Archive for May, 2012

Formula Vee. Nassau. 1964.

Usually when I can’t identify much in a photo, it languishes on my hard drive waiting for the day that I can turn up something meaningful to share about it. This one, though, I haven’t been able to bring myself to just let it sit.

I’ve rummaged through race results, searched on the Googles for anything I can dig up… It haunts me for some reason. I think it’s because I just love this notion of waking up in the morning in a seaside hotel, hopping in the Vee and driving her across town to the pits to get ready for the afternoon’s main event.

It’s a simple enough scenario, but this idea of racing cars on the street among everyday traffic is just so foreign and thrilling to my contemporary eyes that it conjures a romantic sentiment that I can’t easily shake.

I’ve had no luck finding Formula Vee results from any of the Bahamas Speed Weeks. This photo from the Henry Ford Museum Flickr stream says it was 1964. Anyone recognize the driver?

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Just Park Her Anywhere

Check out the spectator parking on the outside of a turn at the ’73 Targa Florio. With safety standards like this, it’s little wonder that this was the last proper Targa.

Race winning Martini entry piloted by Herbert Müller/Gijs van Lennep wiggles around this parking lot in their 911RSR with little effort, but even this minor inconvenience in the Sicilian mountains would test my nerve.

Just look at the track’s edge in this clip from the Targa of the same year (and from the wheel of another 911RSR: #113).

Hat tip to That911 for the photo.

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Spa. ’58.

Let’s take a spin around Spa in her configuration for the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix, shall we?

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Part of the Ferrari Factory

This is not an ordinary Shell station.

It’s part of the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

Why?

Because Enzo Ferrari won’t permit any gasoline but Super Shell in the cars that leave his factory.

Try Super Shell yourself and see why.

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Race #1

The 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The first Formula 1 world championship race.

Man, those Talbot-Lagos are pretty.

Edit: Ugh. Video is gone. Thanks, Bernie.

Edit 2: Found another video and replaced the original embed.

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$7,000 Well Spent

Sign me up.

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A Most Important Contribution

How Fast is Fast…?

There is, of course, no answer to that question but Girling are consistently answering the braking problems that become apparent as racing speeds constantly increase — providing fresh information that is converted to improve still further the efficiency of Girling Brakes in wider — if less spectacular — fields.

A most important contribution to the plan that is keeping Girling the best brakes in the world.

Way out ahead.

Girling Limited · Kings Road · Tyseley · Birmingham 11

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Jerry Melton’s 1968 Detroit SCCA Regionals


From yesterday’s shots of the ’67 LeMans—perhaps the biggest sportscar race in the world—to today’s snaps from a regional track in the midwest; there’s virtually no end to the historic images and stories that drive our sickness passion for vintage racing.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Waterford Hills Road Racing course. This was my home track growing up. It was where I saw my first club racing and my first vintage racing. I vividly remember 911s and even VW Golfs lifting a wheel at the crest of Hilltop Turn; and seeing more than a few cars lift 2 and sometimes 4 wheels if they overcooked it. That was it. I was hooked. So when Cliff pointed me to these Jerry Melton photographs from the June, 1968 SCCA Regionals at my beloved Waterford, I couldn’t just keep them to myself—could I?

I can’t resist sharing one more: Many of us know Garret Van Camp through his dominance in Formula Vee. It’s marvelous to see him in his earlier incarnation racing a Porsche Speedster. Check out that strap to the roll bar holding the door shut!

I’d seen Formula 1 cars thunder down the closed city streets of Detroit, their cacophonous engine notes echoing off the windows of the Pontchartrain Hotel and reverberating through Atwater Tunnel. But it was these smaller club events at local tracks that made me a lifelong racing fan. Even today, it’s these regional events that give me the greater thrill. A thrill that Jerry has managed to capture beautifully in these images from the June ’68 SCCA Regionals. Check out more of Jerry Melton’s archives on Etceterini.

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JYHelbe’s 1967 LeMans


With the Ford/Ferrari wars in full swing, it was already bound to be a fantastic June day—and night. Add Jim Hall’s newfangled adjustable wing and air-damn equipped Chaparral 2F and a “throw ‘em all in there” 906/907/910 field from Team Porsche and who knows what could happen?

JYHelbe was all over Le Sarthe, and found a handful of choice angles to capture the action. This is but a taste; check out the complete set for more.

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Parade of Racing Cars Lines Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen too many Noire movies; or read too many detective novels; or played too much LA Noire on Playstation; but I love the notion of Downtown Los Angeles being the epicenter of the city’s life. There’s a certain amount of wonder in old photos of Downtown LA thronged with people and streetcars and traffic. It makes LA feel like more of a city-city, which is something that occurs to almost no one today (with the possible exception of some Angelenos).

The caption on this photo said 1927, but that can’t be right, can it? This parade of racing machines running through town—perhaps to publicize the weekend’s dirt track race—seems more like early to mid 30′s. Those look to my eyes to be ’31—’34 roadster rear ends. I’ve scoured the Marquees along the streetside for some clue that might narrow in on a date, but I’ve turned up nothing. What do you think?

I’ve visited LA many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever crossed into downtown. Perhaps I’m missing out.

Photo via this incredible LA Photographic history thread on Skyscraper City.

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