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Old 05-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
Jerry Lee
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Default PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview

I must admit, if I had to pick one driver for an all time favorite, it would have to be Pete Brandenburg. As a kid, I must have pestered this poor guy to death with questions and such, and even to this day, Pete still takes time to share a story. Pete was also known for lettering and numbering up plenty of area race cars from the '50's through the '80's.

These clips are a mix of a 1997 interview and our conversation on the phone just the other night.......

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JL: "How did your racing career start?"

PB: "I started out at Englewood in '54 as a pitman for Joe Lehman. Then in '57, Joe was running out at Lakeside and he had two cars, so I started running Joe's other car out there. Then in '58 I started building my own cars and ran out at Englewood."

JL: "It wasn't long after that you started racing Midgets."

PB: "Oh yeah, I bought my first Midget from Leroy Byers. I think it's the only car he ever sold! (laughs) But I started running Midgets out at Lakeside then."

JL: "Who was fun to run with in the Midgets?"

PB: "Oh boy, there was so many. Ed Jackson, Tom Roth, the Manley kids, Joe Giba, Ody Fellows."

JL: "As a kid out at C & C Auto in the '60's, I remember you having that rear engine Midget."

PB: "Oh yeah, I had a model of Jim Clark's formula car he ran at Indy back then, and I built a rear engine Midget modeled after that. It sat real low in the seat. Ody Fellows had a rear engine Midget too, but not like mine."

JL: "You've run for quite a few owners over the years in just about everything from Stockers, Modifieds, Midgets, Mini Stocks, Late Models, Figure 8's, Claimers....what else am I missing here?"

PB: "Boy, I've driven a lot of Figure 8's over the years."

JL: "In fact, you won the Rocky Mountain Figure 8 Invitational Championship race back in the '60's driving for Bob Olson."

PB: "I remember that race! It wasn't for points, but there was a lot of money to win. I was leading the race and somebody's bumper busted off and got caught under the front of my car. They red flagged the race because of a crash at the X, so I pulled it into the infield. A bunch of guys from the pits came out and had to tear the radiator out of the car, but the motor still ran. We went nine more laps without a radiator and won it. Biggest trophy I ever got too! (laughs) I had to explain to the trophy girl that it wasn't me that smelled so bad, it was the motor! It had got so hot that it froze up when we went to get it off the track!"

JL: "One of my favorite stories is the boat incident. You were driving a Figure 8 for Kent Moore in 1970 and someone bumped you into the middle of Lake Codner."

PB: "Yeah! (laughs) The next week Kent had this boat bolted to the top of the race car as a joke. I guess he figured I could row it ashore if I ended up out there again."

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Last edited by Jerry Lee; 05-20-2009 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:31 PM   #2
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview

When Jerry Lee was a youngster, I remember taking him to a friends auto shop where Pete had a small room he had rented,and it was cluttered with paint and posters.It was hard to get Jerry to go home if Pete was around.Here's some pics that Jerry has sent me along with his comments.

(Pete Brandenburg collection)
“Here’s Pete’s first Midget (’59 - ‘60) that he bought
from Leroy Byers. Dig Pete’s cool cartoon and lettering
job on this racer.” –Jerry Lee




(Pete Brandenburg collection)
“Obviously not superstitious, Pete drove this R.M.M.R.A. Midget for years
sporting the color green and the #13. This shot shows Pete having a great
time out at Englewood Speedway during the early ‘70’s.” –Jerry Lee




(Mel Keller photo, Jerry Lee McGuire collection)
“Pete Brandenburg (left) and car owner Kent Moore stand by the Mr. Lama’s
Mexican Food Figure Eighter that featured the famous little lifeboat on top.”
---Jerry Lee
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview

(J.L. McGuire collection) Sporting an all girl pit crew in the early ‘90’s, Pete
Brandenburg and the girls await a push before an R.M.M.R.A. main event
at Colorado National Speedway. Still driving a green #13 (sometimes green
with white numbers or white with green numbers), Pete always had a
cartoon of a peanut (another racing superstition) painted on the front
of his Midgets.


Last edited by Jerry Lee; 07-06-2009 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:09 PM   #4
rapid30
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview

Jerry,
This shot must have been taken in the 80's as CNS was paved for the 89 season. We ran the CARC/ERA combined shows at CNS on Sunday nights in 1989.
Bruce
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:26 AM   #5
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview

It could have very well been taken in the '80's Bruce. I just remember that they said it was taken at C.N.S. when the photo was given to me. I do know for a fact that Pete drove the #13 Midget and had this same all-girl pit crew at C.N.S. as late as 1991 when I video taped him racing out there.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 07-07-2009 at 11:11 AM. Reason: "I" before "E" except after wha?
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview


(Pete Brandenburg collection) Pete Brandenburg muscled this big Oldsmobile around the
Englewood 8 for Bob Olson in 1966. The story goes that the Olson’s used to tow this big
honker to the track with a little VW Beetle. That must have been a sight to see!





(Pete Brandenburg collection) Pete was a bit shook up after this nasty smack at the X
which tossed the car clear up to the South wall of the track in 1967.





(Pete Brandenburg collection) In 1968, Bob Olson had twin Figure Eighters with Pete in the
#80 and Greg Higgins in #90. I remember one night where Olson tied a helium balloon with
a long string to the back of each car so they could be seen through all the smoke and dust
that was kicked up during the races.






(Pete Brandenburg collection) Another example of Pete’s cool lettering jobs from 1968.





(Pete Brandenburg collection) A soaking wet Pete Brandenburg awaits the tow truck after
being knocked into Lake Codner during a 1970 Figure 8 main. This prompted owner Kent
Moore to install the ‘life boat’ on the car the next week.





(Pete Brandenburg collection) Pete’s all smiles while waiting for a push in his rear engine
Midget in 1970. I’m not sure of the story behind “Giba & Fellows” listed as owners on the
side of the car.





(Photo by Joe Starr) Pete pilots his famous green #13 at Colorado National Speedway in 1990.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 02-21-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview


(Pete Brandenburg collection) Cool shot of Pete heading onto the track at
Englewood Speedway in 1966. This pic shows just how stock those old Figure
Eighters were back in the day. Just a two post roll bar behind the driver in
this Oldsmobile, complete with chrome trim and door handle still intact.



(Pete Brandenburg collection) The crew pose in front of the big Olds at
Englewood in 1966. From left to right are Pete Brandenburg, owner Bob
Olson, and an unidentified pitman. Dig the cool pink Studebaker Figure 8
on the left!

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 07-16-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview


(Pete Brandenburg collection) Pete picked up this win in 1965 in a Figure 8 co-owned
by Joe Lehman.




(Pete Brandenburg collection) 1950's classic cars didn't live a very long life once entered
in Figure 8 competition. Here's another Bob Olson owned Eighter that Pete drove for a short
while in 1966.




(Pete Brandenburg collection) Cool paint job for 1967!




(Pete Brandenburg collection) Owner Bob Olson (left) cracks everyone up by striking
the same pose as the trophy girl after this Brandenburg win in 1968.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 02-21-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: PETE BRANDENBURG - The Two Minute Interview


(Kent Moore collection) Pete Brandenburg wheeled this beautiful Kent Moore owned
Figure Eighter in 1970.




(Pete Brandenburg collection) 1970 main event win.




(Pete Brandenburg collection) Pete's cool Late Model Sportsman at Englewood in 1977.
Pete had this awesome Thunderbird painted up a bright yellow color with orange numbers.
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