Easy to forget that for a few years the development of spoilers and wings was the wild west. It seems like Formula 1 teams tried a slightly new configuration every race, sometimes with spectacular or terrifying or hilarious results.
The great thing about street courses is that anyone can just grab a rental car and drive around it. As Peter Windsor gives us a tour of the Montjuïc street circuit in Barcelona, I wonder if the scores of other commuters on these streets know that Jim Clark and Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt knew these streets well… not to mention the tragedies that occurred on Montjuïc mountain during the 1975 race.
If only I could have Peter Windsor and his encyclopedic experience of racing history riding shotgun with me on all of these spins around former street circuits. Thanks for sharing this, Peter.
The problem with digital photo archive tools is that there’s often little context, little attribution, and even less backstory. As a result, I don’t know anything about this image that I stumbled upon on Pinterest (or maybe it was Tumblr) and all image searches just lead me back to other pins or tumbles.
What I do know is this: Red Bull isn’t going to just tip over their Formula car and see what’s going on under there. This glimpse of race (low) tech of the past was a common thread that united hot rodders and shadetree mechanics with the pinnacle of motorsport. Now you’ll see greater kinship between Formula 1 technicians and aerospace engineers.
The same was true then, of course; but aerospace engineers and shadetree mechanics shared that kinship as well!
The Half Liter Car Club has a marvelous article on Brands and its inextricable link with 500cc racing over at 500race.org. The original kidney shaped “Indy” circuit at Brands Hatch was a favorite among spectators who could see virtually the entire track from anywhere on the grounds. This plan, published by the club’s 1952 annual report demonstrates just how quickly there were plans in place to expand the track to accommodate Grand Prix racing. The above visualizes an expansion of Brands to meet the minimum length requirements for the fledgling Formula 1 series. After a series of expansions (and change in racing direction from counter-clockwise to clockwise), Brands Hatch hosted her first Formula 1 World Championship event 12 years later.
Head on over for more of Brands fascinating growth and her early dominance by a young Stirling Moss.
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.
When you sell shirts like we do in the Chicane Shop, there’s a number of questions that need to be constantly asked and answered: How many of that design do we have left? How many of this new design do we think we’ll need? Will this design sell at all? How many of each size should we order?
All of these questions keep me from putting out more shirts, more often. There are services that print shirts on demand as they’re ordered. But they tend to use direct digital printing to the garment and the quality tends to be poor so I’ve avoided them. A recent service has launched that organizes crowdfunding of quality t-shirt screenprinting.
For those unfamiliar with crowdfunding, the basic system is this: A shirt design is proposed and if a certain threshold of people decide to buy it within a certain amount of time, then the purchases are processed, the shirts are printed, and they’re distributed to all the buyers. If not enough people decide they want it, the shirts never happen and no one is charged anything. Anyone who has followed a project on Kickstarter or Indie Go-Go is familiar with this approach to sales.
I’ve decided to give it a go as an experiment. The result is extending the Legends series of shirts we’ve been selling to include the Legends of the 70s; surely one of the most exciting times in international motorsport with some of the most colorful drivers and dynamic moments in racing. If we get 15 people to commit to purchasing the shirt in the next 2 weeks, the shirts will be printed and distributed. Of course we can sell more than 15 too, so tell your friends.
What does this mean for the future of Chicane shirts? It will let us try more different kinds of shirts, more often. Instead of our typical glacial pace of 1 or 2 shirt designs—and infrequent re-orders—a year, we’ll be able to release one a month or one a week. It will also let us take more risks on the kinds of shirts we design. You wouldn’t believe how conflicted I was when I ordered the first batch of Yamura Motors shirts. Would anyone even understand this? Am I going to be stuck with boxes and boxes of this shirt? That shirt has gone on to be our best seller. A crowdfunding model like this takes some of that worry away and essentially puts those questions to a vote. You get to decide which designs make the cut.
There’s no shortage of love for the mid sixties cigar shaped Formula 1 cars. The levels to which we praise Lotus and BRM and Cooper often unnecessarily push Honda’s debut efforts out of our minds, but these are just lovely.
John Shingleton emailed me what he calls his favorite photo. Considering John’s photographic experience, that’s quite a statement indeed. I’ll let John explain:
“Of the thousands of motor racing photos I have taken over 50 years this is my absolute all time favourite. It was taken on Kodachrome 25 slide film during the Saturday afternoon practice session at the 1981 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. It has it all -Monza- a fantastic, circuit with a unique atmosphere-that diffuse yellow light you get on a hot late summer afternoon in Northern Italy-wonderful cars being worked on in the pit lane in full view of everyone-not closeted away behind closed doors as happens now-a pit lane dolly in shorts-enthusiastic onlookers everywhere. And those great big slick donut tyres-no silly one-make control tyres in those days. And it is Italy. Wonderful. And perhaps above all else it has that wonderful film “look” is so appropriate for the time.”
You owe it to yourself to see more of John’s photos on his Rolling Road blog. Thanks, John!
I’m not one to quibble about replica vs. re-creation vs. continuation but I know that these kinds of builds get some people’s dander up. With no surviving example, I can’t imagine that there are many who would argue the merits of this project. After all, it’s about as legit a Ferrari 156 as we’re ever likely to see.
The car itself has been making quite a splash on the european vintage circuit but even if it is a few years old, the video is well worth a watch. I’d like to see more of these kinds of builds and hope that the skills to do so don’t become so scarce that it gets even more difficult to make them happen.