The Lovely Pooper

 by Michael Satterfield

Pete Lovely was a Porsche/Volkswagen dealer in Fife, Washington and racing driver who won the first-ever race held at Laguna Seca, while piloting a Ferrari. He would go on to race in 11 Formula One World Championship Grand Prix from 1959-1971 under the banner of Pete Lovely Volkswagen. He often raced in experimental cars like the Lotus 69 Formula Two car with a Formula One 3.0-liter Cosworth V8, but before he was racing Formula One, Pete had already won the SCCA F-Modified National Championship in his 1955 Porsche-Cooper MK8R which was affectionately known as "The Lovely Pooper."

The car started life as a Cooper Formula Three chassis built for a land-speed record and powered by a Norton motorcycle engine. After Pete bought the car he decided to follow in the footsteps of racers like Gordon "Tippy" Lipe who had installed a Porches 1500cc engine in a Cooper MK7 chassis and saw some success racing the Porsche-Cooper combination on the east coast.

Pete installed a Porsche 356 Super 1500cc engine into the lightweight Cooper MK8R chassis, with the land speed racing spec streamlined aluminum body it was aerodynamic and when done it tipped the scales at just 920 pounds. Lovely would drive the car to five class wins and the SCCCA F-Modified championship beating out Porsche Spyder driven by legends like John von Neumann and Jack McAfee.

Today the car is owned by Denny Aker of Seattle Washington, the car was photographed while on display at the World of Speed Museum in Portland Oregon and is occasionally still vintage raced.