Formed the PRDA

        Polish Race Drivers of  America

        Early 1970

     So Oscar was voted first President of the PRDA.  Brad and I were both Vice-Presidents just in case we needed 2 of them.  I knew it would create some interest in promoting myself in racing.  A new niche in the racing fraternity.  We never realized it would take off so extensively with the Media.  Brad kept pumping out the newsletter, and AutoWorld, Oscar's company would mail them.  Of course the expanded mailing list for its catalog was a winning situation for Oscar's company as well.

     I was paranoid that it would leak out to the Press before Indy.  I did not want the tongue-in-cheek PRDA promotional vehicle to be a part of the seriousness there.  Oscar and Brad complied with my request however a select few seemed to know about it.  Perhaps that's because I wore the patch on my uniform when I drove the Ferrari 312P at LeMans and a Porsche 917 at Monza shortly before Indy.  The Europeans were very curious about it.  Eventually there was a "cult following" of the PRDA especially since the "exclusive" requirements applied to everyone.  In Japan when I raced there at Fuji Speedway, the culture just didn't get it.  To them I was a real Vice President of Polish racing drivers.  Imagine that!

Oscar in his McLaren.  Note the slot car motif promoting his business

Did Koveleski's choice of car number have any significance?

Naw, Of course not!

    Oscar forwarded the idea and drawings to Brad Niemchek who was the Can Am spokesperson for Johnson's Wax, who sponsored the early Can Am series.  Brad was very clever in his writing skills and quite a marketing person as well.  I knew Oscar had the facilities for mass mailings but little time for the clever stuff except at the track.  Brad became the person who wrote the tongue in cheek newsletter.  I of course took up the VP duties of being the organization's Professional Polish Racing Driver.  We determined the exclusive conditions for becoming a member:  1st, must be a racing driver of Polish decent.  2nd, must be a racing driver of Non-Polish decent.  3rd, must be a Non Racing driver of Polish decent.  4th, must be a Non-Racing Driver.  That and $3.00 got you a lifetime membership, a numbered membership card, a beautifully illustrated embroidered patch, one large and small sticker of the same, and a newsletter.  Why so cheap everyone asked?  I replied this way we never have to "dunn" you for dues. You'll always be a member in "good Standing"  Many celebrities and US officials became members including Richard Nixon!

     In the winter between the 1969 and 70 seasons, I got the idea to form the Polish Race Drivers of America (PRDA ).  I proposed the whole thing to my friend, Oscar Koveleski, who had the largest mail order model car & competition parts catalog in the world.  Kinda' like JC Whitney.  I sent him preliminary drawings of the logo shown here.

     There was a splash underneath that incorporated the words Polish Racing Drivers of America.  Just in case someone could not figure out PRDA.

Oscar Koveleski

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz







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