May/June 2019 edition
Issue #5 AutoMobilia Resource Magazine
In issue #2 of AutoMobilia Resource, I wrote about one of my finds of sorts last year during “car week” in Monterey, California at Laguna Seca. That is where I met watch collector, and vintage car fan, Eric Iskin with a wonderful Heuer that had been awarded to race driver John Morton. Well… Eric has two other special race related timepieces!
I’ll let Eric tell about these.…
“The two watches were won by Tony Adamowicz in 1968 and 1971. I acquired them from a friend who watched Tony race in the 1970s, and then helped him revamp his career in vintage racing in the 1990s. Tony sold both to him, and I bought them years later. I was fortunate to meet Tony at Infineon Raceway and reunite him with his Heuers a few years ago.
The Heuer with the red and blue bezel is the model 2446c Autavia GMT Chronograph. It’s complete with original box, papers, “beads of rice” bracelet, and even the original case back sticker, and…. a letter signed by Tony to my friend, from whom I acquired it. This particular example was won by Tony, for winning the “11 Hours of Kyalami” in South Africa in 1971, driving the Porsche 917. From what I understand, he was the only American to drive the 917 to victory.
The other Heuer was also awarded to Adamowicz for being the “SCCA Driver of the Year” in 1968, driving a Porsche 911 to victory in the Trans Am class. It is a model 3646 with Motor/age logo on dial and engraved on the reverse to Tony for his accomplishment.
As an avid collector of watches, and a vintage car and automobilia fan, Eric says he is “fortunate to be the custodian of these items that transcend the worlds of the watch, automobilia, and auto racing!” I couldn’t agree more.
To read more great columns like this one from Marshall Buck...
You just never know who you will meet or what you’ll come across during Monterey Madness, a.k.a. “Car Week.” Case in point; during my day at Laguna Seca for the historic races, I was strolling around the paddock visiting friends and customers who were there to race, and I happened upon the BRE racing display where race driver John Morton was sitting at a table doing a signing session. (John had a diverse and successful racing career, including when he drove for the BRE team from 1969 through 1972, winning national championships in 1970, ’71, and ’72.)
Back to the table....there was a line of enthusiasts patiently waiting for their moment with Morton, each carrying something dear to them to be autographed. I looked around, and saw the usual items; books, posters, and photos. Just as I was walking away, one fellow caught my eye when he presented John with a letter of some sort, and a smallish thin rectangular box, which he proceeded to open. I saw Morton’s face light up with a big smile. Ok, now they had my full attention, and fully peeked curiosity. That box looked suspiciously like a vintage watch box. I do have a watch fetish, same as with most car enthusiasts I know..... cars & watches, I don’t know why, but we love ‘em both. And yes, it was a watch, but not just any watch.
The timepiece in question was the exact Heuer that John Morton was awarded for driving the BRE Datsun 240Z to SCCA C Production National Championships in 1970. The letter which he added a personal note to then and there, was the original letter he wrote to the previous owner years ago authenticating this Heuer as his, stating it was for winning the 1970 championships. The unique Heuer Dato 45, complete with its original box, and original perforated leather strap with signed buckle is certainly a very rare piece on its own. Then you factor in the perfect condition, original box & strap, the letter, and that extra little something we call “provenance” and you have an item that many collectors of racing automobilia would give their eye teeth for.
John Morton sold this wonderful timepiece many years ago to a friend of the current custodian, Eric Iskin, who is the fellow that caught my eye. Eric had known of this watch for a long time, and about six years ago he was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to acquire it. Last year he ran into Morton, told him that he now owned the watch, emails were exchanged, and voilà....I observed Morton and his Heuer Dato 45 being briefly reunited. Eric is an avid watch collector, and vintage car & automobilia fan. He also happens to have a couple of other special race driver associated watches that we’ll show in a future issue.