As I look out the window at sub-zero temperatures it is easy to forget that the 2015 vintage racing season is already getting under way in many parts of the US. The Chicane’s Vintage Racing Calendar is now updated with this year’s schedule. Take a look, and let me know if your club’s events are missing.
Archive for the ‘Chicane News’ Category
We’re giving another go at crowdfunding a new t-shirt. This time it’s a recreation of a Tyrrell shirt that Jackie Stewart was photographed in. I’ve never seen another example and for all I know the team might have just made them for Jackie. We need to correct this problem.
By now, you probably know how these crowdfunding campaigns work. Essentially you can reserve your shirt, but you will only be charged for the shirt if we sell 15 of them. Otherwise, the print run never happens and your card is never charged. We only have 10 days for this one, so if you’re interested in supporting Team Tyrrell as they were in the early 70’s, now is your chance.
Head on over to the catalog page and order yours today.
Start marking your calendars, saving your entry fees, and making your travel arrangements. Whether as a driver or as a spectator, you owe it to yourself to make it out to the track this year. I’ve added the events I know about to The Chicane’s Vintage Racing Calendar. If you don’t see your club or event listed, drop me a line and I’ll add it.
Update: I’ve also been making a number of visual adjustments to the calendar to make it easier to read, easier to scan, and easier to find races in your area. So get on it.
I know I’m cutting it close, but just in time for some last minute stocking stuffers for the racing fan in your life… Or you. Probably for you… it’s OK, you deserve it.
Head on over to the Chicane Shop for more.
With less than three days left, the MotorBinder project of archiving and publishing never-before-seen photos of American racing in the ’50s and ’60s has exceeded it’s Kickstarter goal by more than 50%; guaranteeing that the archive will be published. Congratulations, guys! There’s still time to get in on the rewards offered to backers at various levels at the Kickstarter page.
In other crowdfunding news, the Legends of the 70s shirt that we’re organizing at TeeSpring is only one precious shirt order away from its production goal. If you’ve been considering this one, now’s the time. It will only take only one more order to ensure that everyone that has pre-ordered the shirt will get their hands on it. Check out the Tee Spring project page for details and to order.
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.
I know it doesn’t help anything on a macro-level, but I’m intentionally not posting about the Pebble Beach auctions. Why? There were amazing cars there, right? Cars that are on my personal list of favorites. And hell, if Yahoo Business or the Huffington Post can get traffic today reporting on the auctions, why wouldn’t an actual vintage sports and racing car site do it?
It’s simple. I would rather talk about what these cars do on the track than what they do on the auction block.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for this weekend’s buyers and their new 904 or Spyder California or Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione or (my goodness!) Gurney-Weslake Eagle Mk 1 Formula 1 car. I’m just not that interested in the sales numbers. When these cars show up at the Mille Miglia or the California Mille or Goodwood or any local road course, then you’ll be reading about them here. I just don’t want to play into the hype machine of who’s buying what and how many millions did they pay for it and oh-my-gawd-did-you-see-how-rich-that-guy-is of it all.
Whenever I’ve talked about the economics of vintage sports and racing cars here, it’s set off a bit of a firestorm of negativity. This is not intended to restart that whole argument of “racing cars should be for enthusiasts” versus “rare=expensive, deal with it”. The only side I’ll take on that argument is that I hope these new buyers use their cars; that they get out on the track or out to the concours or out on the street. Anything. So long as it’s not just sitting in a vault waiting for the next auction.
The cars deserve it.
Congratulations to this weekend’s buyers and sellers. Congratulations to this weekend’s blue ribbon winners. Now let’s strap on a helmet and see what she can do.
Who am I to choose from among these names? How can I ask any of you to choose from the best of 1950s racing? Why argue the point when we can celebrate not any specific favorite, but the glory of this entire golden era of competition?
Available today in The Chicane Shop.
For International Women’s Day we’ve been posting a series of photos of our favorite women in motorsport on The Chicane’s Tumblr. Click on over an join in.
Whew. It’s hard for this upper Midwesterner to believe that I’ve already missed vintage race weekends this year. I blame the ceaseless snow shoveling for my delay in updating The Chicane’s Vintage Racing Calendar for 2013. Finally, it’s up to date. If you don’t see your club or event listed, drop me a line and I’ll add it.