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George Follmer the Stand-in Champion

Underrated racer who played a significant role in Porsche’s US successes

Follmer with Vasek Pollack in 1976.

Follmer was born in Phoenix in 1934, though effectively he became a Californian as his family moved to Pasadena before he was two years old and it was in this northern suburb of Los Angeles that he grew up and raised his own family. He was, he says, a reasonable high school pupil “when I concentrated.”

His studies were interrupted at 18 by the ‘draft,’ military service which saw him serving as an intelligence clerk for two years in Bavaria. Subsequently after three years at Pasadena college he emerged in 1957 with a business degree and at 23 he needed to start earning a living, becoming an accident and fire insurance salesman.

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