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Bruce Jennings, "KING CARRERA"
Introduced to racing in 1956, Jennings got hooked on sports car racing and traded in his Cadillac convertible for a used 1955 356 Porsche Speedster. In 1957 he began racing at regional SCCA events and managed a 5th place finish at Danville, Virginia. On his home track, Marlboro Raceway, Jennings went on to win most every B, C, and E production race through the early to mid 60’s in his Speedster.
Jennings fame from the Golden Age of SCCA amateur racing resulted from his dedication to become a skilled driver in 356A Carrera Speedster. Jennings won the National Driving Championship three times in 1960, 1962 and 1964. During his racing career, he raced with and against some of America’s greatest drive’s; going on to become known as “King Carrera”. To date, he has been most successful “privateer” Porsche racer in the United States.
As one of the World’s best endurance drivers, Jennings holds the distinction of driving at Sebring a total of 18 times, mostly in his own 911 Porsches as well as for the Porsche Factory’s 356 GT2000 in 1964, Ford Factory’s GT-40 (unofficial) and Jim Hall’s Chaparrals in 1965 and 1967. His most significant race earned him a third overall and first in the Index of Performance where he co-drove the race at Sebring in 1962 with Frank Rand and Bill Wuesthoff in a Porsche RS-60 Spyder after starting from 43th position. Jennings also raced factory sponsored Mercury Cougars, Plymouth Barracudas and Porsche 911’s in the Trans-Am series. Jennings was selected in 1967 to be a Chaparral team member in the LeMans 24 Hour and he also raced twelve times at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Jennings’ racing over 35 years reflected 216 total wins and 104 seconds place finishes. The #77 2.5 liter 911 you are viewing today was the last privately owned car Bruce Jennings ran. This car represents 14 of his starts at Sebring. A complete tub up restoration has just been completed by Klub Sport Racing of South Florida. Bruce passed away in January 1997. But, his sprit lives on in cars that he raced as this originally preserved specimen.
The importance of this particular vehicle cannot be underestimated as this was the last private racer that Bruce Jennings developed and campaigned throughout the eastern United States. It was purchased in 1970 from the factory (rumored to be a backup of the Monte Carlo Rally), It first started life as a 1969 2.0 liter 911S. As Jennings continued to race through the years, the car was developed into a 2.5 later 911ST style race car. With its 2.5 liter motor and 8 inch and 10 inch wheels, Jennings enjoyed many consecutive starts at Sebrings, and went on to race in Trans Am, IMSA and SCCA.