❤️ Marianne “Pinki”
Rollo and her racing partner Patricia Mernone were the two best women
auto-racing drivers in the U.S. in the 1960’s. The following excerpt is
taken from a 1964 Sports Illustrated Profile on the duo: “Neither Pinkie
nor Pat looks like a racing driver, if it may be said that there is any one
way racing drivers look (husky? tough? leathery?). Both are small and
feminine. Pinkie is a respectable five and a half feet tall but weighs only
113 pounds, and Pat, at 5 feet 2, weighs 100. Pinkie has driven sports cars
competitively for nine years—Jaguars, MGs, Corvettes, Alfa Romeos and, at
present, a Triumph Spitfire. Pat has had her foot on a racing throttle only
since 1961 and has performed the remarkable feat of winning 70% of her
races, all of them over men. She has been first, second or third 90% of the
time and in her Morgan 4/4 is second in the Sports Car Club of America’s
Northeast divisional series. "The two of them are taken seriously by
their real competition," says their manager, Ed Grant. "It's only
among the tag end of the pack that you run into any problem. Those guys are
out there to wave at their girl friends, and I don’t know what they say to
them afterward when they've been bombed by a little 100-pound girl."
Driving in Washington traffic with Patricia is not for the feeble-hearted.
"You have to treat driving in traffic as a game, or a challenge,"
she explained the other day, immediately putting her philosophy into
practice in a Sunbeam which she calls Eustace. "Otherwise you won't
get anywhere in the rush hour. Come on, stupid! This car is stupid."
She brightened. "Watch this!" Zoom, across the tail of a stout,
middle-aged Ford went Eustace. "Oh, my father is right," she
said. "One of these days I'm going to get thrown into jail. My father
took me to see my first sports car race at Marlboro. That was in May of
1961, and in September the two of us were in race-driving school. My father
thought it would improve his rally driving." #butchhistory