The Lineage of the Koshland Award by Bill Gelles

As a child growing up living in New York City, my summers were spent at Camp Onota in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Camp was founded in the middle 1930’s by Louis P. Williams. The first camper recruited by Mr. Williams was a young man named Paul Weisen. During the first summer of operation of Camp Onota, Mr. Williams was astonished by Paul’s sprit, athletic ability and demeanor. Mr. Williams was so impressed by Paul Weisen that he kept in contact with him as he grew into manhood. Unfortunately, Paul Weisen was killed at the Battle of the Buldge in World War II. Mr. Williams created an award at Camp Onota, the Weisen Cup, for the best “All Around Camper” in his name. I never forgot the emotion displayed by Mr. Williams when he awarded the Weisen Cup to each recipient.

The week following the news of the death of Tony Koshland, I attended a party at J.D. Igleheart’s house. Many VSCCA members were in attendance. I cornered Bill O’Donnell and told him the Weisen Cup story and I suggested that the Club consider creating the Anthony Koshland award. O’Donnell thought that the idea had merit and he said he would attempt to make it happen. The following year when the first Koshland Award was bestowed unto Fred Willits, I knew that Tony Koshland’s name would be remembered by the VSCCA, and his spirit would live on as it well deserves to.

The Koshland Award is bestowed annually to a member deemed by the Board of Directors of the VSCCA to typify the spirit and values of the Club and dedication to its principles. Anthony S. Koshland, for whom the Award is named, was the personification of these attributes.

Tony was a direct descendant of Levi Strauss, and thrived in the wealthy environment that he was born into. He was urbane, erudite, refined, literate and polished. His father, Steven A. Koshland had bought Tony a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Tony married Penny Bloomingdale and bought a summer house in Sharon, Connecticut.

Tony was a sports car aficionado. He had entered and practiced for the 1962 Bridgehampton Double 400 races with an Alfa Romeo Guilietta but did not compete. However, the sports car racing devotion was becoming very important in his psyche. He formed Koshland Competition and bought a Lotus 68 prototype monoposto, chassis number 68/70-01 from Colin Chapman. A Ford Boss 302 V8 engine was installed in the car and Tony hired Mario Andretti as his driver. The Lotus was entered in the December 28, 1969 Sebring Formula 5000 race. Andretti led the first heat comfortably but the engine blew up after 12 laps.

I first met Tony while he was having a Ferrari 250 MM racing spyder restored by Modena Sports Cars in New York City. Tony regularly brought the Ferrari to VSCCA events at Lime Rock as he had decided to make Connecticut his primary residence. He concentrated his time with vintage cars, helping the VSCCA in organizing events and being a member of the car classification committee. In 1974 I bought Tony’s Ferrari 250 MM spyder because he decided he had to have a 1955 OSCA MT4 1500. Quite soon after he purchased the OSCA, he bought a second OSCA MT4. Both cars were painted a dark blue color. Koshland Competition was back in racing with Tony driving one OSCA and Judy Stropus driving the other. The two car team came to all of the VSCCA events and everyone enjoyed watching the two cars compete.

In 1975 Tony’s life began to change. His marriage came to an end, he sold his seat on the New York Stock Exchange, he became withdrawn, morose and ultimately died. The circumstances surrounding his death are not germane to the award named after him.

Koshland Award Recipients

Awarded annually to the member deemed by the Board of Directors to typify the spirit and values of the Club and dedication to its principles.

1976 Frederick E. Willits*
1977 Anthony S. Carroll
1978 Edgar L. Roy *
1979 Thomas F. Melahn
1980 R. Willis Leith, Jr. *
1981 Everett M. Dickinson *
1982 Karen C. Miller *
1983 John J. Schieffelin, Jr.
1984 Jeremiah J.S. Shennan *
1985 Donald P. Lefferts *
1986 James P. Donick
1987 James D. Stetson, Jr. *
1988 Malcolm R. Labatt-Simon *
1989 Everett M. Dickinson *
1990 Homer Tsakis *
1991 Jerry J. Greaves
1992 John R. Jacobson *
1993 Donald Nattrass *
1994 John D. Igleheart *
1995 Robert A. Wertley *
1996 Edward F. Sutherland
1997 Stanley Weiss *
1998 Frank Righetti *
1999 Frank Allocca
2000 Tivvy Shenton
2001 Jeffrey S. Brown
2002 Gilbert L. Steward, Jr. *
2003 Edward R. Hyman
2004 Jerome S. Morici
2005 David L. VanSchaick
2006 Dr. Marcel Perlman
2007 Bill Rutan
2008 George G. Vapaa
2009 Josephe DeLucia
2010 TBA
*Deceased

Tony Koshland courtesy of Judy Stropus

Joseph Delucia recieves the 2009 Koshland award.