Early History of the ODHDC
ODHDC started as a club of sports car enthusiasts who would see
car owners on the Outer Drive in Chicago, commuting to work from the
the loop, sometimes in the most inclement weather. These were early
the sports car driving and sports car rallies, etc. As this became
organized, the annual Hero's HappyHoliday Hangover Hassle was started
Year's Day. Early records indicate the first HHHHH was the 1955 event.
have a set of instructions from the 1956 event, labelled as ODHDC
HHHHH #2. It
appears the numbering of later events has been off by one or two. For
part, we will descibe the events as they were numbered at the time
presented, knowing that there is some minor discrepancy.
When sports car enthusiasts found the annual football bowl games less
thrilling, and wanted something more interesting to do, the HHHHH
flourished. Jim "Torc" Torcaso was one of the primary people behind
the organization of ODHDC, and contributed his time and interests, not only
for the New Years Day event, but for summer events as well. Torc is responsible
for the ODHDC name. Fred Egloff was not only
a very early member, but one who stays active and still participates on the HHHHH
event on New Years Day. Frank Opalka was another in the list of founding members.
One of the characters who was active in the early years of the organization, was Bob
Lester, a mechanic specializing in sports cars, who ran a well known
shop in the Hyde Park area, named Foreign Car Hospital.
Personal note: The Foreign Car Hospital and Lester's Team Wink
things beyond a repair shop. This was sometimes a gathering place,
social network, sometimes just help for those who hadn't learned the
repair their cars, yet. I met Bob and others while I was trying to
keep my Fiat
1100 running as a poor college student in Chicago in 1962. Bob would
repair the car, or if that was financially beyond my means, he would
tell me how to do it, and sell me the parts. I had never worked on
but with Bob's help, it was not difficult. Fiats of that era were
reliable as American cars, but success of 'foreign cars' was largely
folks like Bob. RC
Curiously, several small tidbits from the earliest days in ODHDC have
We'll list a few snippets, in no particular order, but for many, the
alone will bring memories.
- Rosemary and Roger Dick from Evanston were active in several of
the early HHHHH events
- Event Chairman for the 1960 event was Carl Larsen, from Park
Ridge Sports Car Club. Assisted by Frank Opalka, he put on the
fourth HHHHH. In some places this is listed as HHHHH V.
- Jerry Warshaw was named the 'Hero-Of-The-Year'
- Winner in 1960 was Jack and Dee O'Hare in a TR3, with Peter
Prohaska and Jay Adams finishing second in an MGA. Ernie Bock and
Bob Steunenberg were third.
Event Paperwork from past events
For those who have time to spare, several past years challenges have
posted. A few are incomplete, and anyone with information to add is
encouraged to submit additional items. Click on the folder for the
year to open
the paperwork. Much of this information comes to us thanks to the
files of Glenn and Barb Grossklags, and also to Sherry and Fred Egloff
captured some of the earliest paperwork. Frank Opalka had collected a
large sheaf of papers, and allowed us to copy them before they were
sent on to Torc in early 2013.
Please note: We need copies of any instruction sets, or even
pieces from your files. We'll scan it and return it to you if
desired. We also
have made our best guesses as to the organizers, event names, years,
there are some inconsistencies, please write us, and offer any
Open the master list of events, authors, etc. Click on the mini-table below.
Numbering of the events
The numbering of the events seems to be off at some periods of history.