Unfortunately this clipping from Popular Mechanics didn’t include the build blueprints. Anyone have one of these in their attic and want to restart the series?
At least I didn’t have as bad a day as these guys did a few years ago.
Props to Rick Ostman for posting this image to the Vintage Road Racing Archive Facebook group.
From the Cinecetta soundtrack, so the gorgeous machines, to the charm of the man at the heart of this short documentary, “Porsche, Ferrari, Bizzarini and Other Fundamental Steps in Life” is beautiful and romantic.
Luciano Rupolo is absolutely inspiring. I envy those that were able to get into vintage racing in the 70′s; a time when you could buy a car like a Giannini 750 Sport as a teenager.
The man has built a hell of a garage in the years since. I love his admiration for his cars, his reverence for his cars, but also his more carefree attitude about them. I equally cringe and applaud when he spins donuts alongside a brick wall in his Iso Grif Competizione or sets his metal cornered briefcase on the bonnet of his Ferrari 250 GT/E. Be sure to watch through his story of finding and restoring what is arguably the oldest Porsche in the world.
The video piece created by Marcio Bukowski to accompany TV Globo!’s coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix got some attention right after the race but I hadn’t seen this “behind the scenes” feature on the transformations themselves until the animated gifs started making the rounds. Here’s a copy in HD glory. That moment when the Lotus windscreen rotates over the driver’s head and his helmet is suddenly Jim Clark blue—perfect. Really all the driver changes do so much to add to the soul of the piece.
For some context, you can also see them incorporated into the finished piece below. Fantastic stuff.
Let’s keep this train rolling and just go all-in on the Monzanapolis races with the “Monza Challenge” film from the ’57 race.
Thankfully, yesterday’s Monzanapolis track map forced my hand in sharing some of these amazing images from Gary Mason. In the mid-1950s, Gary was a teenager traveling through Italy with a pair of cameras on his hip—hitting every race he could (and rooting for Maserati whenever possible). What a tremendous opportunity to take in one of the great spectacles of mid-50s racing in Europe—the Race of Two Worlds.
What a rare chance to see Offenhauser-powered Kurtis and Kuzma sprint cars square off against Jags and Ferraris. Can you imagine seeing Indy cars and ALMS prototypes going head to head on a modern speedway? It’s almost comedic. But incredible. And beautiful.
More of Gary Mason’s photos in the archives. Thanks again, Gary! There’s more to come.
There’s some fascinating things happening in this track map created for the 1958 “Race of Two Worlds” event at Monza. Unofficially dubbed “Monzanapolis” for the event, the race was a battle between American USAC speedway machines typically seen at Indianapolis versus European road racing machines. Because the race used only the banked oval portion of Monza’s fabulous double loop “combined” configuration (and it ran in the opposite direction), the event required it’s own map. They really outdid themselves with this one.
Not only does it show the track from above, there is also fantastic details like the cross sections of the banking, (this was where I learned that the North and South banking were so different) and an attempt to demonstrate the elevation change in the track (highly unconventional on a speedway).
I usually lean towards the freehand illustrated maps so commonly seen in CalClub and SCCA event programs, but this professionally drafted map is so rich in detail that I absolutely adore it.
I know that increasing safety at racing events was a long, hard road and a heroic fight by Jackie Stewart and others who were just plain sick of seeing all of their friends die. I also know that the transition from haybales and snow fencing to endless runoff areas and HANS was not as knee-jerk as it seems in hindsight.
I sometimes wonder, though, if we could go back and introduce later safety technologies earlier, if we might have avoided sanitizing the sport so much. If we could have given Graham Hill a HANS device, might we have avoided cutting all the hedges out of the run up to Nürburgring’s Antoniusbrücke? If we could give Ascari a modern puncture-resistant fuel cell, could we have avoided endless run-off areas that place spectators so far from the track?
Don’t get me wrong, this photo of Henri Louveau’s Talbot-Lago after overrunning a corner on the 30th lap of the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix doesn’t look pretty. It must have been terrifying… But it also shows that when fire wasn’t a factor, grand prix cars of the era weren’t so very fragile. If Henri also had a HANS, and a decent roll cage, and some crumple areas, maybe the sport would still be a more visceral experience today.
I know that there a lot of very differing opinions on the topic of racing safety. I know that even with the sport being as safe as it is that drivers and spectators still get killed in the modern era. I’m curious what your thoughts are on this. Have we taken too much excitement out of the sport in the name of safety? Have we not yet made the sport safe enough? Is there anything that can even be done about it?
Pull the shoebox out from under your bed and let’s get back to trading some of our Topps World on Wheels cards. This time it’s Lance Reventlow’s baby, the Scarab.
From the card’s reverse: Only three of the powerful American Scarab racers were built in Southern California, but they won many races. Their Chevrolet Corvette engines were modified for racing conditions. Scarab bodies were made of aluminum, shaped by hand. The special frames and brakes were also completely hand-made.
HP: 390 | Top Speed: 165 MPH | Price: $17,000
$17,000! I’ll gladly give you twice that for one!
I’ve never seen this film before. Maybe this is widely known footage that I’ve just been missing out on, but even the thought of new footage surfacing decades later is compelling.