Get-Ad Free Access: Join Today!
In the wet at dawn on the banks of Daytona, Haywood was in his element, delivering another stellar performance with a Porsche 935. Photo: Hal Crocker

Looking Back on a Brilliant Career…

One Photographer’s Personal Recollections of the Most Successful American Endurance Racer of All Time

This photo montage shows (clockwise from bottom) Haywood in Bruce Leven’s Porsche 956, at Porsche-palooza in 1981, all smiles after his third victory at Le Mans in 1994, and celebrating one of his Rolex 24 at Daytona triumphs in the Brumos Carrera RSR with Peter Gregg. Photos: Hal Crocker

“You have to be pretty good to beat me!” This statement of hubris from Peter Gregg in 1968 launched the career of America’s winningest long-distance racer, Hurley Harris Haywood. Haywood, the kid with movie-star looks, had just won an autocross in his street-legal Corvette, beating local Porsche dealer and professional racecar driver Gregg in his full-bore, factory-backed Porsche. Gregg was using the event as a pre-race shakedown of his car, and what he discovered that day would make motorsport history.

Gregg had much panache and a rather artificial personality. He was an artisan, but you never were quite sure of what. He tested and evaluated all that he came in contact with and quickly discarded anyone or anything for which he had no use. He carried preppie to the extreme, from the handkerchief he wore around his neck to his Gucci driving shoes. Some drivers I knew bore great resentment toward him and referred to him as “Peter Perfect.” He took delight in abusing everyone. I know of no one who knew him who did not experience this.

Already a Member? Sign in to your account here.