By Jeff Allison
This article first appeared in Prancing Horse, the quarterly magazine of the Ferrari Club of America.
Before his passing in 2014, Glen Glendenning sent David Rex a box full of loose photo scrapbook pages—you know the kind with the black mounts that you’d slip over the corners of a photo, lick the glue on the back of the mount and position the photo on a page. Remember, they tasted terrible! Rex provided the photos to editor Pete Vack for possible use in VeloceToday.com. Luckily, Glendenning had written brief descriptions under some of the photos, and the pages were in chronological order. Taken with a 35MM single-lens reflex camera, Glendenning obviously had access to the pits, the track, and the people. He owned a public relations firm with a film lab, producing twenty-six films for the Schlitz brewery, so photography probably was natural for him.
Glendenning owned a number of sports cars, such as a Healey-Silverstone, MG TC, Allard, and an Austin-Healey. In 1954, he bought a homebuilt racing special, called the Comet, which was built on an MG TD chassis with a Glaspar body and a Ford Flathead V8 engine. According to Rex, “In 1957, Augie Pabst co-drove the Comet with Glendenning in the Road America 500. Pabst told Rex that the car’s brakes were the worst he’d ever experienced!” Glendenning raced into 1957, towing the Comet Special around in a Woody station wagon filled with spare racing tires and tools. Historian and author Tom Shultz told VeloceToday.com, “Glen was far more involved in the social aspects of sports cars than the racing. He did have the Comet Special, but didn’t race it much at all [five times in four years].” Glendenning photographed and raced mainly in the Midwest at Road America, Meadowdale Raceways, and the Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee but did venture to Indianapolis, Sebring, and Bridgehampton on Long Island.
According to author Bob Birmingham, Glendenning was “a promoter, an interesting sort who could regale listeners with tales of his world travels and experiences that were almost beyond belief.” Born in Illinois, he later operated a marine shipping company in the Bahamas and then lived in Florida.
What goes around comes around….Glen Glendenning left a treasure trove of photos to ex-Corvette racer Dave Rex; Pete Vack scanned and identified most of the photos in the collection; Jeff Allison asked if he could use a few for Prancing Horse, and Rex and Vack said of course; Allison does this superb job of captioning the photos, Prancing Horse publishes it; Vack then asks to use the captions with the photos in VeloceToday. So what you see below is the result of that merry go round, and our thanks to editor Dave Williams of Prancing Horse magazine, Jeff Allison, Dave Rex, and the late Glen Glendenning.