Meet Pete & Joanne McManus
Vintage Race Car Drivers
They’ve Called Jenner’s Pond Home Since 2020
You might say that Pete and Joanne McManus took the scenic route to Jenner’s Pond, from New York State, where they grew up, met and married; to Indianapolis; to Wilmington, Delaware; and most recently, from nearby Thornton, Pennsylvania. Oh, and they spent 1982–1984 in England, where they also acquired and raced one of their vintage cars, a 1948 Allard K1, in vintage sports car events all across the country. The car won its class in the Historic Sports Car Championship for pre-1960 sports racing and limited-production sports cars.
“We also raced at LeMans, in France, where our car was a class winner,” Pete says. The car won several other awards in Europe, and the couple continued to race and show their cars when they returned to the United States—at venues such as Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen, Amelia Island, Sebring, Indianapolis and more.
Of cars and careers
“I’ve been a car guy all my life,” says Pete. He started working on cars in high school, and he did drag racing and street rodding. He met Joanne when he attended Cornell, where she was working as a secretary.
“I typed his papers for him,” Joanne laughs.
Later, they both worked at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, where Pete was in marketing for agricultural products. He later moved to ICI Americas in Wilmington. For several years he worked part-time for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in their car club program. Joanne was in customer service in the insurance industry and in retail, and she sold real estate. The best job she ever had? Selling Tupperware!
Through it all, classic and antique cars were a constant. Both served on the national board of the Classic Car Club of America and are life members of the club. In addition to the Allard, they’ve owned a 1934 Railton “Trials Car” for off-road racing events, a ’52 Culbert Sprint Car similar to one that had raced at Indianapolis, and the “Ardent Alligator,” the car that won the Watkins Glen Grand Prix in 1949.
“The Alligator was an important, historical car for us,” says Pete. It had won the 1949 Watkins Glen Grand Prix and set a course record (that still stands) in 1950 for the Mt. Equinox Hill Climb in New Hampshire. In 2005 they raced it at the Monterey Historic Races in California as part of a tribute to “Great American Specials” where it won a class award.
Mapping out adventures
The classic cars were exquisite machines, but there was more to them than mechanics for the McManuses.
“We’ve been all over the country and met wonderful people and friends this way,” says Joanne. “Racing and touring took us so many places.”
Some of their happiest memories include taking a ’32 Roadster from Indiana to the East Coast to watch a race, then driving to New England to visit relatives. Their route then took them across Canada to Detroit and back to Indiana. They also joined a group of about a hundred other classic auto enthusiasts for an 8,300-mile cross-country round trip. Their ’41 Cadillac was one of about 50 cars on the adventure. In 2005, they shipped a car by ferry from Washington State to Alaska for a driving trip through “The Last Frontier” in their 1935 Brewster town car.
Although they recently sold most of their cars through RM Sotheby’s auction in Auburn, Indiana, they still own a 1996 Chevy Impala SS and a 1990 Ford pickup, which they use to participate in Antique Automobile Club of America events.
The road to retirement
Looking back, they are happy to be able to say, “We’re glad we did,” rather than “We wish we had.” In fact, they still believe that staying active is one of the keys to aging well, and they continue to find opportunities to do so at Jenner’s Pond.
“We really appreciate being here,” says Joanne. “The staff is outstanding. The little things they do are so special.” “This community is just great,” says Pete. “Everybody is A-1.”
So, if you see a smiling couple cruising along the country roads of scenic Chester County surrounding Jenner’s Pond, give them a wave. It’s probably Pete and Joanne McManus making the most of every moment.
Call us today at 610-869-6800 or submit the form below to see why The McManuses and other couples choose Jenner’s Pond for retirement living.