What do you do when both you and your spouse are race car drivers? Head for the race track, of course! You might say Dave and Erika Herting have been ‘fast’ friends for life.
Dave’s racing started in 1959 with an Austin-Healey 100. It was stuffed with a modified Chevy 283 engine and a three-speed transmission with overdrive. He used it for street racing and everyday transportation. Sadly, he sold it to pay tuition at Cal Tech.
Cal Tech plays big here, as Dave and Erika first met at a social exchange between Cal Tech and California Nursing. They waved the matrimonial checkered flag in 1962, have been married for 47 years, and have two grown daughters.
Dave was determined to buy a new Shelby Cobra and had negotiated a good deal at $4,750! To buy it, he needed to show it to Erika, who was pregnant at the time. One look at the Cobra and Erika saw it did not have “real windows” or enough room for the baby. “No way, hombre,” she said. Dave says his friends suggested divorce, but when the rubber met the road, the baby’s needs ruled.
Luckily for Dave, a Sunbeam Tiger with the same engine as the Cobra was also in the showroom. It had real windows and room for the baby. Sold!
The Hertings raced the Sunbeam in car slalom events and time trials for 30 years. Both have many Class C wins. Erika won a first place trophy for Overall Women’s Class in 1978. The couple ran in club events such as Vintage Racing and the Shelby/Cobra Club. They now run “time trials” on tracks at Willow Springs, Laguna Seca, and Las Vegas.
The 1965 Sunbeam Tiger was built in England by the Routes Group (later purchased by Chrysler). They shoe-horned the Ford small-block 260-cubic-inch,V8, (used in the Ford Falcon, which developed 164 BHP), into the light Sunbeam Alpine body. Later variants produced over 300 BHP.
Dave is a retired engineer who worked on the Apollo Moon Landing Mission, and Erika is a nurse who had many interesting assignments including rock concerts, baseball playoffs, and the Oscar and Emmy shows.
Dave is originally from South Dakota, and Erika is from Los Angeles. Ten years ago they moved to Fallbrook to “get away from the deteriorating neighborhood conditions in the Los Angeles area.”
“We love Fallbrook because of the friendly people and light traffic,” says Dave.
The Hertings have been in the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club (FVCC) for eight years. Dave has served in many official capacities within the club.
The Fallbrook Vintage Car Club is always open to guests and new members. To receive more information about the car club, send an email to president@
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