Salinas, CA–Before a single car got to take a lap to kick off the 2019 Historic Motor Sports Association season on Saturday March 16, an award had to be given out honoring the person who most embodies the Spirit of the HMSA.
HMSA President Cris Vandagriff said the award was going to someone who probably goes unnoticed at most events, but does everything with an incredible attitude. The honor was given to Sunnyvale’s Stan Anderes. The 88-year-old has been named the 2019 Spirit of the HMSA honoree and was given the glass cup by Vandagriff and Danny Baker, the son of the 2018 honoree, the late Bob Baker.
“Stan races for the sheer fun of it and is always at our events,” Vandagriff said. “He tows and works on his own car and just has an incredibly positive attitude about sharing the history of his vehicle and being part of what makes HMSA such a special group of people.”
Anderes has been racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca since 1982. He bought his current race car – a vintage Lotus Eleven – in 1979. Like many HMSA cars, it has historical significance. Anderes’ car was raced in the 1956 Le Mans by the head of Lotus, Colin Chapman.
“I went looking for a car,” Anderes said about his search in 1979. “I had been doing some club racing and I wanted to start vintage racing. I saw an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle and I told my wife I wanted to go look at it the next day. She said ‘let’s not wait until tomorrow, let’s go look at it now,’ and we did and we were the first people to look at it. As we were signing the paperwork, someone else drove up looking for the car. It was in terrible shape and was filled with Black Widow spiders. The other (potential buyer) still asked if he could give me more money for it but I told him ‘no’.”
Anderes was born and raised in San Francisco and has been racing much of his life for the enjoyment and never doubted his ability to race his car. He was in the first group to practice Saturday but said he had to be extra vigilant while behind the wheel this time.
“I started racing because it’s exhilarating and I like working on my own cars,” he said. “But I had to be extra careful on that first lap because of all of Cris’ buildup about me when he presented the award. I had no idea (about receiving the award). I’m still shocked.”
The 2019 schedule of events for the only sanctioning body in the world that requires period correct race cars can be found at www.hmsausa.comand features some of the longest-running events in the country.