Archive for the ‘Historic Racing Photos’ Category

Reader Photos: Joe Sheppard’s Camoradi 356. Sebring. 1960.

Joe Sheppard. Camoradi Porsche 356. Sebring. 1960

John Shea sent in this marvelous photo of his friend Joe Sheppard pushing hard in his Team Camoradi Porsche 356 at the 1960 Sebring 12 Hours. Joe went on to finish first in the 1.6 liter class and 9th overall. Not bad considering he also participated in the 4 hours race the day before. I hope Joe got plenty of sleep over the next few days—this must have been quite a long weekend for him.

Thanks for sending this in, John!

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Cobra Ginetta Sandwich

Cobra and Ginetta at Brands Hatch - 1967

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.

via Nigel Smuckatelli’s Flickr.

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Triumph’s LeMans Digs

Factory Triumphs at Hotel de France

Factory Triumphs at Hotel de France garagesI suspect that photo opportunity that the entrance provided was not the key decision factor for the Triumph Works team when they chose the Hotel de France as their accommodations for LeMans in 1963 and 1964, but it may as well have been. I often prattle on about the lack of pit access and being able to wander amongst the teams and cars before or after the races, but this… this is something else.

Whether the factory cars were just pulled out in front of the hotel for a quick photo and then tucked back into transporters or garages and out of prying eyes, or whether they just sat out front, I don’t know. I like to think it’s the latter. The idea of the team cars just sitting out for a night before one last shakedown run on the hour drive to La Sarthe is too wonderful a notion to not daydream about.

Incidentally, Hotel de France’s Facebook page seems to demonstrate their continuing close relationship with vintage motoring and frequently hosts classic car tours.

Photos via Hotel de France. Thanks for sending these in, Willem!

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You OK Up There?

Cooper on the Roof - 1949

Cooper on the Roof - 1949Major Peter Braid had quite a ride during this Formula 3 race at Blandford Army camp in August 1949.

Presumably Braid had some flight experience because I can think of no other way he might have gotten his F3 Cooper up on the guardroom house, but apparently a bus stop and a tree gave him a boost along the way.

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Let’s Get This Going Again

Barnard Formula Six - 1967

Unfortunately this clipping from Popular Mechanics didn’t include the build blueprints. Anyone have one of these in their attic and want to restart the series?

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Reader Photos: Gary Mason’s 1957 Race of Two Worlds

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Thankfully, yesterday’s Monzanapolis track map forced my hand in sharing some of these amazing images from Gary Mason. In the mid-1950s, Gary was a teenager traveling through Italy with a pair of cameras on his hip—hitting every race he could (and rooting for Maserati whenever possible). What a tremendous opportunity to take in one of the great spectacles of mid-50s racing in Europe—the Race of Two Worlds.

Can you believe how empty these stands are? What a tragedy.

Can you believe how empty these stands are? What a tragedy.

What a rare chance to see Offenhauser-powered Kurtis and Kuzma sprint cars square off against Jags and Ferraris. Can you imagine seeing Indy cars and ALMS prototypes going head to head on a modern speedway? It’s almost comedic. But incredible. And beautiful.

Race of Two Worlds. Monza. 1957.

More of Gary Mason’s photos in the archives. Thanks again, Gary! There’s more to come.

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A Thought Experiment on Racing Safety

Henri Louveau's Talbot-Lago T26 after crashing in the 1951 Swiss GP

I know that increasing safety at racing events was a long, hard road and a heroic fight by Jackie Stewart and others who were just plain sick of seeing all of their friends die. I also know that the transition from haybales and snow fencing to endless runoff areas and HANS was not as knee-jerk as it seems in hindsight.

I sometimes wonder, though, if we could go back and introduce later safety technologies earlier, if we might have avoided sanitizing the sport so much. If we could have given Graham Hill a HANS device, might we have avoided cutting all the hedges out of the run up to Nürburgring’s Antoniusbrücke? If we could give Ascari a modern puncture-resistant fuel cell, could we have avoided endless run-off areas that place spectators so far from the track?

Don’t get me wrong, this photo of Henri Louveau’s Talbot-Lago after overrunning a corner on the 30th lap of the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix doesn’t look pretty. It must have been terrifying… But it also shows that when fire wasn’t a factor, grand prix cars of the era weren’t so very fragile. If Henri also had a HANS, and a decent roll cage, and some crumple areas, maybe the sport would still be a more visceral experience today.

I know that there a lot of very differing opinions on the topic of racing safety. I know that even with the sport being as safe as it is that drivers and spectators still get killed in the modern era. I’m curious what your thoughts are on this. Have we taken too much excitement out of the sport in the name of safety? Have we not yet made the sport safe enough? Is there anything that can even be done about it?

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Scenes from the Woodcote Trophy Race. Goodwood. 1952.

The start of the 1952 Woodcote Trophy. Goodwood.

José Froilan Gonzalez. 1952 Woodcote Trophy. Goodwood.

Seeing vintage images from Goodwood really drives home how good a job the Goodwood organization has done in keeping the spirit of the old track very much alive. I can almost shift these photos to color in my mind thanks to the coverage and imagery from the contemporary Goodwood races.

Some of these photos (maybe all of them?) are by Alan Smith, who has prints available at Rosenstiel’s.

via Librarying.

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In the Days Before Go-Pro

On Board Filming

I hope this cameraman got paid well.

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Vintage Safety

Cooper Roll bar

There was a time when this roll hoop passed tech inspection. Eesh.

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