Posted on 29th May 2013
The Return of the "Purple People Eater" team!
The "Purple People Eater" team (ca. 1966) in front of the Overseas Motors dealership in Fort Worth, Texas
The famous Overseas Motors Minis of the 60's are once again a team effort, thanks to Texan Robert Hoemke of Abilene. Robert has been the owner of the original "Purple People Eater" of Richard McDaniel’s for several years; this car won the SCCA C Sedan National Championships in 1966, 1967, and 1968, making McDaniel the only three-time consecutive champion in this class. That is cool enough to warrant preserving the most famous of all the C Sedan Minis!
In 2012, Robert located the team's second car, that had been driven by Hugh Grammar. This Mini had two podium finishes to McDaniel’s Mini at the SCCA AARC. When found, the car was in very poor condition, and is currently at the Seven Enterprises' shop undergoing a period restoration by Mike Kearney (see below!).
As a team, these Minis had unprecedented success racing in the SCCA in both the National program and then in the professional Trans Am series. Pedro Rodriguez even drove the McDaniels car in events back in the day. How many Minis have had a F1 driver and '24 Hours of Le Mans' champion behind the wheel? Possibly only the "Purple People Eater."
This car duo is scheduled to race for the first time together since 1968 at the Monterey Reunion in California August 16-18, 2013. Then it will be on to Mid-Ohio and the CanAm Mini Challenge in 2014. Drivers for the famous team have now been decided, with Robert driving #61 (the McDaniel car), and SCCA multiple-National Champion and Ohio Native Mike Pinney in #51 at the CanAm.
If you are a Mini enthusiast you have to be at the CanAm race; it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that will feature some of the most famous Minis and drivers ever assembled in one place for one race!