90th, Phil RemingtonHide Text
Happy 90th Birthday Phil Remington!
Dan Gurney, Phil Remington and AJ Foyt, The Night Before LeMans Victory
January 22, 2011
Watching Tom Hanks try to get off the Island in the movie “Castaway” a few years ago, all we could think of was “Where’s Rem?” Had the legendary Mr. Fix-It, motor racing’s best-known fabricator been there, they would have been off that island in no time. Phil would have known how to hammer together a boat from bark and a make-shift helicopter from old socks, of this, all of us at All American Racers are convinced.
In 43 years at AAR, nobody remembers Phil missing a day of work. His ability as a fabricator, designer, draftsman, engineer and all around problem solving genius has inspired 3 generations of racers behind the wheel, at the track or at the shop at home base. A huge number of alumni of the AAR Remington university have gone on to establish their own formidable careers in the motor racing industry.
Born in 1921 in Santa Monica, the cradle of hot rod civilization, Phil served as a flight engineer in the South Pacific in World War II. After the war, he started racing hot rods on the Dry Lakes. A severe motorcycle accident, which almost cost him a leg, finished that career and launched another. Phil found out what he could do with his hands, a hammer and a piece of metal! And he could do it faster and better than anybody else alive.
And so the journey began which took him around the world with the greatest racing teams of the day. He was with Lance Reventlow in Monte Carlo when he ran the first American F1 car, he helped the Ford Shelby Cobra Team win the sports car war against Ferrari, he was in the pits when Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt won Ford’s greatest victory at Le Mans, he joined Holman and Moody on the Southern Circuit, led an endurance test for Ford Motor Company through hazardous Afghanistan and was at the Speedway when the Gurney Eagles dominated the Indy car scene. He finally saw Bobby Unser drink that precious bottle of milk when he won the Indy 500 in a car which Rem helped to build at AAR and naturally he was there at the Daytona 24 Hours, at Sebring and Watkins Glen when the GTO and GTP Eagles started their winning streaks.
Handsome to this day, modest, outspoken, politically incorrect, proud, enthusiastic and full of a wicked sense of humor, Rem is the highly respected and beloved elder statesman at All American Racers. He lost his wife Joy in 2000, but shuns talk of retirement, though he allows “some hours on the weekend” to spend with his daughter Katie, son-in-law Dave, and his two grandsons, Tynan and Brady.
Dan Gurney, his boss and friend for more than three decades, calls Phil Remington AAR’s Rock of Gibraltar.” He is a marvel, an old salt, and an inspiration to young and old. “I know, it is a cliché, but when they made old Rem, they threw away the mold”.