Norm began his racing “career” in 1953 while stationed in Germany with the USAF. He campaigned a Triumph TR-2 in races, hill-climbs and rallies until his return to the U.S. in 1956.

Back in the States he campaigned his Triumph and later a Volvo PV444 sedan. It was during that period that he and his old rally co-driver of USAF days drove a Volvo 444 through the 48 states, Canada and Mexico, a distance of 9,261 miles, in 8 days, 4 hours and 13 minutes; a record that still stands.

In 1959 he returned to Europe and became the European Rep for Elva Cars Ltd. He formed a team of three Elva Couriers, based in Bitburg, Germany, racing on the Nurburgring, Hockenheim, airport circuits and hill climbs. Elva then sent him to the States to assist the importer in establishing a dealer network west of the Mississippi.

Norm had excellent success with Elva Couriers, Formula Juniors and G-modifieds in SCCA and Cal Club racing events until the importer went out of business. During the next several years he negotiated rides in a variety of production, modified, sedans and formula cars until he “retired” in 1968.

He then took up dirt bikes and found himself competing in enduros for the next several years. A job change took him to Colorado in 1978, and he began competing in SCCA’s Pro Rally series.

In 1992 he took up street bikes, and began doing long distance events aboard various BMW motorcycles. These included a variety of Iron Butt Association events and the Motorcycle Endurance Riders Association’s 8/48 (48 States/ 8 days) finishing 6th (8,654 miles in 7 days, 23 hours and 32 minutes).

In addition to various other endurance events, he entered and completed the famed Iron Butt Rally in 1999 (11,000 miles in 11 days), bringing home a bronze medal for his first effort in this grueling event. He also completed the event in 2001, missing a gold medal when he was time barred at the Buxton, Maine checkpoint coming in from Alaska.

Norm competed in the One Lap of America in 1999 on a supercharged Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T with his wife Linda co-driving; in 2000 on an Audi S4 Quattro with photo-journalist Chris Cimino co-driving; and in 2001 on the same Audi S-4 with his son Mike co-driving.


Norman Babcock: