Well, the polls just closed on the big election. What? No, no, no. Not the presidential election. Not to worry, despite all the yammering in the media, that’s still a full year away. No I’m talking about the Race Number election.
What number won? Was number 1 number 1? Did our readers prefer lucky 777 over nostalgic 66? What about the “racy” 69? Or did our readers think Tessie and Herbie had some something in common other than the “ie” on the end of their names, and vote for the classic Disney number of 53?
Of course, 47 was in the race for being the Race Number, being as the Plane Tales Plane was built in 1947. Also in the running was 76, part of our “N” number; and the numbers 55 and 99 just ‘cause they are sort of cool.
Well, like all elections in America, the voter turnout was lighter than we liked. And like elections in other parts of the world, there is some suspicion that perhaps the ballot box was “stuffed” by certain parties favoring certain numbers. (Personally, I suspect Tessie of being the guilty party because there are oil stains on many of the ballots, but I guess it serves me right for leaving the ballot box in the hangar.)
And we did have one “write-in” vote cast for Race 415, with the explanation that “in a way, you represent all of the Ercoupe family.” For those of you who didn’t know it, all Ercoupes are model 415s.
But the polls are now closed, the votes are in and counted, and it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to… drum roll…
Yep. Tessie and I are now registered with the Sport Air Racing League as Race 53. A salute and a bow to an iconic underdog who became a champ, and perhaps an invocation to the racing gods for good luck. And let’s not kid ourselves here; this choice of Race Number might just be an effective vaccination against the macho testosterone-rich air-racing world. I think it prudent to show up expressing a good sense of humor when arriving to race in a plane not well known for its racing prowess.
Now before the election, I joked about putting classic Disney auto-racing “gumballs” on the plane, but that’s just what we ended up doing in the end. And I gotta say, I’m amazed at how great the classic race numbers look on our girl. I think they harmonize with her lines and paint very well. (Although we had to ditch Herbie’s red, white & blue stripe. The colors didn’t work out, and Tess has a plethora of stripes of her own—it was just too much.)
Still, she looks like a born racer to my eye. So be on the lookout for Race 53 on the circuit in the 2016 season.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines… Here we come.