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I was looking through my copy of "Complete Book of Lamborghini" published in 1988, written by Pete Lyons. I was re-reading chapter 5 about Bob Wallace, the Kiwi development guy/test driver for Lambo in the 60s & early 70s. Lyons interviewed Wallace @ his shop on E. Magnolia in Phoenix, AZ. I got to thinking about Wallace & thought I read somewhere he passed away recently. Anybody know? Any of you AZ guys ever go by his shop? Is his shop stiil there? He was 50 in 1987, so he would be 68 now. Boy, what a helluva guy in a helluva time period working for a helluva company. Circumstances like that will never be repeated, & he said as much in the interview. You could tell he was wistful for the old times. Bruce
 

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Jr. Z

I've been to his shop in 91 when I went to last F1 race there before this recent Indy thing. I think only about 16,000 people showed up and the pits were open to the public and there was actual passing on the track! They were actually giving free tickets away. How things have changed... Anyways, I remember his modest size shop was located in some industrial park near an airport. His wasn't there at the time and his mechanic let me snoop around the shop to check out all the exotic hardware lying around. He had cars shipped in from all over the world to service.

I was able to contact him over the phone about 5 years ago.....I had some question about replicating a lambo urraco track car like the "uracco rally bob" they built from one of the earlier prototype. That car evolved into an alloy bodied, 1900 lb, 310 hp 3 liter dry sump 4valve with a 6 speed gearbox group 4 racer. Apparently that car race once and won lapping a Swiss national champion in a Porsche RSR in the process. A far cry from the overweight USA spec slug @ 3000lb with 180 HP. He said it was nearly impossible to do a practical replica. Although the car looks like a standard road car, almost all the body panels, suspension, drivetrain was unique. The urraco was too heavy of a platform and the stock urraco/jalpa 4 cammers had oiling problem. He race preps 308's at his shop and suggested going that route for the reliability and parts availability. Well he seemed like a very likable straight up guy without any hint of arrogance. If I had a vintage lambo I know who I would bring it to...

davbert
 

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Just bumping this thread up so Gordon R. can see if he can reply. We'll see if my reply post correctly.

Bruce
 

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Bob Wallace contact information

Tomorrow, I will see a friend of Bob's, John Hajduk, in Indiana. I'll see if I can get current contact information to post for those interested in contacting him.

:DGordon Raymond
 

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Bob is actually in Scottsdale, AZ and has a shop there. He was the topic of discussion on another BB.
Below is a photo from my collection of Bob at Sebring as one of the Camoradi mechanics.
 

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Bob Wallace contact information

I have just returned from John Hajduk's shop, Motorkraft, Ltd. In Noblesville, Indiana. John and Bob are friends of long standing, and Bob's contact information, from John, is 602-275-2543. Now someone:confused: must call him to find out if he is willing to discuss his most interesting background! I hope this helps. :DGordon Raymond
 

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............can you imagine that gig? Racing around Europe test driving the original Countach's must have been like arriving in a spaceship in the early 70's. His stories must be legendary, testing those cars up close to 200 mph or so - SICK!!!
 

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OK, a question for Mr Wallace (or for any of you gentlemen, for that matter...)

In the late sixties James Michener wrote an article that appeared in Readers' Digest about Italian design. Mr Michener mentions that a wealthy businessman was so besotted with the Miura shape he saw on a car show that he bought the car on the spot and had it lifted to his penthouse in Manhattan?? (I speak from memory). There is at least one official press release from Bertone that mentioned the anecdote in 1998 or so, when celebrating the Miura anniversary or something.

I have contacted an American Lamborghini club, but they didn't know anything about the story. Unfortunately Mr Panicco, long-standing chief PRO at Bertone does not seem to be easy to get in touch with!

I wonder whether Mr Wallace would know something about the story - or else it was a bit of hype and spin concocted at Bertone, and Mr Michener swallowed it hook, line and sinker?
 

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Saw Bob a few years ago

I stopped by his shop a few years back. It is located in an industrial park close to Phoenix airport. I had called and let him know I was coming by and he was typically grumpy, wondering why on Earth I wanted to stop by his shop and waste his time. Being a fellow New Zealander I was able to make a case and I called in one morning before the seminar I was attending. His shop is fairly small but he had a pretty impressive array of engine building machinery. He had some nice Italian cars that he was working on. I have great nostalgia for the time period that he was involved in sports car production, both at Ferrari and Lamborghini and would dearly have loved to have lived through that period myself, but Bob is exactly the opposite. He said he always looks to the future and does not think about those days at all. I asked him to autograph a photo of him standing beside the prototype Countach and he was initially cold to the idea but after talking for awhile he signed the photo, and perhaps I even saw a wry smile creep across his face momentarily. Anyway it is something I will always treasure. So if you make a visit, don't expect a warm reception full of tall stories of roadtesting exploits and hotrodding Italian exotics, he is just not that type of person.
 

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Bob Wallace-all-time Hall of Fame guy for Lamborghini!!!

Never met him, read about him alot and talked to alot of guys with
his fixes to problems and tunning.

Just my thoughts!

ncng
 
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