“…the C-shit has got me too – a couple of tumors – some serious. Aren’t all tumors serious? I’ve been through the 1st course of treatment and feeling much better, but there’s still a very long race to be run here and the odds aren’t really in my favor.”

That was one of the last emails I received from my friend John. We no longer have the pleasure of shaking his hand and conversing with him at the functions.

He died April 14th from liver cancer complications.

The above photo is one of the last images I have of him. It speaks volumes about his character. His fantastic Emory built ’68 912R just got towed back into the paddock. John opted to risk his personal safety and put car into a wall of tires instead colliding with friend and fellow racer.

Strength to Petey, his wife of 41 years, and their son Eli. There will be a simple gathering to honor John later this year and details will be disclosed at that time. In the meantime, Petey asks:

“…to honor John I encourage you to plan one of your Saturday drives, have a nice meal, and enjoy the day with pleasant memories of John. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to one of John’s favorite charities: The Sonoma Chapter of the Speedway Children’s Charity or the Willows Hospital.  Of course you may donate to your charity of choice.”

You will be missed John Thornton.

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7 Responses to R.I.P. JOHN THORNTON

  1. Vintage Seats says:

    A great guy who will be greatly missed.
    RIP John.

  2. Mark Morrissey says:

    At last year’s Treffen, I met John and I spent an easy hour or so talking to him the first day. We had communicated via email several times over the past several years so it was cool to finally meet him in person. He noticed I didn’t have a drink like most of the rest of the folks there and asked me if he could get me a beer. When I told him I didn’t drink alcohol he asked me what I liked and I told him. He appeared 30 minutes later with a diet Coke and told me, “Mark, there’s a case in a cooler in the back of my truck over there. Help yourself.”

    I feel so sad that we’ve lost this terrific person. My thoughts and best wishes to his family and friends.

  3. Kent says:

    Gonna Miss John. He was certainly an old school racer. Always there with some very practical advice and opinions.
    Loved watching him WOT in 902.
    We’ll definitely raise a glass to him @ Treffen.

  4. Bob Tilton says:

    I’ll forever be seeing him out of the corner of my eye in the paddocks. You could always count on a cold beverage from him and Petey!

  5. Tom Michelsen says:

    I didn’t know John…never met him…but I read every thread he ever posted on the 912 registry….and I got to see #902 at Laguna Seca during Rennsport IV…..that 912 flat tore it up!!
    RIP John…you and #902 will always be on my mind when I drive my 912…

  6. 356Sal says:

    Sorry to hear that. I never met him, but like many I do know the car! God Speed!

  7. Rapido says:

    ….bad news…..i speak with John by Email for technical data of his marvelous 912, the best to me…
    It was a very cool guy, and make an effort to speak french with me….
    RIP John….

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