Volunteer Spotlight: Tom Styczynski

Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?

When I was 8 years old my father took me to stock car races at Soldier Field (Home of Da Bears) on Chicago’s Lake Front. The cars and were local often based in neighborhood gas stations. I made a point of looking into these garages on my bike tours. The interest grew when my sister was dating a guy, ultimately my brother-in-law, who passed on some car magazines from the 50’s. I attended my first real sports car race at Meadowdale Raceway in 1964. That was just the start.

Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?

My sister purchased a copy of the June 1960 Sports Car Illustrated for my birthday. The magazine included feature articles about Colin Chapman – Lotus; Alec Issigonis – Austin Mini; and Valerio Colotti – race car gearboxes. All were engineers with hands on experience working on their cars. I followed the same path leading to an early decision to pursue a career as a Mechanical Engineer.

Q: What makes nvolunteering at the World of Speed meaningful to you?

I seems that every time I step into WoS I learn something new from the cars, guests, volunteers and staff. I truly enjoy that experience.

Q: What is the most memorable experience of your time volunteering?

I was going to say that it was meeting Don Robison, designer of the 1964 Vollstedt Indy car. However, working for the Archive cataloging the Granatelli collection engineering drawings/data is an incredible opportunity. 

Q: What do you wish other people knew about World of Speed?

Visitors are surprised when they hear about the student and adult education programs. There must be a way to better communicate these opportunities.

Q: If you choose any car to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?  

After the Indy display it could not be just one car. I would like to see a Formula 1 with the same variety as the Indy. We have a start with the Scarab F1.

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