Story and photographs by Jim Casey
An Englishman living in Houston, Texas, a chemistry Ph. D. teaching at Rice University, and an avid vintage racer, Andrew Barron is one of the many people who bring old race cars back to life at HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing) vintage events.
Andrew is a Lotus fan, and has three of them that he campaigns at different events. A Formula Vauxhall Lotus, formerly campaigned by Derek Daly’s brother, a Formula Ford Lotus Type 61, and a Lotus 7.
Andrew has been involved in racing for many years, including racing and stewarding at SCCA events, team owner in American Le Mans Series, and now competing in as many vintage events as his teaching and research schedules allow.
Andrew was tinkering with the Weber carburetors on his Lotus-Vauxhall when I first met him at Roebling Road, during an HSR weekend of vintage racing. He was trying to find a setting for the carbs that would allow them to find the right mixture of heavy, humid air and fuel to get maximum performance from the 2 liter, 4-cylinder, twin-cam Vauxhall engine in his Lotus.
Andrew does most of the work on his cars himself, he is his own pit crew, but he does have a combination umbrella girl/fan club/team manager in his lovely wife Merrie, who accompanies him to most events. Since his cars are also eligible to run in SCCA racing, he also competes in many SCCA regional and national events, as well as being an SCCA steward.
In his non-racing life Andrew teaches chemistry to grad students at Rice University, and is involved in research to transmit electricity more efficiently through high-tension lines, and in finding more efficient means of utilizing solar energy.
This past weekend at Roebling Road Andrew finished on the podium in both of his races. Look for his friendly, smiling face, and his beautiful Lotus cars, coming soon to a vintage event near you.
Jim Casey is a contributing writer/photographer.