Through The Esses - Masten Gregory - Totally Fearless
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© Andrew S. Hartwell

"Masten, I would say, of all the drivers, he was totally fearless. He was really almost fanatical. I mean, he didn't know fear. He drove to the limit, absolutely beyond the limit! Interesting, once off the track he was mild-natured. But once that flag dropped, he became totally dedicated." - Louis Stanley, Owner, British Racing Motors (BRM)

As a teenager in the 1960s, I looked forward to visiting the local luncheonette each Saturday to pick up a copy of the latest issues of Auto Racing magazine - my all time favorite - and Autoweek and Road & Track. I couldn't wait to read about the people and the cars that were competing in sportscar racing. Magazines like Sports Car Graphic and Car & Driver also fed my desire to learn all I could about the people who could drive such exotic race cars so fast.

As I would eagerly pour over the pages of each magazine, certain names would regularly appear in stories and in photo captions. I came to readily recognize names like Mark Donohue, Roger Penske, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon, Dennis Hulme, Peter Revson, Masten Gregory, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jim Hall, Briggs Cunningham, and countless others. And with each new issue I learned a bit more about each.

But I never really learned enough about Masten Gregory. I would often see pictures of him wearing his trademark black square-framed glasses, in the pits or in the paddock at a race meet. Typically he would be shown with a group of other drivers or racing personalities whose background and success stories were more familiar to me. I never really knew much about him, but I knew he always seemed to be deeply involved in the sport with which I was so intrigued.

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