'Ardent' enthusiast


I was thrilled to read Gary Watkins’ fine article on Watkins Glen, and to see the photograph of the Bill Milliken mural I painted last year. One of the most exciting races on the original Watkins Glen circuit took place in 1949, when Miles Collier’s Riley-Ford V8 hybrid, named the ‘Ardent Alligator’, passed Briggs Cunningham’s Ferrari 166 to take the lead on the final lap.

This Ford/Ferrari battle predated the famous rivalry of the 1960s by more than a decade. The ‘Alligator’ is currently on display at the Watkins Glen International Motor Racing Research Center (the correct name of the Watkins Glen museum mentioned in your picture credits).

True to the spirit of the ‘Glen, the mural of Bill Milliken was a community effort; the Research Center generously provided technical support for the project and greatly assists the racing community with its diverse archives.

I am Yours etc, Robert Gillesme, Penn Yan, New York