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Cole Engine (born December 4, 1936) is a former racer who competed in Formula 1 and RARCAR. In both sports, he had great success, best being remembered for his 1986 Fried Chicken 500 and 1965 championship. He raced from the 1960s until 1991 where he had a major career ending crash that changed his life.
Cole is also the father of famous driver Chad Engine.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Cole Engine was born on December 4, 1936 in California, USA. During high school, he was very athletic, joining the football team, he thought about doing football as a career until he saw a go-kart for the very first time.
Cole picked up go-karting during his junior year of high school, he was very talented, picking up multiple wins. After he graduated high school, an Formula 1 team owner had saw his talent and requested him to join his team, Cole without doubt accepted the offer.
Formula 1 Career[edit | edit source]
1961-1963: First seasons[edit | edit source]
Cole's first race was in 1961, at France. Cole did very well and finished in the top 10. In his next few races, Cole got good positions for standings, he finally got his first win in the United States Grands Prix.
Cole did well in 1962, earning the pole position for the first race, he finished 5th in the same race, shortly after, Cole won the Monaco Grand Prix.
Cole did not participate in the Italian Grand Prix, as his son Chad was born around that time, Cole had sold his trophies to buy all the needs his son had to have.
1964-1966: Success[edit | edit source]
While Cole didn't have much success in 1964, 1965 was his year, he had won 80% of the races during the season, Cole finished 1st in the standings and won the overall season.
In 1966, Cole had a dramatic finish in the Dutch Grand Prix, he had finished 1st just 0.004 of a second faster than the other driver, he overall scored 4th in standings
Cole never had that much notable success after 1966.
1978: Retirement[edit | edit source]
During a post race interview in 1976, Cole stated that he was gonna retire from F1 after the 1978 season. His last top ten finish was in the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix, ironically, the driver who Cole had passed 12 years prior during the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix won the race. After the Canadian Grand Prix was finished, Cole took one more lap around the track, waving to the fans. He then did a burnout and left the track. In his last interview he said that his son might become a racer one day.
RARCAR Career[edit | edit source]
1980 - 1985: Early career[edit | edit source]
Cole started racing during RARCAR's 1980 season, the first season to be broadcasted live. Cole was chosen to drive an orange #9 car, his first race was the 1980 Small Ride 100, where he finished 15th. Later in the season, Cole won the Overcooked Chicken Night Race, becoming his first win in RARCAR and only win in the season. Once the 1980 season was over, he finished 17th in standings.
1986 - 1988: Success[edit | edit source]
1990: Final Season[edit | edit source]
Career Ending Crash[edit | edit source]
This section can be disturbing for some people, read at your own risk.
On February 18, 1991, Cole was competing in the Fried Chicken 500 when he spun during lap 6 and impacted the wall. The speed Cole had crashed in was very low and he was to escape injured, however, another car, driven by rookie Davis Garcia, couldn't see Cole due to the smoke he had left and crashed into him broadside at over 200 mph, it split Cole's car in half, with one half going over the track. The accident was so serious that Cole's son, Chad, had given up his 1st place position to help his father in any way. The race was given a red flag immediately.
The crash ended up giving Cole severe internal injuries, and a cracked skull, he had also gotten 2nd degree burns on his chest after his car got on fire just after the impact. Garcia had head injuries from the impact as well. After the accident, the race was completely abandoned and scheduled for another day.
Cole was given a 6% chance of survival, and had to go through many surgeries to live and after years, Cole was listed in stable condition, he was finally released in 1994. Due to the crash, Cole decided to completely stop racing and retired from RARCAR, Garcia also stopped racing after the incident.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
On 1961, Cole married Genesis Mameapta, and would give birth to four children; two sons and two daughters, one of his sons Chad, went on to become one of the greatest RARCAR drivers of all time. His daughter Genevieve, would later give birth to another RARCAR driver, Joey Jim Jones (born 1997).
On March 12, 2022, Cole was rushed to the hospital after a sudden seizure, in which doctors would later confirm he had a brain tumor.