A legend in the Corvette world for more than 50 years passed away last Tuesday in Newport Beach, Calif.
Andy Porterfield first started racing Corvettes in 1957, and amazingly he was still racing them in 2012 at the age of 80!
“Porterfield? Hell, he was racing Corvettes when I started,” racing icon George Follmer said in the October 1979 issue of SportsCar nearly 33 years ago.
Porterfield was a two-time SCCA national champion and won more than 400 races in his career that spanned 55 years. “I don’t know the exact number,” he said once. “I didn’t keep track; I just wanted to race.”
You may also know the Porterfield name through his brake business. As he was racing Corvettes, he discovered stopping is just as vital as going. Back then, Corvettes didn’t have the best brakes in the world, so he switched to Ferodo linings. That led to his becoming a U.S. distributor for that British company in 1985, and today, Porterfield Enterprises manufacturers its own brake pads and rotors and distributes other companies’ products.
He was also active in the California Sports Car Club, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and a national leader for SCCA.
On the pro side, Andy competed in 41 Trans-Am races between 1969 and 1992, finishing third on two occasions in 1980, both (of course) in a Corvette.
Porterfield was born on June 1, 1931. He earned a degree in business administration at Chico State College. Until the mid ’80s, he was a partner in a company that built parts for nuclear-power plants.
Memorial services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Pacific in the chapel at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar, Calif., on April 26. The chapel is just inside the entrance to the park.
Cards or messages may be sent to the Porterfield Brakes Shop, 1767 Pacentia Ave, Costa Mesa, CA, 92627.