The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering always draws out many of the best vintage racing cars on the planet—so it only makes sense that Bonham’s auction at the event will follow suit. From Duesenbergs to McLarens, there are too many amazing sports and racing cars coming across that magnificent auction block to list them all. I do want to point out a few personal favorites. Some of these may not be the cars that command the high-end bids. They are just some that made me smile as I perused the auction catalog.
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.
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
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!
The first Ford Shelby Cobra 260 print ad – 1963.
Yipe. This photo by Trevor Legate that he captured at Brands Hatch in October 1967 shows that roll bars aren’t just for rolling. As I understand it, no injuries—not for lack of trying.
In the hours leading up to the start of the 1965 running of the Sebring 12 hours race, it seemed like a perfect day for racing. A bit hot maybe at 94° but that wasn’t unusual for a Florida afternoon—even in March. There were rumors of hard weather on the way, but radio jamming between the US and Cuba meant that there was no solid local weather report available trackside.
After 6 hours of racing the sky began to threaten rain. An hour later, at 5:25 pm the sky opened up. By the time the race was over, prototype drivers were saying that their cars were filling up to their elbows with rainwater. It sounds like hyperbole until you see the photos. Rain delay? What’s a rain delay?
There’s endurance racing, and then there’s endurance racing.
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
With more and more video from last weekend’s Goodwood Revival showing up on the YouTubes, don’t be surprised to see a handful of them here as a sort of self-medication for the depression I’m experiencing for not going.
GoodwoodRRClub says: To celebrate Carroll Shelby’s magnificent Ferrari beating Cobra’s fiftieth anniversary, the 2012 Goodwood Revival played host to an inspiring one-make race of his fabulous creations. Lasting forty five minutes for two drivers, crowds were wowed by the sound of the biggest gathering of such machines ever in the UK. Victory was taken by the Hall brothers ahead of the Dutch pairing ofTom Colonel and David Hart in second and Ludovic Caron and Anthony Reid in Third.
From yesterday’s shots of the ’67 LeMans—perhaps the biggest sportscar race in the world—to today’s snaps from a regional track in the midwest; there’s virtually no end to the historic images and stories that drive our
sickness passion for vintage racing.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Waterford Hills Road Racing course. This was my home track growing up. It was where I saw my first club racing and my first vintage racing. I vividly remember 911s and even VW Golfs lifting a wheel at the crest of Hilltop Turn; and seeing more than a few cars lift 2 and sometimes 4 wheels if they overcooked it. That was it. I was hooked. So when Cliff pointed me to these Jerry Melton photographs from the June, 1968 SCCA Regionals at my beloved Waterford, I couldn’t just keep them to myself—could I?
I can’t resist sharing one more: Many of us know Garret Van Camp through his dominance in Formula Vee. It’s marvelous to see him in his earlier incarnation racing a Porsche Speedster. Check out that strap to the roll bar holding the door shut!
I’d seen Formula 1 cars thunder down the closed city streets of Detroit, their cacophonous engine notes echoing off the windows of the Pontchartrain Hotel and reverberating through Atwater Tunnel. But it was these smaller club events at local tracks that made me a lifelong racing fan. Even today, it’s these regional events that give me the greater thrill. A thrill that Jerry has managed to capture beautifully in these images from the June ’68 SCCA Regionals. Check out more of Jerry Melton’s archives on Etceterini.