A history of Tom McBurnie
It could have been the corporate atmosphere at General Electric that caused Tom
McBurnie to snap…or again, it could have been the Syracuse, NY winters that caused things to go awry.
Regardless, 1964 found Tom streaking down the streets of Pamplona, Spain at a time when
men were men who drank with abandon, bulls were bulls, and DUI''s were generally not awarded for preceding livestock down city streets. It should be noted during that same period, Tom attended the
Swiss Race Driving School at Monterey, France competing in both intermediate and advanced programs.
Back on home ground, Tom was at the wheel of his ''58 Porsche Speedster taking second in the SCCA Southern California Region in
1967 and setting track lap records at Riverside, Willow Springs, Santa Barbara, and Roswell. In addition to piloting his 356 Tom also built the mechanicals and maintained the car.
Getting his hands dirty once again, Tom campaigned a LeGrand FA in 68 and 69 where he
set a track lap record at Sears Point Raceway and qualified for Road Race of Champions in 69 where he finished seventh, and promptly hung up his string back racing gloves.
In1970 Tom Evan''s C sport racer was the beneficiary of a McBurnie built and sponsored
engine which achieved a first in Southern California, and a second at the Road Race of Champions. The next year that same car claimed firsts at both California and Atlanta venues.
Tom started in the specialty car business as a full time vocation in 1978 building the
Sceptre 6.6S, a neo classic two place car based on a ''78 Ford Thunderbird platform. This concept won the best new car at the Los Angeles Auto Expo and was honored under the full Ford warranty
Success breeds success and Tom soon builds the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (Daytona) replica based on a Corvette chassis which soon became a
centerpiece of the ''80s television show "Miami Vice". Additional information on this topic may be found in the book "Daytona" by Pat Braden and Gerald Roush.
John Candy starred in the film '' Delerious'' in 1991 and somehow managed to get
his bulk into a McBurnie replica of the Ferrari 250 GTO, two of which were made available to the film production team.
The SEMA best new product award for 1995 was given to Tom McBurnie''s 1934 roadster
featuring a mid-engined Oldsmobile Aurora V8. This car was featured in a 6 month series of articles in Street Rodder magazine who judged the ''34 roadster to be one of the top 25 best hotrod products
of the ''90''s.
Tom and his handywork were again featured in Hot Rodder magazine when his prolong- Ford
sponsored ''34 Vaughn appeared on the cover of the July ''97 issue.
We are indeed fortunate that Tom is no longer a designer for General Electric''s
Defense System Department for which we should thank the Sangria and bulls of Pamplona.