Robert Ristuccia’s Lime Rock Historics

Group4 by Robert Ristuccia

With an amazing array of classic Mercedes Benz GP Cars brought up by the Revs Institute it was already going to be a fantastic weekend. Having Jochen Mass on hand to pilot the W-154 doesn’t hurt either.

Nestled in the Berkshires, Lime Rock has beautiful views from practically any vantage point on the track. Which is good because in addition to an all-around magnificent field, Lime Rock seems to draw an absolutely astounding Pre-War group. It seems that New England has as many Bugattis and pre-war American racing specials on the track as most tracks have 911s or MGs. They draw what is probably the country’s best Pre-War group—and they do it year after year… and that’s just one of the remarkable groups of racers that flock to the weekend to close out every summer.

Friend of the Chicane Robert Ristuccia was in the stands and walking to pits and captured a glorious series of shots of the action.

More of Robert’s vibrant photos of the event (and a bunch of other vintage weekends) at his site: Part 1 and Part 2.

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Happy (Porsche) 9/17.


On September 17th we celebrate Porsche’s iconic endurance racer, the fantastically beautiful and exquisitely capable 917.


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Goodwood Revival 2015’s Greatest Hits

While we wait for the complete video archive of the weekend to make it’s way online (hopefully—fingers crossed!) let’s enjoy this playlist that the Goodwood media team has assembled of some of the races, incidents, and atmosphere of the world’s greatest vintage race meeting.

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Climbing Up the Piantonia Steps

Biondetti's Ferrari in the 1949 Mille Miglia

Clemente Biondetti’s 2-liter Ferrari 166 MM makes the climb between Parma and the Poggio di Berceto on his way to a third straight victory in the 1949 Mille Miglia.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, All 6 Daytona Coupes

6 Cobra Daytona Coupes on the Goodwood Grid

This image of all 6 Cobra Daytona Coupes that Goodwood tweeted today is indescribable. So instead of reading anything I would write about how amazing it is, just scroll up and look at it some more.

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Goodwood! Goodwood! Goodwood!

The Revival is live streaming again this year—Hooray! I’ll update links as live video streams go down and archives go up. I love what Goodwood’s media team is doing with these events. I hope more of the big vintage weekends at other venues follow suit.

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A Treasure Trove of Reader Footage of 1950s & 60s Races

Rudi Markl wrote in with this wonderful film compiling his old 8mm film cans chronicling visits to venerable races across the Eastern half of the country between 1957 and 1967. Spectacular stuff.

Represented among this film is footage from a variety of East Coast races, including:
1957 & 1958 Kentucky State Fairgrounds (Louisville)
1964 Watkins Glen U.S. Grand Prix
1964 Vineland, NJ
1964 Lime Rock, CT
1965 Bridgehampton, NY
1966 Lime Rock
1967 Bridgehampton

Plus bonus footage from the 1968 Dutch Grand Prix!

Cobra fans be sure to check out the segment of the 1964 Vineland race. Fantastic moments in the pits with those smart looking Cobra team jackets.

Like all great collection of racing footage, this one also comes with a mystery. Rudi asks: “I’d love to know about the quick dark blue car in the Vineland, NJ races at 10:00, 10:36 and 11:52 (ed: I believe he’s referring to car #44 with those trumpets sticking out the bonnet). No hood, stubby rear and wide front fenders that slope inward (unlike any car I know of). Last year I spent a couple hours online trying to find it on old films. I did find some history and old racing footage from the Vineland track (which I only went to that one time), but none of that car. It must be a ‘special.’ Someone out there must know who built and drove it. I’m 79, but if I knew where it is now I’d be interested in buying it.”

Anyone know anything about this car, who built her, or where she might be today? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

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Help Kickstart an Alfa-Inspired Wrist Watch

Vintage Driver Chrono by Straton

This Kickstarter for an Alfa-Romeo Alfetta GT inspired chrono by Straton Watch Co has already achieved more than 7 times it’s $15,500 goal, but there’s still time to get in on it for your own Vintage Driver Chrono. Even a few of the special Backers Editions are still available. Whenever we peek into the world of watches we start to enter an environment with a fastidiousness to put Pebble Beach concours judges to shame with near religious adherence to particular movements, countries of origin, and grades of metals.

The Straton Vintage Driver Chrono uses the Seiko-developed Mecha-Quartz movement which combines quartz’ accuracy with a mechanical chronograph that represents what I think is a good compromise (at this price point) between purists and casual fans of wristwatches.

Check out the Kickstarter for more information.

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Track Map of the Past: Portland International Raceway

Portland's Auto Sports Park Track Map

Back when PIR was Auto Sports Park they had a touch more personality and fun in their program ephemera than they do today. Look at all of the little details in Rick Owen’s old hand-drawn and watercolored(?) map. Some are useful information for drivers and spectators alike: the suggested speeds for each of the seven turns; the near-track hazards being cartoonishly confronted by the drivers in the map; US 99 disappearing into the a Seattle filled horizon. Others are there just to make us smile: the sea monster near the front straight; the mechanics dozing under the car at tech inspection; the distracted driver oggling a sunbathing spectator going in to turn 4. Rick’s map reminds us all that motorsport is supposed to be fun. Today’s maps have completely forgotten the fun side of the sport.

Portland International Raceway Track MapDon’t believe me? Check out their current map. I’ve seen golf course maps, or even county platt schematics with more artistry. Come on, Portland! Find Rick Owen and have him do the smallish updates to this gorgeous painterly map he created decades ago.

Many thanks to racing historian Martin Rudow for sending this in. Check out his Weekends of Glory (The History of Northwest Sports Car Racing, Volume Two: 1962 through 1970) for more Pacific Northwest racing history.

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Grand Opening Party at Porsche Minneapolis

Whew! I thought Monday’s ride and rally around town brought out some great cars… and it did. But last night’s party had a parking lot full of amazing Porsches of all vintages. The 918 and Singer from the previous day were there, but joined by an astounding collection of Porsches ranging from a 959 to a gorgeous 914-6 and no less than three 4-cam powered machines: a 356 Carrera, an RS60, and a ’58 Speedster.

The party and ribbon cutting happening inside, though, was no less impressive (ok. maybe a little less impressive than an RS60 with Sebring history). There were signature cocktails of course, and never-ending spreads of wonderful food, and a cigar roller, and the most spotless service area I’ve ever seen, and Magnus Walker working the crowd and signing posters, and a custom microbrew created just for the event. It all added up to a wonderful evening. Congratulations to the organizers.

PCNA COO Joe Lawrence was on hand to cut the ribbon

PCNA COO Joe Lawrence was on hand to cut the ribbon

Porsche Minneapolis was kind enough to loan me a 911 for the day. I think I’ll always prefer the vintage air-cooled variants of the 911, but you can still readily feel the legacy of Porsche’s motorsport heritage in the 991. Somehow despite all the revolutionary changes in every manner of engineering that goes into the modern 911, it still feels like a 911. A little quieter perhaps; a little more comfortable; a little less likely to spin on your when you’re decelerating in a curve—but it still retains enough of the 911 spirit that I can still imagine myself gritting my teeth through a turn on the Nordschleife or Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie in a stripped down 911R or RSR. I have personally been debating between a contemporary Cayman or SC-era 911 for my next car… after a day spent with modern Porsches, I think the only real solution is to get both… and maybe a few more for good measure.

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