Steve Froines

Steve Froines

22/8/1932

Steve Froines drove for Bud Rose Imports in Walnut Creek, California. He raced a number of different Sunbeam Alpines in the early 60's. The first one was the origional "Rosebud". This was the car that Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss drove to 3rd place at the Riverside GP enduro in 1961.

The second Alpine he drove was the Ex-Ken Miles/Spencer Factory Alpine, which was acquired after Sebring. The car wasn't as fast as the race prepared Alpines but it did feature aluminum Doors, right hand drive and dual electrical components.

The third car was the Bob Richman car. This was the same car which Davey Jordan and Jim Adams would have success in. Doane Spencer prepared this car and as Doane said, "it was built from the floor sweeps of the factory cars". This was a very fast Alpine.

Steve raced car the Bob Richman after crank problems sidelined his Porsche RSK. Bob Richman, who worked for the importer "Cal Auto Imports", offered to let Steve drive the car in the up coming Cotati race.

He was introduced to the Sunbeam at Bud Rose's dealership. Rose had been looking for a driver and Steve was recommended. During Steve's first test drive in a brand new Alpine he managed to bend the throttle linkage. This was a poor introduction but Steve would agree to drive the Alpine for Bud Rose. In the future Bob Hagen would make a bracket system for "Rosebud" to reinforce the linkage and a car would be fully prepared for racing.

Steve called the SCCA on Thursday to see if he could get the car entered and was successful. It was the first time Steve drove the Alpine and he quickly realised that the car was very fast and handled well. He managed to win the F-Production race and almost won the race over all but was narrowly beaten by a Porsche Super 90 in E-Production, a half cars length made the difference.

Immediately Steve's Alpine was impounded and checked for rules infractions. From that moment on Steve raced both the Alpine and the RSK for the rest of the season. Steve also won at Candlestick Park in 1964. In practice Steve broke an axle when he spun backwards into a fence pole. This creased the center of the trunk and slightly pulled the rear fins in. Unfortunately, they didn't have spares so they "scavenged" the parts off a spectator's car.

He also competed in the US Road Race of Champions but blew a head gasket before the race and jumped in a lap late. During the race the back of the camshaft snapped leaving him with only 3 cylinders.

This car was originally, a maroon with silver stripes but when Steve started driving it for Cal Auto the color was changed to Metal Flake Blue. After the Candlestick park incident the car ended up with the later "fin" details of the Series IV cars. This car was also the same Alpine that Jim Adams would take to first place at Willow Springs.

He won his class at Sebring in 1966 in a TR-4 with Bill Pendleton and Steve was also National Champion in a TR-4 in 1965.

He did a couple of NASCAR races in 1970

Steve still competes in historic events driving a '59 F1 Cooper.

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