Get ready for LeMans weekend!
The F40 is iconic for a lot of reasons. It was the last Ferrari to be created under Enzo Ferrari’s direct supervision. It was a perfect moment at the height of the old fashioned—some say purer—supercar (old fashioned in that it was without much in the way of onboard computerized driver aids). It isn’t bad to look at either.
When the Japanese magazine Car Graphic was asked to make this promotional video for the Ferrari F40 in 1987, they may have produced something just as unique as the F40 itself… Something we’re unlikely to ever see again. I’d bet that this is as close as we’ll ever get to a Ferrari television ad.
You know… as good as it looks, the view pales in comparison to the sound.
24 minutes of Fangio footage… No clever title nor caption needed.
The card box is open. Grab your set of Topps World on Wheels cards and let’s trade.
From the card’s reverse: Enzo Ferrari, once a racing driver himself, decided he wanted a car exactly to his own design. He hired an engineer to translate his ideas into facts, and the famous Ferrari racing car was the result. Ferraris have chalked up an amazing record of wins on almost every track in Europe. In addition to this car, Ferrari also makes the most advanced unsupercharged sports car in the world today.
More cards from the World on Wheels series in the archives.
If the trailer is anything to go on, Ron Howard has taken his look at the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda very seriously. Even better, there are darn few obvious uses of CGI racing in these clips. I don’t know why Hollywood can make perfectly realistic dinosaurs or Gollum, but every instance of CGI auto chases plows straight into uncanny valley and looks like crap.
These weren’t little GoPros hanging off of the Maestro’s Lancia. Each of these cameras had to be loaded with film, started up, and run a few laps. Then they had to do it again and again so that you don’t see the giant camera in the other angles. It’s easy to dismiss the complexity of these earlier onboard films when we can easily toss a half-dozen or more digital video cameras on a car at every possible angle. It’s part of what makes early onboard footage so precious.
Looking through the slow motion montages in this clip, I have to believe it was part of the inspiration for Saul Bass’s racing sequences in Grand Prix.
via Retro Formula 1
I’m not entirely sure that Alberto Ascari would have loved Murray Walker’s introduction in this clip from Walker’s F1 Greats. Once the stats start rolling in I’m sure the mood would have lightened. Tremendous.
The world is a slightly dimmer place that there’s no authentic Sharknose on the planet. I will never fully understand, let alone appreciate, why Enzo had them destroyed after the season. At least we can stare longingly at this image of these gloriously breathtaking machines being unloaded from the transporter for Ferrari’s home race.
Prints available at the McKlein Store.
People occasionally ask me why I’m not a fan of contemporary formula racing. I usually start by boring them to tears with tales of the 2005 USGP fiasco and my long drive home from that event, swearing off Formula 1 again and again with each passing mile. But when I look at this photo of a contemporary Formula 1 steering wheel it does a much better job than I could of communicating my real reason.
I admire Formula 1 engineers and aerodynamicists. They have pushed the automobile to the absolute limits of technology. I just think they may have pushed beyond the limits of what an automobile is. This steering wheel doesn’t control a car. A spacecraft; a fighter jet; a robot, maybe. But not a car.
I spend most of my workday at a computer. I click buttons all day. I like buttons. And I know that I sound much older than I am when I say that I do not look forward to these technologies making their way to road cars. I just don’t want to push any more buttons.
I want to feel the hint of tension in my calf when I push the clutch in. I want to feel the gratifying clunk of the shifter when I pull into second. I want to hear the clack of the gears connecting as I pop the clutch. I want to feel it, to smell it, to taste it. I want driving to remain a tactile, physical experience.
Of course I realize that Formula 1 drivers have no ends to the physical sensations that they receive from their machines when they’re racing, but will daily commuters have any sensation when this tech comes to the road?
There. There’s my rant. I try to keep them to a minumum.
Alberto Ascari’s favorite accessory reminds us all: Bring back the laurels.
Photo by Bernard Cahier. Thanks, PHC.