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4179Gordon's Shop

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  • David&Carol
    Jun 16, 2013
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      Hi Don,

      I do not think Gordon ever had a shop on Piney Branch.

      His shop on Plyers Mill did expand into the space next door then later he moved out to Gaithersburg.

      Best wishes,


      On 13 Jun 2013, at 20:15, Don Haines wrote:

      Hi All,

         Did Gordon ever have a shop on Piney Branch Road, just south of University Blvd.?  For some reason, I seem to remember walking from my apt. at Knob Hill Apts with my then wife, and there was this little shop (about the size of a carry out pizza shop) just down the hill from University Blvd. There was a Lamborghini Miura in the show window. This would have been around 1967-68. 

      Don Haines 
      727-487-2361 (FL) or 808-989-0047 (HI)  

      See examples of my previous work at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42079599@N02/sets/

      To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com
      From: scshmoo@...
      Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:34:37 -1000
      Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Check out this video

      Hi Ray,

      Gordon's Father was Gordon Russel Tatum, Sr. He worked at the Applied Physics Lab (APL/JHU 8621 Georgia Ave) in Silver Spring during the war developing the VT proximity fuse for artillery shells. In the early 1950s he left APL/JHU and founded Vitro Labs. First located across from Pumphery's Funeral Home above the Masons. The nice building on Georgia  Ave extended beyond Olney was built toward the end of the 1950s.

      Gordon had the shop on 3837  Plyers Mill Road in Kensington (behind the fire house). Charlie used it as a base and showroom.

      Bob Hurt was a male model and very good driver. I think he raced sports cars before he was 21.  He never crashed at Marlboro. His injury happened during practice for the 1968  Indy 500. He was driving #14 Quaker State and backed into the SW turn wall. A suspension part or the roll bar was pushed into his neck. He was paralysed for the rest of his life.

      Best wishes,

      On 12 Jun 2013, at 12:08, Ray Fleming wrote:

      RE: Ferrari prices...in about '66 or so, there was a used car lot on the west side of US1, right at a light about 100 yards south of the US1/DC beltway interchange. They had a 250GT SWB Berlinetta, painted kinda bright yellow, with a price of $3,995. on the hood. I stopped my Volvo 123-GT to look at it. It had obviously undergone some quick and dirty bodywork, and at the time, I was making about $500 bucks a month with a baby, so, end of story.
      Also, am I getting Gordon Tatum and Charlie Hayes confused? I know that Hayes had a shop in Kensington, because In about 63 or 64, he did a tuneup on my 54 TR-2. In his showroom, there sat a red Ferrari (a Testa Rosa, I think), and on that day I met a guy named Hal Booher who became a lifelong SCCA/dirtbike/taildragger flying buddy. At the time, he raced a white Elva Courier; some of you may remember Hal. (We were both getting a Hayes-hosing that day.)
      Also, wasn't Tatum the son of the guy that owned Vitro Laboratories in northern Montgomery Co?
      Lastly, my recollection is that it was Bob Hurt who wrecked his Ferrari in the chicane, and further, that he was then a full or semi-parapalegic for the rest of his life. Can anyone verify that. And, I thought he was real young at that time; where did he get all that dough?

      From: David&Carol <scshmoo@...>
      To: Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com 
      Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:07 PM
      Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Check out this video
      Hi Bob,

      The car you describe sounds like a 330 P serial 0810, but I do not think it was ever raced by Andretti.

      0810 started life as a 250 P then was upgraded by the factory to 330P.

      Pedro Rodriguez raced it (Pedro was short) as did John (Buck) Fulp, Skip Hudson and Bob Grossman.


      On 12 Jun 2013, at 07:17, Bob wrote:
      An amazing number of truly legendary Ferraris went through Gordons hands, including many NART cars that didn't find buyers after Sebring, Nassau and Daytona. Pete Sherman wound up with a Tatum Lusso or two, and there were at least two ICE GTOs, a whole host of 250 and 330GTs and my 275GTB4.

      Bob Hurt was one of Gordon's "clients" and I recall a flap when the ex-Andretti enduro winning car (330P?) showed up at Marlboro and the roll bar height rules had been changed. Hurt squawked about it being legal for Daytona or whatever, and the tech guys pointed out that Bob was 6" taller than Mario. 

      I believe that car wound up with a normal engine after Harvey Cluxton blew the race engine on the street, and putting that historic car back together involved some nasty lawsuits, and someone blowing up Harvey's helicopter.

      Cheers, Bob

      On 6/12/2013 11:23 AM, MIchael Ling wrote:
      Hi Sam, thanks for the update on Gordon Tatum.  Of course at the time, in 1966, I was mesmerized by his GTO.  At today's GTO money, it's hard to believe that Gordon was banging it around at SCCA regional races. I did wondered how much was Gordon's driving and how much was the car.  I think Gordon did have more than a bit of talent.  I also thought there was a bit of jealousy in the pit.  I recalled that behind his back, his name was 'Tata', denoted his upperty mannerism.  I was not awared of his dealings until when I enrolled in law school here in California, 1979.  I was assigned to research on a case named "Maryland vs. Tatum". Sam, you can well imagined my shock to read the name Gordon Tatum on the complaint.  It was a convoluted 3-party deal involved Gordon, a purchasing client, and Chinetti on a lightweight Ferrari Daytona.  I somewhat dismissed the case as typical when dealing Chinetti.  However some years later when  I mentioned the case to a member within the Ferrari circle, the individual was not surprised, as evidently Gordon has acquired a less than stellar standing within the Ferrari circle.  All rather tragic don't you think?  With his God given talents, he would have gone FAR onhe right side of the law.  I have seen this before, I attributed it to character flaw.
          May be you can help me on this one, Sam.  In 1965-1966, Gordon mentored a kid named Koenigsberg.  This wealthy rookie showed up at the Marlboro driver school with a Ferrai SWB.  Not just any SWB, but one with Testa Rossa engine, with scooped 6 dual Webers.  He lost it and the car went back to Italy and back into his hand.  Well, at his first race back, he came up to Warren Shamlian while the cars lined up on the Bowl and told Warren that he is going to beat Warren ( in his Elva).  I recalled that Koenigsberg was more thaa few rows behind Warren.  When the flag fell, the kid did make a few brave moves, passed few cars while still on the bowl.  Saddly, he flew off the bowl's drop off and lost it on landing, brought out scattered chaos onto the left side of the track.  That was fortunate because the guards were on the right side.  I have wondered whatever happened to both Kenigsberg and that very very special 250 SWB.

      From: mailto:Sam_Smith01@... mailto:Sam_Smith01@...
      To: Marlboro Raceway mailto:Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com 
      Cc: Marlboro Raceway mailto:Marlboro_Raceway@yahoogroups.com 
      Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:31 AM
      Subject: Re: [Marlboro_Raceway] Check out this video

      Hi Folks
      For those that did not know, Gordon Tatum, Jr. died February 9th, 2012 <born July 5th, 1940> -- Gordon suffered heat stroke in 2008 or 9 and was housed in a state sponsored nursing home. His family requested that Gordon not be contacted after his stroke -- a friend saw mention of Gordon's passing in a "Rodder's Journal" article that talked about his front engine dragster "The Surfer" and emailed me. Gordon was quite a character <sometimes a bad one> - I believe most would agree - he did "business" in Kensington as Internal Combustion Engines, later had shops in Shady Grove and near the Montgomery County Air Park. Gordon did bring many fine ex-factory Ferrari race cars to Marlboro and VIR when no one else did -- He had extraordinary examples of Ferraris and other exotic cars through his shop(s). I for one hope he found some piece at the end
      Sam Smith

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