Magnificent Period Formula Vee Illustration

1968 Formula Vee Sports Car Magazine Cover

I adore this Formula Vee cover illustration for the November 1968 cover of Sports Car magazine. The late 60’s blend of almost childlike color blocking offset by very accurate proportions and technical details create a charming balance.

Somebody is selling a copy on eBay (no affiliation) and I’m hoping one of you buys it before I have to. Thanks for digging this up, Paul.

More Unseen Racing Film: Pomona 1956

Another installment from the John McClure archives, this time it’s the October 1956 Pomona Road Races. The particular turn that features prominently in this film looks particularly harrowing—and fun. Plenty of competitors overcooked it a bit, resulting in a whole lot of drifting, spins and oversteer. Great stuff!

Quite a few Austin-Healeys, Lotuses (Lotuses? Loti?), ACs, and the ubiquitous Porsche Speedsters and Spyders (I just love that there was a time when you could refer to Spyders as ubiquitous).

West Coast Sports Car Journal had this to say about the main event in their November 1956 issue:

At the drop of the flag, Bill Murphy was first through turn one, something he has perfected through the years. But right on his tail was Evans, Gregory, Hauser, Bob Drake in Joe Lubin’s DB3S Aston Martin, Miles, in that order. Following at a more leisurely pace was the rest of the pack led by Mike Kingsley in the Sparks and Bonney Special and Fred Woodward in his Jaguar Special…

On lap sixteen, the first three cars were running tail and nose, still at an incredible pace. They were lapping three and four seconds faster than the under 1500cc cars had; and this short twisting course is more suitable for small machinery!

I won’t spoil the finish for you here, but you can download a pdf of the complete article here. You can also download the complete results and race report from the November 2-9, 1956 Issue of MotoRacing here.

Track Maps of the Past: Paramount Ranch

Usually in our ‘Track Maps of the Past’ series I try to feature beautifully rendered maps from historic racing programs. There’s always a lot to choose from, as the hand illustrated track maps of the age before satellite views tend to just have more soul than the long-on-accuracy-short-on-spirit CAD rendered maps of today. It isn’t the illustration of this track at Paramount Ranch, though, that drew me in. It isn’t amazingly well rendered or beautiful. It’s is fairly ordinary in its execution and presentation. What it does have though, is the benefit of a marvelous feature of the Paramount Ranch race track: it has a tunnel.

There’s something magical about a track that loops back in on itself, tucking under competitors and passing, figure-8 style, beneath the action above. It recalls the classic Monza, with a tunnel under one end of the banked oval. I can understand why this once enduring track feature went away. It is not, after all, easy to blend run-off areas and kitty litter with bridge abutments. But damn if it isn’t just cool. There is — and I’m talking to the track designers out there when I say this — a reason why almost every slot car track you can find on toy store shelves has a crossover. It’s just cooler that way.