Big Red History 1992-2003

In the new year, the press coverage on Big Red went international. In January, the Finnish magazine Street & Race splashed out a two-page spread using the photos by Philippe Dahn, entitled “Paha Punainen.” If your Finnish is a little rusty, it translates to “Evil Red.” A month later, Big Red was profiled in Nitro, a French magazine covering American cars. Its four-page feature was titled, “Tueur de Porsche,” or “Porsche Killer.” Regrettably, even the best runs must come to an end. RJ was no longer a 19-year-old guy with a lot of free time on his hands. He’d done his college years at the University of California at Santa Barbara, which kept him near enough to make racing practical. But the realities of adult life and the pursuit of a career in business began to preclude racing Big Red, for the time being. As Dan began liquidating all the IMSA and Super Production race cars, and ultimately dismantling   Raceway/Gottlieb Racing, the semi-formal entity that he had established to house Big Red and all the other race cars over the years, he wondered what to do with Big Red. The car, unlike the other race cars, held a special place in 

 his heart — it was amonument to the relationship he had forged with his son and the things they had achieved together. A man doesn’t put a price tag on something like that and put it up on the auction block. Never. That was just not going to happen. So Dave asked Dan if he could put the car in a museum, and he said they contacted the Petersen Automotive Museum, but it wasn’t interested at the time. Dave called the curator at Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Museum at the Riverside Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, who asked for magazine articles and information about Big Red. As soon as the curator recognized the importance of Big Red, he called and asked when it could be delivered to him to put on display. Dave delivered Big Red to the museum in January 1995, and it remained on display until early 2003.

In the new year, the press coverage on Big Red went international. In January, the Finnish magazine Street & Race splashed out a two-page spread using the photos by Philippe Dahn, entitled “Paha Punainen.” If your Finnish is a little rusty, it translates to “Evil Red.” A month later, Big Red was profiled in Nitro, a French magazine covering American cars. Its four-page feature was titled, “Tueur de Porsche,” or “Porsche Killer.” Regrettably, even the best runs must come to an end. Regrettably, even the best runs must come to an end. RJ was no longer a 19-year-old guy with a lot of free time on his hands. He’d done his college years at the University of California at Santa Barbara, which kept him near enough to make racing practical.

But the realities of adult life and the pursuit of a career in business began to preclude racing Big Red, for the time being. As Dan began liquidating all the IMSA and Super Production race cars, and ultimately dismantling  Raceway/Gottlieb Racing, the semi-formal entity that he had established to house Big Red and all the other race cars over the years, he wondered what to do with Big Red. The car, unlike the other race cars, held a special place in his heart — it was amonument to the relationship he had forged with his son and the things they had achieved together. A man doesn’t put a price tag on something like that and put it up on the auction block Never. That was just not going to happen. 

So Dave asked Dan if he could put the car in a museum, and he said they contacted the Petersen Automotive Museum, but it wasn’t interested at the time. Dave called the curator at Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Museum at the Riverside Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, who asked for magazine articles and information about Big Red. As soon as the curator recognized the importance of Big Red, he called and asked when it could be delivered to him to put on display. Dave delivered Big Red to the museum in January 1995, and it remained on display until early 2003.

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