Will there ever be a way to make the motorsport viewing experience as visceral as it was in this photo from the 1970 Targa Florio? I tell you what, will you let me watch the race from the kerbs if I wear one of those Hurt Locker suits?
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.