Too Good to be True

FFR Customer Karen Salvaggio Wins on the Track and Off.

If you are in the Factory Five community you will eventually get to know Dr. Karen Salvaggio.

Karen is a good friend, a competitive racer, and a tremendous supporter of the Factory Five family. Karen competes with a Factory Five Type 65 Coupe in NASA events on the West Coast and also campaigns several Challenge Cars. She also organizes events such as the FFR customer group at the annual AHA show in Pomona and the HB cruise-in at Huntington Beach. Right now she has one of her Challenge Cars on display at the Wally Parks NHRA museum in Pomona.

If you are on The Factory Five Forum, give her a shout, her call sign is VNMSSS. Or you can say hi in person if you are at the Huntington Beach Cruise-In this April, as she is one of the organizers!

Karen has always been a good friend and I wanted to let people know some of the things she does behind the scenes.

A month ago we were scheduled to transport some race cars to the Bondurant School as part of a proposed
Karen wrote to me:vintage driving/licensing class. After a lot of work, there was an organizational change at the school and the program was set back. I was pretty bummed since the work was well considered and we go way back with Bondurant. Karen wrote me a very kind note of support and I wanted to share it with you all, since it applies to all of us who work hard and don’t always win. Keep in mind that Karen lost her husband last year and raced her FFR Coupe the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in his memory.

“What a roller coaster ride for you, and for Matt as well. I am reminded of a quote from the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain – “That which you manifest is before you.”…..You, Dave, live this mantra as well……

Garth Stein, the author, was interviewed recently. You might recall the story is told through the eyes of a dog named Enzo…:

Enzo’s epiphany—the thing he learns at the end of his life—is that his assumption that race car drivers have to be selfish to be successful, is incorrect. In fact, he determines, in order to be successful, a race car driver has to be completely selfless. He must cease looking at himself as the brightest star in the solar system, and begin to see himself as simply a unique aspect of the universe around him—and, most importantly, as an extension of the universe around him. In this way, a race car driver sheds his ego; his actions become pure and as powerful as the entire universe, which in turn leads to success.

Right now Bondurant is not ready for you/us/our cars, and in time the right moment with them, or someone else, will unfold…….We’ll be here building and ready for the next great adventure.


Ryan Flaherty (NASA), Karen Salvaggio and her grandson at the 2011 NASA Awards Banquet held feb 2012 at Santa Anita Park. “The Coupe wa the 2011 Western Endurance Racing Championship.s victorious, Andy was surely smiling on us, and we thought you might just be a tad bit proud of what you’ve designed and built”. Karen won.

Thanks for all the stoke Karen! You sound like a philosopher. Look forward to seeing you at the Huntington Beach Cruise-In.

Dave Smith