WHAT IT TAKES SPEAKER
John Morton (born February 17, 1942) is an American racing driver from Waukegan, Illinois. After his father took him to a race at Road America in 1957, Morton became an avid racing fan. He went on to race jalopies in South Carolina before he dropped out of Clemson University to attend Carroll Shelby’s racing school at Riverside Raceway in California. Taking a menial job working in Carroll Shelby’s race shop, Morton saved his money to purchase his first race car, a Lotus Super 7 which he raced in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) amateur races in 1963.
In 1964 he drove with Ken Miles at Sebring in a 427 Cobra for Shelby American Racing. Teaming with Miles and Skip Scott, Morton won the GT class at the Road America 500, second overall, in a team Cobra. That year he bought his second race car: a Lotus 23B.
John raced mostly SCCA Club races through 1968 until Peter Brock (the American designer, motorsports writer and photographer, not the Australian racer) hired him for his new BRE Datsun team. The period between 1969 and 1972 were fruitful for John, Peter and Datsun. The team disbanded after the 1972 season after dominating both SCCA C Production with the 240Z (National Championships in 1970-71) and the 2.5 Trans-Am with the 510 (Championships in 1971-72).
Racing in F5000, Can-Am and IMSA occupied the next few years. A short almost accidental foray into the movie industry in 1975 led to stunt work on a couple of feature films (Gumball Rally and Greased Lightning) and several TV shows (Rockford Files and Fantasy Island). In 1981 Phil Conte joined John’s small Can-Am team as a sponsor for two years after which Phil formed his own IMSA team with John as one of his two drivers in the GTP category.
In 1985 Jim Busby hired John as team driver in one of his BF Goodrich sponsored Porsche 962s with Pete Halsmer. The pair won the Times GP at Riverside in 1985. In 1987 John drove for the Group 44 Jaguar team of Bob Tullius and won the last Times GP at Riverside and the West Palm Beach GP, both sharing the car with Hurley Haywood. The Walkinshaw team replaced Tullius’ Jaguar team for 1988 and the Electramotive Nissan Team signed Morton. John and Geoff Brabham won several races that year setting the stage for Nissan’s domination of the IMSA series for several years.
Current Role Within Your Company
In a Nutshell
A lifetime of amateur and professional race experience.
Why I Got Into a Career in Motorsports
“After his father took him to a race at Road America in 1957, Morton became an avid racing fan.” – Wikipedia