50 years of sports cars in New York

The Chowderheads are turning 50. The Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society, a group of car enthusiasts who have been meeting and eating at Sardi's restaurant in New York City since 1957, are celebrating their 50th anniversary in style. This group, which has included famous racers, celebrities, journalists and average, everyday car nuts of every stripe, was founded by CBS Radio exec Art Peck and advertiser King Moore back in March, 1957. The purpose of the organization was to push car enthusiasm into the mainstream. By the '70s and '80s they were better known for their wild races across the city. Like the time in 1978 when they had Phil Hill, Janet Guthrie, Bob Tullius, Steve Behr and Jacques Vaucher race a small fleet of career cabbies through New York. The cabbies had their usual steeds, while the racers had 4 Ferraris and a Saab. Behr ended up winning in the Saab.

The second Tuesday of every month, the group has been meeting at the famous Sardi's restaurant in the theater district. First course is always clam chowder, Manhattan style, thank you very much. Hence the "Chowderheads" nickname. While the first meeting had nearly 100 members present, today's group numbers three times that amount. According to the co-director, Bruce Wennerstrom, the group is mainly media people who are involved with cars in one way or another. Wennerstom and his wife Genia run the organization, which still includes five of the original members. The Wennerstroms are also the people behind the annual Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, which tales place June 2-3 this year.

[Source: Edmund's Inside Line]

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