Peter Culkin -- 3

For the 1962 season, Culkin brought the spectacular ex-Bob Edmison Mercedes-Corvette to northern California.

I recently received an email from Bill Culkin, Peter's son, who shared some of his memories of his father and the great car.       (Photo by Ortega Gomez)
From Bill Culkin:

"Your site and the list of drivers brings back endless childhood memories.  I spent most of my childhood on the road around those fellas.  I even spotted two of my father's (Peter Culkin) cars in your pics.  Here's a little trivia for you : 

The Mercedes-Corvette was a monster!  Scared everybody ! My father painted it silver (the same color as his MB 300SL) and terrorized the racing circuit.  Overpowered everyone.  Now, something you didn't see.  Both cars were stored at our home in Clover- dale under a covered carport.  Cloverdale, CA,  was a small town, ~ 2500 population, one of those towns where everybody knows everybody. 

When my father used to fire up the Mercedes-Corvette people from all over town could hear it roar and came running up to our house to watch the show.  People on Cloverdale Blvd.  (Highway 101 thru town) lined the streets knowing what was coming next. 

For you see, Cloverdale Blvd. / HWY 101 was my father's test track.  Burn rubber down Haehl Street onto Cloverdale Bl. / Highway 101 thru town and head north. Miles of straight stretch to blow the carbon out!  He road tested both cars this way but at least the MB 300SL was street legal. 

However, as you know, the Mercedes-Corvette was about as street ILLEGAL as you could get!  Anyway, the local police knew the routine and would head north and escort him back into town and back home.  The cops loved it ! 

In the mid-60s the Mercedes-Corvette was retired.  The car minus the engine was sold and the engine lived on to win championships in a super modified and a sprint car.  The engine's last run was in a sprint car at Calistoga the night that Dave Ridenour was killed (driving a Cobra sprint).  We were with the Ridenour family that night and our sprint car was retired the same night. 

My father's true love was the MB 300SL.  It, along with hundreds of trophies and awards, was sold to a pharmacist in the Sacramento area by the name of Jerry Jensen.   Jerry was a long-time admirer of the car and had a standing offer for years to buy it if my father ever wanted to sell.  It is my understanding that Jerry built a special display room in his home for the car.

Thanks again for sharing your Old Racecar site and memories. Good luck."

William ( Bill ) Culkin 

Back to:   Peter Culkin -- 2

Next:   Bob Edmison's Lister-Chevy -- 1962

Back to:   Scott Sperka's Photos -- Road America 1961

Back to:   Early 1960s Racing -- Homepage

All photographs and text are the property of Ortega Gomez/ Bill Culkin, and Tam McPartland and are protected under United States and international copyright laws.  All rights are reserved and the images and/or text maynot be digitized, reproduced, stored, manipulated, and/or incorporated into other works without the written permission of the photographer, Gomez Ortega, or the writers, Bill Culku and Tam McPartland