Restored by Tony & Robert Giordano of New York
Tony tells his story:
"THE SEARCH, THE STORY AND THE CAR
A couple of years ago, I was perusing the local papers and Internet lists here on Long Island, New York, and came across this car which in the advert showed some snaps of a badly covered up chassis, left to the weather, stripped of parts with roll bar and few indications of its former life as a race car. The balance of all the parts and bits were neatly tucked in the owner's father's garage with all the original stickers and roundels which you see now on the car.
There is a gold and black sticker on the boot which has an interesting logo and letters; it reads: SSSC &BDS. An Internet search revealed it was the original Long Island race club from the mid 1950's: "South Shore Sports Car Club & Beer Drinking Society" ! This is an early Club which was later folded into what is known today as "EMRA: Eastern Motor Racing Association" (you can Google both). SSSC & BDS is an over 50 year old club which still meets for dinners to include our own Janet Guthrie of Sebring and International fame. This was initially a Long Island, New York based racing club which raced and rallied at such venues as: Bridgehampton, Thomkins Race Track, Pocono, and others.
Most of the races started out with a cooler of beer right before each race, during lunch, and then afterwards.
The logo of "Carriage Motors of Glen Cove, New York" as I understand it was painted at the original owners Carriage Motors - Austin Healey/ Jaguar Dealership by a known character for just a case of Budweiser (nice job).
After getting the car home, further inspection and a Heritage certificate revealed it to be an early 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark 2, #HAN6-L/539, built in 24 days from February 28, 1961, was Highway Yellow with black interior and was dispatched to Hambro Trading Inc. USA on April 26, 1961.
On the firewall was stamped # 178 which indicates it was the 77th body shell built since the sequence began with 101. Even the original key came with the car which matches the Heritage certificate and ignition switch. Furthermore, installed is an almost new straight cut gearset in a very tired box (worth more than the price of admission), rods which are polished like chrome, with wire wheels, and what I have come to learn is a genuine Sebring disc brake set from the factory with 8 inch drums which have been impossible to locate spares for most likely installed by the Dealer-Carriage Motors.
OWNERS, RACERS & TRACKS:
Well, these are not as readily identifiable. However the car appears to be the last an only one left running and racing of the SSSC & BDS, ~ an original photo was sent to me of it crossing the finish line at Pocono in the day. I met up with Ray Cuomo Junior, son of the famous Ray Senior, at a Bridgehampton rally event last October, where he told me he and his brothers raced the heck out of it. Robert Vorreiter also owned and raced it so I am trying to track his family down here on Long Island. Interesting though is that Mike Barratt former comps manager for British Leyland Mahwah, New Jersey remembers the car, "but that the Dealer was near West Point, NY and was run by quite an interesting lot"!!! (edited of course). Tony.
PS: We were recently awarded a Log Book from the VSCCA - Vintage Sports Car Club of America. Our Sprite will be seen at Lime Rock Park in anger on October 14th 2011 on its maiden voyage, fitted with a 4.22 diff, straight cut gears and a 1098 modified engine, and of course the Sebring brakes all round".
Tony and his son, Robert, recently took the car back to Bridgehampton which is now a golf course, but the owner has preserved a short section of the old race circuit, see photos, right.
If anyone out there remembers the car or the characters involved please contact me via Feedback. mentioning 'the Giordano Mark 2'
April 2011 Shakedown at Lime Rock Park after 40 + years
Coming into the pits at Lime Rock Park, April 2011
On Tony/Robert's front lawn
Original sticker as found
Resting in good company before sensitive restoration
In my garage after purchase
At the old disused Bridgehampton Circuit
Tony with their acquisition