Fitch, John Cooper
Being born not far away from the famous racing track in Indianapolis John Fitch as a child was already exposed through his stepfather George Spindler - the president of Stutz car manufacture and active racing driver to the world of motorsports. During the World War II Fitch was a successful air fighter in Europe. He experienced the end of the war in German captivity. In 1948 John Fitch opened a branch office for MG-Sports cars in White Plains, N.Y. In 1950 he built his own racing car out of Fiat 1100-Chassis and a Ford V 60-Motor – the Fitch Type B. While taking part in 13 racings Flitch was able to reserve 10 classes as well as 6 overall wins for himself in the following year. At that time the millionaire Briggs Cunningham, a big racing fan, noticed him and let Fitch perform for his team in different national and international racing events. The 24-Hours of Le Mans were among these events and there Mercedes-Benz racing management got interested in him for the first time. On the occasion of Grand Prix of Germany in 1952 John Fitch started on Porsche 1500 and became forth in his class. The training racing on Mercedes-Benz 300 SL on following day eventually convinced racing manager Alfred Neubauer, who then signed Fitch for the racing Carrera Panamerica in 1952. During the 6th stage of racing Fitch was disqualified because of “use of help from outside”, as he once again drove his W 194 because of technical problems to garage right after the start.
During the Mille Miglia 1955 John Cooper Fitch got victory for Stuttgart company in GT-Class. Fitch started on the black 300 SL with a Nr. 417, so at 4:17 AM and crossed the finish line after 11 Hours and 29 Minutes in the afternoon in Brescia. With this time the American reached the 5th Place in overall classification. After Mercedes-Benz quit Motorsports Fitch went to Chevrolet as a driver and team manager, and became the head of the new Lime Rock Park racing track in Connecticut soon after that. In 1960 he took part together with Briggs Cunningham again in Le Mans and targeted on Corvette 8th place.
Before having concentrated on his new job as a designer and a developer at Chevrolet, among other for Corvair, John Fitch drove on Porsche 904 in Sebring his last racing in 1966 at the age of 48.