John Paul Sr

Born : March 12 1939

Biography John Paul Sr.

Hans Johan Paul was born in the Netherlands. He moved to the USA in the late fifties together with his parents. The family settled in Muncie, Indiana . Once living in the USA, he changed his name to John Lee Paul. He attended the local Ball State University. After that, John Paul awarded scholarship at Harvard University where he received a master’s degree in business.  After his studies, John Paum joined Putnam Management, an invenstment firm, as a fund manager. His fund grew from $600 million to  $4 billion in six years and with it Paul became a millionaire. In 1960, John Paul’s wife gave birth to a son John Paul Jr

Race Career

John Paul Sr started club-level sportscar road racing in the late 1960s. He won the 1968 SCCA Northeast Regional Championship in 1968. In 1969 and 1970, he drove with Bob Esseks in his “lightweight” Corvette. When his wife and son left him in 1972, Paul paused his racing career for a while.  He resumed racing in 1975 – now with his son, who had chosen to return to him, as a part-time member of his crew. John Paul Sr appeared at 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans for the Dick Barbour Racing team. They took a class win in IMSA GTX class (teaming up with  Dick Barbour and  Brian Redman) in his first attempt at the French classic. This followed his class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring, earlier that season.

First father-son victory in IMSA Camel GT

Coca Cola 400 - Lime Rock 1982
Coca Cola 400 – Lime Rock 1982

In 1980, Paul began teaming with his son, who took up racing in 1979.  May 26 Paul remarried to Chalice Alford,holding the ceremony on the infield at Lime Rock Park. After the ceremony, father and son teamed up in the Coca Cola 400 and took victory in John Paul Jr’s first race.  To make it even more special,  this was the first time John Paul Jr. drove a Porsche 935. And this victory made them the first father-son duo to win an IMSA Camel GT race.  

Father and son teamed up again at the Road America Pabst 500 with another victory as a result. Senior finished 2nd in the 1980 IMSA GT series. His greatest achievement however was winning the World Challenge for Endurance Drivers, with an advantage of just 4 points to John Fitzpatrick. Paul Sr wasn’t the fastest man among the racers. However his consistency and determination to win gave him a great advantage. On top of that, his personal JLP Racing team seemed to have an unlimited budget, despite the lack of sponsors.

In 1981, Paul Sr’s wife vanished. As to today, nobody knows what happend to Chalice Alford. Later he married Hope Haywood, the sister of colleague racer Hurley Haywood. In 1982, Paul Sr., teamed up with his son, to win the 24 Hours of Daytona with Rolf Stommelen as the 3rd driver. Later that year they won the 12 Hours of Sebring.Together, the Pauls would win three races. As a solo driver, Junior would win another four, all in JLP Racing prepared Porsche  935 or Lola-Chrevolet T600. 1982 would be Paul Sr.’s last year as a driver, however. The lack of a major sponsor meant that, even with the team’s success, his expenses overcame his earnings. 

John Paul Sr - Rolf Stommelen - John Paul Jr
John Paul Sr – Rolf Stommelen – John Paul Jr

John Paul Sr and his troubles with the law

In 1979, both father and son had their troubles with the law. They were caught while loading a pickup truck on the bank of a canal in the Louisiana bayous late at night. The federal agents became suspicious when then smelled an odor of marijuna while questiong the Pauls. They discovered some drugs and a bag of cash. After pleading guilty in court, they were placed on 3 year probation and fined $32,500.

John Paul Sr and John Paul Jr
John Paul Sr and John Paul Jr (date unknown)

A shooting

In 1983, Paul Sr shot Stephen Carson to prevent him for testifying against Paul Sr in court as a witness in a drug trafficking case. Paul Sr served a 15-year prison sentence for a variety of crimes including drug trafficking and shooting a Federal witness. aul was arrested, but while out on bail fled before his trial. Paul Sr was arrested by Swiss authorities in January 1985, where served a six-month sentence in Switzerland for using a false passport.

After his sentence in Europe, he was extradited back to the United States in 1986. At the same time, John Paul Jr. pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a five-year sentence, but refused to testify against his father, who had been indicted as the ringleader of a drug trafficking ring. Paul Sr. pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and received a sentence of twenty years, later expanded to twenty-five years after additional sentences were added.

More legal troubles

In July 1999, Paul Sr released from jail, but soon ran into more problems. He had met a woman named Colleen Wood. She left her office manager job, sold her condominium and moved in with Paul on his 55-foot schooner. They planned to make a  five year around the world boating trip. In December the following year, Colleen Wood disappeared. Nobody ever heard from her again. As Paul Sr was the last person who is believed to have seen Colleen Wood, the police started questioning him.

They could find no evidences and filed no charges. Shortly after, Paul disappeared himself., likely in violation of his parole.  It seemed that Paul Sr sailed back to Europe where sold his sailboat via a magazine classified advert in Italy. There is a strong believe he moved on to Thailand. At this moment, nobody knows whether John Paul Sr is still alive or not.  and is believed to be living in Thailand.

Pictures courtesy unknown