham driver Fred Windridge, was also an accomplished horsewoman. She retired from racing in the late 1960s as did McCluggage.

Their NART Spyder, chassis number 9437, went on to be repainted a metallic burgundy and was used in the 1968 Steve McQueen film The Thomas Crown Affair. Later it passed the years with various collectors, was repainted its original yellow and now is part of a well-known collection in America. Last year another but steel-bodied NART Spyder sold at auction for $27.5 million. Perhaps The Girls would like to have their car back…

Photo by Chuck Rogers ©The Klemantaski Collection

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6 comments

  1. Bill Crabb · · Reply

    Very much enjoyed this informative blog on NART, thank you!

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  2. Allow me to correct one error : I never retired from racing. Just offer me a ride and I’m there,
    Denise McCluggage

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    1. I love it! Terrific you chose to post a comment. Sorry that I did not take into account that the hot shoe is still on.
      All best,
      Peter

      Like

  3. brian J Martin · · Reply

    What an interesting article. Not enough is told about racing by the fairer sex. Time someone did a book on the subject of girl racers over the years (that’s if its not already been done)!

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  4. This is an excellent piece that uncovers an overlooked event in automotive history involving great drivers and a fabulous car. Submissions like this one should be the focus of this LinkedIn discussion group.

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  5. Back in the 50’s there was a Lady racer which traveled the race circuit quite a bit.
    The name Shirley comes to mind>> but there again I have a weak mind and a strong back >Ha

    Last year as I recall, a bunch of her trophies, race plaque’s and more was auctioned off.
    No, she has not taken the final flag>> just needed to thin her collection down.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Great article on the Ferrari, they always reminded me of the 69 Italia I have, been in pieces for 20 years now. Probably never will get her done.

    Cooool that you chimed in Denise !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    John

    Like

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