An Interview with Richard (Dick) Scheen
I met Dick Scheen at The Breakfast Club for auto enthusiasts in Las Vegas and, after hearing some of his adventures racing British cars, asked for an interview for The Spanner.
Dick started solo racing with an early Triumph TR-4, followed by a Triumph Herald in grass roots club events around Salt Lake City, Utah. He progressed to circuit racing with a TVR 18OOS, a Lotus 18, and a fully race-prepared 1964 Triumph Spitfire. As his racing evolved through the development stages, he ran at courses in the Pacific Division of SCCA including Riverside Raceway, Willow Springs and even the Stardust Raceway in Las Vegas.
His innovations included fitting Cadillac wheel rims to Austin Healey centers to run maximum width tires, upgrading the TVR's MGB motor to a Huffaker head with racing cam, bigger SU's and lots of suspension tweaks as allowed in production classes. The TVR ran in the very fast B-production class. Dick shared a drive in Formula 3 class with the Lotus 18. This 1100cc Lotus was prepared as a backup for Sir Sterling Moss, but never used. Dick remembers plowing some adjacent farmland in an off-course excursion with the four-wheel drum braked Lotus but never sustained any serious damage nor injuries. As competition and costs increased, Dick and a friend prepared a G-production Triumph Spitfire and ran it in addition to the Lotus.
His peak of success was when he won first place trophies with the Lotus and the Spitfire on the same day. Dick reached his critical decision point when the time and financial requirements became too consuming, and he retired his helmet and suit. However, he is the proud owner of the custom rod "Orange Crate" and attends many local and regional shows. When you see it, stop and swap some tales with Dick Scheen.