On December 7, 1957, Andy in his Corvette (#283) was second in the big-car production race at Paramount
Ranch. I had defeated him in my XK120 at Paramount on June 16 in one of Andy’s first races, but by
December he had learned a lot; I came in sixth! In this photo, Andy leads Jerry Austin (#58), but Jerry
eventually got by Andy and won.
The Way It Was: Andy Porterfield
-story by Art Evans
-photos courtesy of Art Evans
us in the over-1500cc production group knew one
I was impelled to write this column because Newport Beach. They have a son, Tracy, and a
another or were at least acquainted. Andy and I
I noticed a Porterfield Enterprises ad in Victory daughter, Pamela.
struck up a friendship that has lasted our lifetime.
Lane. Andy is amazing for a number of reasons. Until the mid-eighties, Andy was a partner
After all of these years, we still get together for
He is not only my close friend, but also a truly in a company that built parts for nuclear power
lunch every month or so.
amazing person. Among other accomplishments,
During the late fifties, Evans Industries was
at age 80, Andy still races with the SCCA as well
the distributor of Devin products including
as in an occasional vintage event. He has won
the Devin SS. I started to race one at Southern
more than 400 SCCA races. He says, “I don’t
California circuits, but soon realized I was more
know the exact number; I didn’t keep track; I
just wanted to race.” suited to the Jaguar. I decided to enter the 1959
Times Grand Prix at Riverside, but thought the
I met Andy in 1957 when we raced against
car deserved a more talented driver. Impressed
each other the first time at that now-abandoned
with Andy at the wheel of his Corvette, I asked
course in Southern California, Paramount Ranch.
if he was interested and he said he was. It was
In those days, Andy raced his 1957 Corvette
Andy’s first professional ride. Unfortunately,
against me in my 1954 XK120 Jaguar. Most of
the car failed to finish the GP
due to my inept preparation.
Nevertheless, my distaff driver,
Ginny Sims, managed to set a
ladies’ speed record of 163.3 mph
down the Riverside back stretch in
the Ladies’ Race.
Andrew Tracy Porterfield was
born on June 1, 1931. He lettered
in track at Mark Keppel High
School in Los Angeles and was
awarded a degree in business
administration from Chico State Andy is congratulated by actress
College. In addition to racing, he Jan Harrison for winning the
plays racquetball and water skis.
Andy in my Devin SS at the 1959 Los big-car production race at Santa
Andy and his wife, Judy, live in
Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Barbara on May 31, 1958.
40 December 2011 • Victory Lane
plants. When those he calls “the tree-huggers” also raced a Sprint Car as
got politically powerful, he could, he says, see well as a Stock Car a few
the writing on the wall and managed to sell times.
his share of the company before the bottom At the professional
fell out. level, Andy competed
During his time racing Corvettes, Andy soon with a Corvette in some
learned that stopping is as important as going. 40 Trans-Am events and
Initially, Corvettes were sadly lacking in the more than 20 IMSA races, Andy has raced his latest Camaro with the
stopping department, so he fitted his car with where, in 1993, he won SCCA during the 2011 season.
Ferodo brake linings. One day at Riverside several GTO events. In the
Raceway in 1985, he was approached by a Trans-Am, he has finished in the top ten 13 times
representative of the British Ferodo Company and was third overall twice. for certain events. Amazingly, Andy performs
who asked Andy if he would consider taking on In 1981, he went back to a Camaro and has all of his club-related activities—including
a U.S. distributorship for their brake products. been racing one ever since. He has raced every SCCA Enterprises as well as management of
He accepted and has been in the brake business year—including the current one—since 1957. the course workers—on a volunteer basis. His
ever since. Since 1985 he no longer competes in the SCCA income is derived from investments and his
Today, Porterfield Enterprises manufacturers Runoffs because the way they are presently brake business.
its own brake pads and rotors as well as constituted requires competitors to travel. “To be For a number of years, Andy has participated
distributes for other companies. Designed competitive at the Nationals,” according to Andy, at the August Monterey Historics in a Devin SS.
and developed by Andy himself, his racing “You have to be there for three weeks. That’s The owner and entrant is Dr. Mark Brinker, an
pads are molded in Mexico and Ohio with the a lot of time and I don’t want to be away that orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Brinker has kept his car
finishing work done at his plant in Costa Mesa, long anymore.” Competing in the western half absolutely stock, so Andy has problems keeping
California. His pads and other brake parts are of the U.S. in SCCA Nationals and Regionals, up with the competition with engines modified
Porterfield has won way beyond what was possible in their day. In
the Southern Pacific addition, Andy drives with great circumspection
Division Championship and respect for the car and what he thinks should
an unprecedented 22 be the spirit of vintage racing.
times. In 1978, he was Andy Porterfield has made some truly
voted the SCCA “Driver significant contributions to motorsports. His
of the Year.” brakes furnish products unavailable elsewhere,
During the seventies, provide an extra degree of safety for those
P o r t e r f i e l d s t a r t e d who use them. He has probably volunteered
to get active in club more time and effort than any one else without
governance, serving on any expectation of material reward. SCCA
the California Sports Enterprises was on its way to failure until Andy
Car Club Region Board took over. The Long Beach Grand Prix and
for 16 years. He has the California Speedway also benefit from his
b e e n t h e R e g i o n a l long-time guidance. To top it off, Andy has
Executive (president) raced in and won more SCCA events than any
for five years. In 1985, other member.
he was elected to the
SCCA National Board
where he served for
12 years. (The elected
Paul Newman inducting Andy Porterfield into Le SCCA Board governs
Chevalier Drivers’ Club in 1976. The club was for the organization; the
president and other
race drivers over 50 years old.
officers are hired help.)
vital to the racing community. In addition, he In 1985, SCCA started an ancillary business
makes high-performance street pads and is the called SCCA Enterprises, of which Andy is
only U.S. government-approved supplier for Chairman of the Board. Initially, Enterprises
Predators, those unmanned military planes. One sold Sports Renaults, but then Chrysler wanted
day he told me about a call from someone in out of racing and discontinued making the car,
the Army, that had just started using Porterfield so Enterprises continued the project. Later, the
brakes, “I wanted to let you know that your engines were changed to Fords and the name
brakes disintegrated when the Predator landed. was changed to Spec Racer Ford. In addition,
But that’s the bad news. The good news is Enterprises imports Van Diemans from England
that the aircraft itself is otherwise undamaged. and installs Mazda engines. These are known as
Congratulations, your brakes saved Uncle a lot Formula Enterprise cars. The Formula SCCA
of dough!” series runs Spec Racer Fords. The success
After initial successes in the ’57 Corvette, of Enterprises is largely due to Porterfield’s In 1985, I organized the revival of
Andy obtained sponsorship from a Los Angeles stewardship.
dealer, Harry Mann Chevrolet, the ’57 was When the Long Beach Grand Prix was the old Palm Springs races. Andy
followed by a ’58 and then a ’59. In the early established, course workers were supplied by had a reunion with my Devin SS
sixties, he went to a Camaro for a while, but then, the Cal Club. After some initial problems, Chris in an exhibition that featured
in 1968, he bought a new Corvette and raced it Pook asked Andy to take charge of the workers more than 50 fifties-era drivers. I
for quite a few years. In 1978 and again in 1979, and he has done so ever since. He is also in took this portrait in the paddock
he won the SCCA National Championship. He charge of workers at the California Speedway during that event.
www.victorylane.com Victory Lane • December 2011 41