March 1, 1921 – Watkins Glen founder Cameron Argetsinger is born

Cameron Argetsinger is the man who put Watkins Glen, New York on the map. Born on this day in 1921, Cameron developed a need for speed at a young age and in 1947 bought an MG TC in order to become a member of the Sports Car Club of America. Cameron, who grew up spending his summers in Schuyler County, NY, dreamed of hosting a sports car race in Watkins Glen. Starting in 1948 he organized the Watkins Glen Sports Car Grand Prix which was held on a circuit made up of public roads. The event became widely popular but due to the deaths of drivers and spectators it was stopped after eight years. In 1956, as Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Corporation, he signed off on the purchase of 550 acres in Watkins Glen and a 2.3 mile racing course designed to imitate the winding country roads of the area was built. In 1961 the track hosted its first Formula One United States Grand Prix. The race would be held there every year through 1980. After failing to purchase the racetrack from the corporation in 1969 Argetsinger resigned as Executive Director and moved to Texas to work for Chaparral Cars. He passed away in Watkins Glen on April 22, 2008. A young Cameron ArgetsingerFormula One at Watkins Glen, circa 1974 by Christian Sinclair. CC2.0

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