Remembering John Fitch


Come Celebrate the Life of this
American Legend of Motorsports with
Members of the Museum Community.

Thursday December 6th
Doors open at 7pm | Presentation at 7:30pm
Admission is $20
Light refreshments


John Fitch lived through flying a P-51 fighter plane in World War II and a post-war career in automobile racing to die peacefully in his bed at age 95 at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday October 31, 2012.

Mr. Fitch was a lion in the automotive world, recognized for his on-track performances during his racing career that saw him score wins in races such as the 1951 Argentine Grand Prix, the 1955 Mille Miglia (production car class) and the Dunrod Tourist Trophy and Sebring endurance race. He is also known for his contributions to highway safety. An engineering graduate of Lehigh University, he developed the portable impact-absorbing barriers used on race tracks and highways.

He advocated for increased safety on race tracks and was a consultant to numerous research and governmental organizations on the subject of vehicle handling and dynamics.

CHRIS SZWEDO – A Gullwing at Twilight

Chris Szwedo has over 25 years of experience in creating special interest, corporate, and broadcast documentaries.  He has traveled extensively and produced films on multiple issues for clients in the art world, energy, auto sports history, nature, and business.

He has produced two films in the motor sports genre—the cult classic and public television-aired “Lime Rock Park: The Secret Valley of Racing”, of which AUTOWEEK Magazine labeled a passionate work of great significance.  Chris went on to produce “A Gullwing at Twilight: The Bonneville Ride of John Fitch” for the PBS HD Channel, culminating in the prestigious Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, presented by the Los Angeles based Motor Press Guild, an organization of leading US automotive writers and photographers.

Chris was co-nominated in 2009 for a national EMMY Award for cinematography in the natural history category for NATURE/PBS. Other projects include exhibition films for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s  exhibition “SPEED, STYLE, & BEAUTY, The Cars of Ralph Lauren.  Additionally he has created videos for the personal and private Auto Museum of Ralph Lauren, and contributed new recordings for The Art of The Automobile, a 2011 special exhibition at The Louvre (Les Arts Decoratif) in Paris, as well as promotional and educational outreach films for The Mingei International Museum, Balboa Park San Diego 2012.

He is currently working on this third broadcast documentary on the life and work of LIFE Magazine photographer Rowland Scherman.


When Don Klein sold his Manhattan-based ad agency in 1998, it left him free to pursue his true passion: CARS!  That led to his accepting the position of Editor-in-Chief of Mercedes Momentum, MBUSA’s customer magazine, a post he held for eight years before turning freelance. Don is a frequent contributor to magazines such as Autoweek and Sports Car Market.  This month he became a regular columnist for

It was during his tenure at Momentum that Don met John.  In 2005, they collaborated to write the book Racing With Mercedes, and that led to their great friendship which included traveling around the world together for John’s many speaking engagements.   “We were definitely an odd couple,” says Don, “but somehow it worked and we remained close friends to the end.”  Don is honored to deliver the eulogy at John’s memorial service at Trinity Church in Lime Rock, CT on December 1st.