Every Car Has A Story
A Need for Speed
Motorsports racing driver Dominic Dobson chases an audacious goal
By Blake Siebe September 13, 2023
Dominic Dobson is a skilled motorsports racer who was raised here in Seattle. Growing up with a father who was both an avid motorsports enthusiast as well as an engineer, Dobson’s slippery slope started with a Briggs & Stratton go-kart from Sears, which quickly led into a McCulloch Kart in the 1960s.
Eventually, Dobson came to race in the likes of the Indianapolis 500 and 24 hours of Le Mans. His retirement came in 1998 when he no longer enjoyed racing #78 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and wanted to spend time with his family after a career of racing.
Once back in Seattle, Dobson did a nearly full materialistic purge and started managing a local private car collection. He later became involved in LeMay — America’s Car Museum in Tacoma (of which, I, too, personally believe in and currently sit on the steering committee for ACM/America’s Automotive Trust). Post-retirement, Dobson continues to have the itch for speed and had three additional hat tricks in mind: In 2005, he competed in the Baja 1000, which ended in a near hypothermic wrong turn that landed his Baja Challenge at the bottom of a pond and a DNF (did not finish).
However, in 2015 things couldn’t have been better for Dobson at the “Race to the Clouds” — Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. He took first place in the Unlimited Division, winning him the Rookie of the Year award (VR simulation actually helped give him the “seat-time” he needed to win). The last of his motorsports bucket list is still yet to come, but his dream is to go more than 300 miles per hour at the famed salt flats — the Bonneville Speedway.
Dominic’s words of wisdom in regard to racing (or even daily life): “You’re likely going to lose more than you are going to win, but you must dig deeper for that internal determination to push through. That just might lead to that competitive reward.”
Today, Dobson runs Dobson Stuttgart in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle near the Ballard Locks. With plenty of off-street parking (a hot commodity for local repair shops), it offers service and repair for Porsches, storage for classic and collector vehicles, as well as sales and consignments of vehicles. Dobson is currently working on a plug-and-play EV conversion on a popular Porsche model, which will, it’s hoped, bring him back once again into owning a car of his own.
Surprisingly, Dobson’s main transportation is via electric motorcycle, which he enjoys riding on his short commute to and from his shop. Dobson has been the hired gun in the driver’s seat of some amazing cars over the years, and his favorite car to drive is an actual 1980s racecar, the Porsche 962.
He has had the pleasure of driving several: the Havoline/Bayside car, then most recently the Takefuji car at Le Mans, and will pilot the BF Goodrich car in the near future.
Personally, I really hope Dobson hits that 300 mile per hour mark soon.
What inspired your interest in cars? My father was a turn marshal at Pacific Raceways in Kent back in the days of Trans-Am and Can-Am (off-road) races. Once he brought me to my first race, I was hooked!
What’s the story behind your first car? I bought a 1957 Hillman with paper route money when I was 14 years old. I spent a lot of time getting it running for my driver’s test, and even though I had to use my best friend’s mom’s 1968 Impala for my test because my taillights didn’t work in the Hillman, I did get it running. I got my first speeding ticket the very first time I took it out on the road. The engine failed a few months later in the middle of the I-90 floating bridge late at night, and that was the end of that car. On to a 1968 Camaro.
What’s your favorite car to drive and why? Porsche 1962. The most comfortable and one of the fastest cars I have ever driven. Drove my first for Bruce Leven’s Bayside Racing in 1989, and ran Daytona, Sebring, and San Antonio for Bayside and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Vern Schuppan. I then drove the same Schuppan car in 2000 at Lime Rock Rennsport and most recently at the 2023 Le Mans Classic for the current owner. It was an absolute thrill to drive and race that car.
What’s a feature from old cars that you wish modern cars had? Suicide doors (hinges at rear). They are so much easier to get in and out.
If you could have any car throughout history, what would it be? A 1959 Ferrari TR59 Testarossa. Stunning, fast, and sounds like a symphony.
If you’re brand-loyal, which do you prefer and why? Porsche, because our shop, Dobson Stuttgart, works only on Porsches, and they are fast, beautiful, and can be driven daily, unlike many other European sports and supercars.
When you’re looking to buy a car, what are the most important features to you? Handling, power, good looks, and a quiet ride.
Is there a classic car from a movie you wish you could drive? Porsche 917 from the movie Le Mans with Steve McQueen. There’s nothing else like them.
If you could introduce any feature to a car you own, what would it be? A proper cup holder and a great sound system.
What would be your dream route/roads to drive and why? Winding roads with no stoplights, no Priuses, and no drivers who shouldn’t even have a license because they have no clue what they are doing.