The oldest Porsche 901 in the Museum’s collection is undergoing a complete restoration which they acquired following a long-neglected stay in private hands. I hope there are periodic video updates released as she starts to come together.
I wish we could find a way to clone the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and stamp an event just like it in the expansive parks in several major metropolitan areas. Imagine a race calendar that included New York’s Central Park Vintage Grand Prix, Detroit’s Belle Isle Vintage Grand Prix (the course is already there!), A revived San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Vintage Grand Prix, Los Angeles’ Griffith Park Vintage Grand Prix… I could go on. I would love to go on.
From the auction’s description: “Richie Ginther’s SCCA Santa Maria Road Races trophy pitcher, 1956, made by Zeister Pewter, Holland, presented to Ginther after his race victory in a Porsche Spyder, engraved with race name and date, “Race V, 1st Overall”, 12” tall, 8” wide, A- cond., (dents, abrasions, adhesive residue).”
Perhaps no other event shaped the future of motorsport more than the 1955 LeMans crash that caused more than 80 spectator fatalities. Among other things, motor racing was banned in Switzerland as a result of this crash until 2007. Mercedes pulled out of the race and didn’t enter a factory-sponsored team in any race until the 80’s. Certainly track design was forever changed.
It’s not just snow-fencing, hay bales, and sitting on the curb while sportscars fly by anymore. I once paused momentarily while descending the stairs at the Michigan International Speedway during a race just to experience the sensation as a car wooshed past at 200mph only feet away. It was thrilling then, even with that handful of feet, a concrete wall, and high fencing between us. I can only imagine what it must have been like without those physical barriers there—I occasionally wish for it. But looking back at LeMans ’55 is a good reminder of why it simply cannot be. Even in today’s tracks with their 20 foot crash fences, endless runoff, and limited view for spectators, there is still an element of risk just sitting in the stands at the track.
With all the excitement surrounding the new Ford GT that was unveiled this week, I think it’s a better idea to just enjoy these laps of the 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype that sold at last year’s RM Monterey auction as she takes in the sights at Willow Springs.
As I look out the window at sub-zero temperatures it is easy to forget that the 2015 vintage racing season is already getting under way in many parts of the US. The Chicane’s Vintage Racing Calendar is now updated with this year’s schedule. Take a look, and let me know if your club’s events are missing.
“Chassis number 5899 GT was the ninth example of Ferrari’s vaunted 250 LM, and according to Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, it was completed by the factory on June 3, 1964. As was the case with the vast majority of 250 LMs, it was finished in Rossa Cina and fitted with Panno Blu seats. Six weeks later, it was sold by the factory, destined for Switzerland’s most storied racing team, Scuderia Filipinetti.”
With a birth story like that, it would be enough. But unfortunately 5899’s career with Scuderia Filipinetti was short lived with Ludovico Scarfiotti and Nino Vaccarella each taking victories in her only two events with the team, the 1964 Sierre-Montana Crans Hill Climb and the XV Coppa Inter-Europa at Monza. The car went on to further victories with Ecurie Basilisk.
Following a crash, the car entered a dark period and was modified heavily. In what must rank up there in the history of cobbled together racers, her chassis was chopped and shortened to fit a Porsche 906(!) body. Yet, somehow this unholy union between rivals suited 5899 as it went on to become a successful hillclimber.
A restoration began in 1977 and somehow her current state is gorgeous. Would you believe this machine was once a Porsche bodied FrankenFerrari?
This beautiful 250 LM will cross the block at RM Auctions Arizona auction next Friday. While her past may be colorful, it seems to be well documented, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she achieves the $9,500,000 – $12,500,000 estimate.
More information on RM Auction’s lot detail page. There’s a photo there of 5899 wearing the 906 fiberglass there.. and while I truly admire the mechanics that kept her alive and running in those years, I just didn’t have it in me to display it here.
Update: Sold on the low end of the estimate for $9,625,000