Denise McCluggage Should Be Your Hero

Denise McCluggage piloting a Ferrari

Re-shared from Road & Track, text by Jason Cammisa, photo Getty + ISC Archives

[The great Denise McCluggage passed away on May 6, 2015. This article was originally posted January 20, 2015, on the occasion of her 88th birthday – The Eds]

Denise McCluggage turns 88 today. As my personal way of wishing her a happy birthday, I’ll tell you a story.

It’s the Streets of Willow Raceway, June of 2007. I’m here to drive a Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black Series. This is the first time I’m on a racetrack with other journalists. I expect to be the slowest of the bunch and I expect the AMG to be terrible. I am wrong on both counts. The Black Series is incredible—the first heavy modern car I’ve ever experienced go perfectly neutral at its limit. It refuses to understeer. It refuses to not be incredible. It refuses to refuse to do whatever you ask of it. I am in immediate love with the car, I’m pushing as hard as I can, and I’m passing everybody.

Almost everybody. There is one car out there driving at my pace, and I do everything I can to catch it. (more…)

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