Clark and Hill Crash Leaves both Unscathed

Whenever I see these types of candid photos of racing drivers, my contemporary jadedness comes through and I initially dismiss it as a manufactured photo opp for the papers. But then I think back to everything I’ve read about the camaraderie of the Formula 1 community in the 50s and 60s and I become a believer again.

Seeing Jim Clark and Graham Hill in this off-track incident here just seems wonderful… and genuine. Can you imagine Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button grabbing their ladyfriends for a bit of impromptu bumper-car action?

Me neither.


Phil Hill Shell Ad


This is Phil Hill — current World Champion Racing Driver and the first American to hold this honor.

He drove as a member of the Ferrari team, and he used exclusively Supershell with I.C.A. and Shell X-100 Moto Oil — as most good drivers do.

Shell products are chosen by champions all over the world.

It’s got to be good to be Shell.

via Flickr Vintage Automobilia

Add a Little Luxury

Factories at Work: Shelby-American Skins a Cobra

This set seems appropriate as we all catch our breath from Cobra’s celebration at the Monterey Historics. I often wonder if precious racing artifacts like this body buck for the Daytona Coupe are sitting under a tarp in a forgotten corner of a forgotten warehouse.

Whenever I see the wooden grid of one of these body bucks, or even a clay blank for a fiberglass mold, I am overcome with the desire to learn how to do this.

via The Henry Ford Museum’s Dave Friedman collection.

Update: In the comments, Fab says that some of these photos are of the body buck for the AC Coupe and not the Daytona Coupe. Looking at the rear end of the buck, I think he may be right. I hate when I do that.

Instagramming Car Week

I’ve given up on trying to cover the on-track events at the Monterey Historics, er… I mean… Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, from several time zones away, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t follow along on Instagram. Here’s a few favorites that attendees snapped this weekend.

Instagram’s desktop experience leaves much to be desired, but you can lose yourself by searching through the Instagram API for #carweek, #pebblebeach, #montereyhistorics, and #thequail. Beware, productivity loss ahead!

First Race Commences 11.30 a.m.

Motor Racing
Warwick Farm
Sunday, 5th August

See an action-packed programme of motor racing at the Nation’s leading circuit. Feature event is a 15-lap Championship Race for Formula Juniors. Others include a 10-lap event for racing cars under and over 1500cc’s, as well as races for sports cars and touring cars. First race commences 11.30 a.m. Ample parking—snack bars and quick-service luncheons. Reservations phone 29-6409.

Promoters: AARC, 184 Sussex St., Sydney

Practice Day—Saturday, 4th August—Admission Adults 3/-, Children 1/-

Warwick Farm Motor Racing.

The ad doesn’t mention a year, but the only year in which August 5th was a Sunday that makes sense is 1962.

New Porsche 550-Inspired Machine to be Unveiled at the Quail

I’m an unabashed fan of the Porsche 550. It has been my dream car since I was 15 years old. So I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that I was very, very skeptical when I heard that French design group Vintech was embarking on a modern “tribute” to the design aesthetic of my beloved Spyder. Although I haven’t seen a complete photo of the finished P550 yet (these are 3D renders you see here of the complete car), you can bet I’ll be looking her over with a rather critical eye.

That said, I have to admit that these renders are rapidly growing on me. The team has been releasing some images of her carbon fiber form on their blog in varying levels of concealment and so far I’m enjoying what I see. If you had told me a month ago that a car with the 550’s body lines but is a hardtop with gullwing doors would be appealing to me… Well, I sure wouldn’t have believed you. I might have been downright offended.

“Keep those Mercedes design queues away from the Spyder”, I would have said. “Those lines just don’t work as a hardtop”. Hell, even Porsche’s own Carrera Panamericana 550 coupe, in my opinion, pales in comparison to her topless sisters. Then again, if these renders are to be believed, maybe Porsche should have considered this option for the doors; and this roofline works to my eye far better than Porsche’s coupe.

The fact that they’re going with an air-cooled 4 cylinder sure doesn’t hurt matters either. That the engine shares some visual design connections with the 547 4-cam is an added bonus. That it is claimed to offer 300hp from the 3.0 liter boxer in a machine that weighs only 1200 pounds is simply fantastic.

What do you think? Am I alone in my growing attraction to Vintech’s little machine? Perhaps I should reserve judgement until the final reveal at this year’s The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering.

I guess we’ll know when the sheet is pulled back this Friday. More information on the project to hold you over until the reveal on the Vintech team’s blog.

Now if Vintech just wants to send one over for a test drive, I’ll be happy to give you a full report.

Update: whelp, now that the cover is off and she remains lovely, Vintech announced that it’s a one-off and they won’t be selling them, nor the lovely powerplant they’ve assembled for it. I can’t help but wonder what the point of it all is. At least produce the engines.

Bugatti Enhancing Apparel

The Body of the Magic Touch

The Fantastic Bocar XP-5

Square tubular space frame for springs $795.00

Round 4130 chrome-moly space frame for torsion bars $995.00

The body of the magic touch…. $598

Finished cars from …. $3800

Aerodynamic to 200 M.P.H. · Beautiful — Functional · Spacious Interiors · Optional Hardtops · 7 Optional Suspension Systems · Available for Immediate Delivery.

Designed, Manufactured & Distributed by — Bocar of Denver. Write or Phone:

Bocar Mfg. Co. 1240 Harlan Street, Dept. MT4. Denver, Colorado, BElmont 7-2217

Clarity Through Minimalism

I was looking through my Triumph Haynes manual the other day trying to sort out a gearbox issue I’m having and realized that it’s nearly impossible to make sense of the low-contrast photography that accompanies the instructions.

It’s a few things, really: the low quality printing; the poor cropping that makes it difficult to discern what is the relevant item that I’m supposed to be looking at; the lack of quality lighting. It all made me wish that my trusty old copy of John Muir’s How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot was available for every make and model. The illustrations—cartoony as they are—do a much better job of highlighting the relevant information. It’s part of what makes it, in my opinion, the best repair manual ever written.

When I stumbled across this image of an E-Type’s rear end dropped, it prompted the same thought. The Haynes or Chilton version of this image would be full of shadows and low-contrast grays and make the whole thing a jumbled mess to understand. I can’t even read German and I can understand what’s going on here.

Take note, repair manual publishers.