Frank Grimaldi and “Old #80”
We are pleased to announce the arrival of Frank Grimaldi’s 1968 Chevrolet Camaro also known as “Old #80” to the museum floor. Frank’s first involvement in auto racing came in the form of drag racing a 1953 XK120M Jaguar at Sanford, Maine. His father was surprised when he found out his son had been drag racing his car on the weekends.
His inspiration to be involved in sports car racing came after he went to a trans am race in 1968. He soon after purchased the 1968 Chevy Camaro which was to become “Old #80” from Viper Racing of Glastonbury, CT. He started racing this car in 1971 and in 1973 he became the SCCA Northeast Division Champion.
Frank sold the car in 1974 to Jim Briody and lost track of the car over the years. In 1990 he received a call from George Boyd who was looking for information on the car. Frank and George became friends after many conversations, which lead to Frank repurchasing the car. He then resumed racing the Camaro with the SVRA, VRG, HRG and ran multiple races in Quebec, Canada.
In 1996 while racing at the annual Lime Rock Historic event the car was involved in a massive rollover accident. Against all odds and the advice of many the car was repaired and returned to race again for the first time in the 1997 Lime Rock Historic event. Frank finished 3rd in class that day and won the 1997 Skip Barber Cup for his dedication to sports car racing.
The results that Frank amassed with “Old 80” were impressive. From 1971 to 2021 Frank ran 265 races, collected 110 podiums and 40 wins. “I considered my racing career a success when my age reached my car number”. Frank retired from racing in 2021 at the age of 81. Frank is pictured with his wife Ann on the day the car arrived at the North East Motor Sports Museum in early 2022.