Society of
Automotive Historians

Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History

(r) Michael R. Argetsinger at a 2009 IMRRC book signing.

Since 2015 the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) and the SAH have co-hosted the Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History. The Symposium, held each November in Watkins Glen NY, is open to the public and can be attended in-person or virtually through live streaming.

The Symposium is named in honor of Michael R. Argetsinger (1944-2015), who was himself a race car driver, the author of five books on motor racing, and a founding member of the IMRRC. Michael was the son of Cameron and Jean Argetsinger, who brought Formula One racing to America and founded the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course as well as the later Watkins Glen International race course. Michael inherited his parents’ passion for motor sport.

The Symposium is a unique forum with a growing audience of motor sport enthusiasts; it provides scholars, writers and researchers, both professional and amatuer, with a venue in which to present their work on the history of motor sport to their peers, to the wider motor sport community, and to the general public. Presentations on any topics relating to automotive competition and the cultural impacts of motor racing are welcome. The IMRRC and the SAH solicit abstracts of presentations and coordinate the selection of presentations, panel discussions and a keynote speaker for each Symposium. Scholars, journalists and motor racing researchers and writers of all descriptions are encouraged to participate. The Call for Papers is issued each March or April.

2023 Argetsinger Symposium - Friday, November 3rd & Saturday, November 4th

The Seventh Annual Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium for International Motor Racing History, in Watkins Glen, NY, will again be co-hosted by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) and the SAH. 2023 is the 75th anniversary of the beginning of road racing on the streets of Watkins Glen, the 75th anniversary of NASCAR, and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the International Motor Racing Research Center.

The open-to-the-public in-person symposium will be live streamed at the Watkins Glen International Media Center, located in the track infield, thanks to the generous support and technical expertise of Eric Monterastelli of Gran Touring Motorsports.

Click here for the 2023 Call for Presentations. Abstracts are due August 3, 2023. (2/25/23)

2022 Argetsinger Symposium

After a two year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, the Sixth Annual Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History was held Friday and Saturday, November 4th and 5th, at the Watkins Glen International race track Media Center. Thanks to the generous support and expertise of Gran Touring Motorsports, the event was live streamed and recorded, making this the first year the Symposium was held virtually, as well as in-person. The result was a larger audience than ever.

The two days of sessions included fifteen half-hour individual presentations, one small group presentation, and one round table discussion. Several sessions were presented remotely from Australia, Belgium, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand, Nevada and South Carolina. Keynote speaker Buz McKim, renowned NASCAR historian, presented “Moonshine and Its Connection to the American Auto Industry.” The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce generously sponsored a reception at the IMRRC on Friday evening. 

Click here to view the 2022 Symposium program, courtesy of the IMRRC. Links to YouTube videos of the each session were sent to SAH members and will be posted here soon. (3/24/23)

Can-Am at Watkins Glen, 1970

Jackie Stewart premiering the Chaparral 2J at the July 12, 1970 Can-Am "200" at Watkins Glen. Jim Hall has his back to the camera, Chris Economaki approaches with mic at the ready. Behind is #11, the McLaren M8B of Lothar Motschenbacher. Both cars DNF due to mechanical failures, though Stewart ran the fastest lap of the race. (IMRRC, with thanks to Center historian Bill Green)