The Driver Suit Blog-Ray Lipper and Center Line Wheels Part 2

By David G. Firestone

Our last Friday Feature for Minor League Month is a continuation of what I started last week. Last week, I examined a driver suit worn by Center Line Wheels founder Ray Lipper. While the suit was an interesting find, it was only part of a larger uniform set. This week, I will examine the rest of the contents of the uniform set. This has to be the most comprehensive uniform set I have ever seen.

There is a black restraint harness included, which shows some light wear. There is also a set of orange Simpson gloves, both of which show heavy wear on the palms. Ray also wore these white Simpson racing shows, both of which show heavy wear. The right show has a tear in it, and the left shoe has some damage. The soles have dirt caked in them. This white balaclava was also worn, though there is no indication of who made it. This Linea Sport Nomex undershirt, which is thick and shows a lot of use is included in the lot. I’ve been trying to find out information about Linea Sport, but I’ve had no luck. This Italian-made pair of long-johns shows decent wear, as per the shirt, but are not as heavy as the shirt. This is a pair of black Nomex socks. They have no manufacturer indicated, and one is deformed from them being in a ball for some time. Moving on from the uniform elements, the lot also comes with a number of miscellaneous items.Race cars tend to be very loud, so Ray wore this par of earplugs, complete with original box. Cadillac Shoe Products has no affiliation with the Cadillac automobile company. This pair of black Cadillac shoe laces came with the set. This set of (presumably) car keys was used by Lipper at some point.A small, orange Snell Sport Vynl folder is included, and the contents of which are very interesting. This is a paper race result from the 1980 SCCA Formula Super Vee USA Robert Bosch/Valvoline Championship. One of the Gold Cup race took place at Watkins Glen on July 5, 1980. Lipper finished 16th, driving a Super Vee. He won $250 for his efforts.In preparation for a race at what is now Sonoma Raceway, Lipper hand drew this map of the track, and added notes as to what he should do in the car while driving in that area.This is a map of Watkins Glen, both the track, and the way to the track. It shows a lot of wear. In addition to racing in the United States, Lipper also raced in New Zealand. This is Lipper’s Motorsports Association of New Zealand(MANZ) license. The Manawatu Car Club is New Zealand’s oldest car club. Lipper was a part of it in 1982, and this is his member ticket. While Center Line Wheels may not be an independent company anymore, their lineage lives on. Ray Lipper has retired, both from Center Line and Racing. He’s been inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, and is another example of what makes racing great. He’s a businessman who races to help promote his company.

It’s that time of year again…next week…THE PAINT SCHEMIES!

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