Tony Adamowicz was born in New York on May 2, 1941. Although he won enduring fame for winning championships in Trans Am and Formula 5000, he also competed at Le Mans and Daytona. What brings him to the British Sports Car Hall of Fame, however, is his start as one of the first racers employed by Group 44.
During his career racing, in what many deem to be the golden age of sports car racing, Tony drove with the likes of John Morton, Sam Posey, Chuck Parsons, and of course, Group 44 head and fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Tullius. His illustrious professional career spanned more than two decades, from 1966 through 1989.
During his early days with Group 44, Tony drove both their Lotus Cortina and Triumph Spitfire. Later British drives would include a run in the famed Group 44 Jaguar XJR5 in the 1984 Le Mans 24 Hours.
After retiring from professional racing, he continued to race in vintage races, sometimes piloting the same cars he had driven professionally years before.
Among other accomplishments, Tony started out as an actual White House communications staffer in the administrations of presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and then Johnson. Additionally, with fellow Poles Brian Niemcek and Oscar Kovaleski, he founded The Polish Racing Drivers of America, a group that required members to be neither Polish nor racers. Oh, and he competed in the infamous 1971 Cannonball Run in a Chevrolet van loaded with barrels of gasoline. Yes, he had fun like that.
Sadly, Tony died of brain cancer just this past October at the age of 75.
You will find a website created by Gary Wheeler dedicated to Tony Adamowicz at the appropriately named A2Z Racer. (Get it? A2Z? AdamowicZ!) Check it out for lots of great stories and pictures.
Note: This is part of an ongoing series focusing on the 23 individuals who will be inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame in ceremonies on June 2nd, 2017, at the Hall of Fame in Petersburg, VA.