Childhood friends admired Tony's driving . . .

The scene would repeat itself twenty years later . . .

   "What an incredible experience my first Le Mans had been!"

   "First one, then two, then three began to push, and before I knew it there were people all around the car, joining in.  I slid back behind the wheel and slowly rolled toward the grandstands.  The adoration of the crowd and the satisfaction of achievement I felt, will be etched in my memory forever."

                     Tony's youth

     Tony was born on May 2, 1941 to Violet and Walter Adamowicz, both children of Polish immigrants.  He and his younger sisters Stephanie and Annemarie were raised in Port Henry, NY.

     His parents owned a grocery store attached to the house.  It was next door to his grandparent's property, Cedar Point House, an upscale hotel, restaurant, and bar on the shore of Lake Champlain overlooking Vermont.

Port Henry lies on the edge of beautiful Adirondack Mountains

     His earliest interests were playing Cowboys and Indians, swimming, and bicycles.  He never made a Soap Box Derby racer, but he played with an assortment of home made cars.  Tony was fascinated with the early Revolutionary War era and enjoyed exploring nearby forts.  He loved fighter planes like the P-51 and Corsair, building powered models of both.

Port Henry was a great home town

     While still in grade school, he joined the Ground Observer Corps, a network of civilian plane spotters that phoned-in aircraft sightings during the Korean War era before the nation had a good defensive radar network.

     He played Pee Wee baseball, and had fond memories of going to N.Y. City with his buddies and their Dads to watch the Yankees and the Dodgers play.  On one trip, they actually got to meet the players!

     Life in Port Henry revolved around the water, and Tony loved fishing with his dad, becoming proficient in their 14 ft. outboard boat on Lake Champlain.

I liked to run up and down the stairs of Memorial

Lighthouse, and often fished with my Dad

from the boat pier below.

Champlain Memorial Lighthouse

     I got hooked on racing, reading what I could find on Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans.  One of my favorite drivers was Juan Manuel Fangio, and I even wrote book reports on him, while attending Port Henry High School.  Of course the locals had never heard of Fangio.

     It wasn't all cars.  I was a varsity letterman in football, played guard and center, and played basketball as well.

     As you can see from the pictures, Port Henry was a wonderful place to grow up.  But it was a tiny village and I was in search of adventure.  Right after high school, I joined the Army and soon found myself working in the Eisenhower White House.

The old Cheever swimming hole

     Before I even started school, I pulled my Dad's 46 Buick Roadmaster out of gear and it rolled down our Tobey Street hill into a snow bank.  No harm done, but after that I really got interested in cars!  I began to follow European racing cars and drivers when I was about 7 years old.

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz







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July 2, 1934  The Adamowicz brothers are treated like heroes upon landing at Warsaw Airfield, Poland

June 28, 1934  Benjamin and Joseph Adamowicz immediately prior to

takeoff from Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York.

             The Adamowicz Brothers

     Since Tony hails from New York, it's fairly likely that he's related to the famous Adamowicz brothers.  They were the first amateur pilots to make a transatlantic flight.

     The two Polish immigrants had become successful businessmen, makers of soda water and soft drinks in New York City.  They purchased a Bellanca J-300 for $22,000 and added extra tanks until it carried 870 gallons of fuel.

     They named their plane "City of Warsaw" and with emergency fuel brought in cans, managed to fly across the Atlantic to their ancestral home in Poland in the summer of 1934.  At the time it was a very risky trip even for professional pilots - and the adventurous brothers didn't even have a radio aboard!

     At one point, they encountered icing and had to skim the surface of the ocean to find warmer air.  Joe wrote the entire flight log in English, but when that happened, he wrote in Polish: "God, have mercy on us".

     Navigating by dead reckoning, they became lost in the fog and decided to descend.  Fortunately, they landed in a cow pasture near Caen France.  The next day they took off to Paris, then Germany, finally arriving in Warsaw, Poland.