Always shocking to see the stark contrast between the glitzy see-and-be-seen fanfare of today’s pits and the casual atmosphere of races of the past. Even a race like LeMans looks more like a club race weekend at your local track than the paramount international endurance event.
Lots of good footage of the LeMans race itself. Rare to see color film from this event. Even with all of the 1955 LeMans disaster documentaries and media analysis, almost everything I’ve ever seen of the race has been in black and white.
I feel like British Pathé could have used this title for dozens of their recaps of races in the 1960s. This time though, “Jim Clark Wins Again” is referring to the 1964 International Trophy race at Goodwood. Bad luck for Graham Hill that year, but always good for us to see historic footage of Goodwood that we can compare with the miraculous effort they’ve made preserving it for the modern age. What better way to ease into next weekend’s Goodwood 74th Members Meeting, which this year will be live streamed. Thanks for that, Goodwood.
By now we’ve already done all the drooling we can over the impending sale of several of Jerry’s Porsches at the upcoming Gooding Amelia Island auction. But let’s at least take a moment to listen to the man himself introducing us to his 1959 Porsche 718 RSK in the style he’s made famous on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I’d be happy to join him for a cup if we can take this there.
I’ve been trying to figure out why it is that contemporary track maps aren’t imbued with the personality and joy that illustrated track maps like this on of the 1967 Tillamook Naval Air Station Auto Races. On the face of it, there’s no reason why this year’s Grand Prix calendar couldn’t adopt the whimsy of these illustrations. After all, this track map—cartoonish as it is—communicates quite a bit about the track itself.
I’d argue it tells us as much or more about the race track than most contemporary maps: The direction of racing, the speeds and labels of the turns, the start-finish line. They’re all there. Even the subtler features that I thought might preclude this kind of thing like the location of restrooms and food stands are also visible here. If you found a way to incorporate the spectator stands and endless rows of merchandise trucks—this kind of thing could come back.
Ice racing still happens on the frozen waters near St. Paul, Minnesota. But seeing Siatas and 356s and Allards wheel to slipping wheel is no less a tremendous sight out on the ice in this film of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Winter Ice Races of 1954.
As with many of the races of the period, I’m always astonished to see the variety of machines out there mixing it up. Not just sportscars of various sizes, but several American hot rodders joining the race as well
Worth watching just for the onboard from director Tom Countryman—who was a fixture in the upper-midwest vintage racing scene for decades. It really shows the delicate balance required for this very different kind of off-road racing. Glorious.
Classic Race Simulators rents out a variety of handmade replica mid-late 60s Formula 1 cockpits for use with racing simulators for what looks to be an incredibly immersive experience. I’ve long fantasized about crafting a racing simulator station for my home gaming needs but the boy-racer aesthetic of most of the rigs has never appealed… I don’t know why I didn’t think of something like this earlier.
It’s a shame that they only rent them out, because there is almost certainly a market for these on a sales basis. They look to be quite gorgeously executed but there would probably be opportunities for improvement that the incredibly crafty race sim community would leap on—that flappy paddle shifter on the Logitech G27 sticks out like a sore thumb. But the idea of the tube itself as a bare rig… it definitely gets the mental wheels turning. The racing sim community’s demands for realism are unlimited and steering hubs like those made by Fanatec (and I’m sure there are others) will allow you to modify the inputs to match the era and add any steering wheel. Equipped with a quick-release hub, you could even swap your Momo Prototipo or Nardi Classic right out of the sim racing rig and pop it into your car in the garage.
Check out a video of one in action at Race Retro a couple of years back.
These onboards from the Targa Florio during the practice period are always harrowing. When you see the occasional shepherd and daily Sicilian traffic it’s not hard to see why this footage from 1973 was the last year of the event. Let’s ride shotgun with the Claude Haldi/Bernard Chenevière Porsche 908. Almost a shame we can’t see the lovely Toblerone livery of this unusually red P-car. The car didn’t make the main event due to blowing an engine in practice. Easy to believe from where I’m sitting.
The small blue car lurking behind that ’61 Corvette is a 1927 Bugatti. It was as exciting as any car can be, but it was a little short on creature comfort and only the best coordinated and most sinewy could hope to drive it. The Corvette, on the other hand, guarantees unstinting devotion to all the details of driver-passenger comfort and accommodation with no sacrifice in flashing performance or impeccable handling. Anyone who can drive well can drive a Corvette; the only thing that really sets is apart from today’s automobiles is the absolutely ecstatic way it goes down the road. Build into every Corvette is a lifetime supply of pure sports car excitement such as you’ve never known before.
Corvette by Chevrolet
Chevrolet Division of General Motors. Detroit 2. Michigan
Can you imagine what people would say if you suggested that Chevrolet show another car company’s product in their ads today? I almost can’t believe this happened.