Club member Vern Schuppan was, this week, inducted into the Australian Motorsports Hall of Fame at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Booleroo’s most famous son received the honour during the Australian Grand Prix build-up and it was rightly deserved.
Vern is a modest, self-effacing guy who shirks the limelight and yet has had a remarkably successful career in motor racing and as a businessman since retiring.
Driving for the Rothmans Porsche team he won Le Mans in 1983 paired with Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert. Added to that he ran three times in the Indianapolis 500 becoming rookie of the year in 1976 and finishing third in 1981. Which made him the highest placed Australian at Indy for 34 years until Will Power took second place at Indianapolis. Then there were his three races at Bathurst 1000. In one he and Allan Moffatt were leading in their XB Ford Falcon before the engine blew. He also raced in Formula 1 for BRM, Ensign and Surtees.
It is not well known but Vern was instrumental in assisting the South Australian Government to host Australia’s first grand prix, in Adelaide.
He summed up his career beautifully when he said. “Anytime I got offered a decent ride in any sort of car I said ‘yes’ and that gave me a great career all over the world.”