Archive for October, 2012

John Fitch. 1917—2012.

Whether you love him as the heroic WWII fighter pilot, the American pioneer in European road racing, or as an advocate for motorsport safety—it’s a tremendous loss. Not a lot of drivers of his era made it to 95. RIP, John.

More at AutoWeek.

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Richard Attwood and “An Old Friend”

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Moss and McQueen

Not much information available on these photographic lots from the upcoming Heritage Auctions Vintage Movie Poster and Signature Auction in Dallas next month.

Whether McQueen was taking in (what looks to me like) the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix as research for his potential role in Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix, or—more likely—just because he was a fan, I don’t know. But since this workshop photo is from ’63, and they were photographed together at Brands Hatch in ’62, it seems to me more like a couple of pals taking in the races.

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Spanish Moto Racing Posters

I adore the rough-hewn, suggestive painting technique on these posters from the ’53 and ’54 Gran Premio de España motorcycle races. Even better to see the tradition carrying on until at least this 1969 Premio Internaccional poster.

Is it simply because they’re Spanish that they’re bringing to mind Picasso’s gestural Bull paintings? Or is there something there—a certain Spanish style.

Hat tip to Distinguished Company

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Beauty in Imperfection

If this photo were perfectly focused, if it were perfectly exposed, if the print was perfectly executed; it wouldn’t look half as good as it does.

Much of what I love about old race reports is that the imperfection of the printing technologies often helps communicate the speed and daring-do of the drivers. When a photo is a perfect still of the action it takes on a certain calm. When the details can’t be seen or the photo is blurred, it looks like barely controlled chaos. It looks like all Hell is about to break loose. It looks like the engine could blow at any second. It looks like the car is about to careen off the track.

It looks like racing.

More of the 1933 Muroc dry lake races on Belly Tanks.

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As Smooth as it is Brutal

Music to Charm a Cobra!

The incredible roar of a Ford “289 High Performance” V-8 being tested at peak R.P.M. on the Shelby American engine dyno! A powerful, thundering, bellow that has shaken the ground and reverberated in a million thrilled road racing fans from LeMans to Riverside. A sound as smooth as it is brutal; the culmination of thousands of hours of research, testing, and development, to field the most fantastic production sports car the world has ever known, the Cobra! It’s the sound of precision engineering… of victory!

Cobra powered by Ford

Shelby American, Inc. 1042 Princeton Drive, Venice, California

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’69 Sebring

It was supposed to be the Porsche 908s and 907s vs the new Ferrari 312P. But what are Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver doing with that old Ford?

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A Bit of a Wiggle-Woggle

Then again, why just listen to Graham Hill talk about Monaco when we can just ride shotgun.

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Graham Hill on the “Proper Road Race”

If you’re going to get an audio tour of Monte Carlo’s road racing circuit, you may as well get it from Mister Monaco.

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Mario and His Lotus Breaking in the Circuit of the Americas

Mario Andretti christened Austin’s Circuit of the Americas with his 1978 Formula 1 World Championship winning John Player Special Lotus 79. Listen to that Cosworth hum.

Thanks, Racer.

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