She may have never finished higher than 37th place (in a Chrysler Saratoga in 1952), but I have huge respect for anyone that attempted to tackle the mighty Carrera Panamericana. Jacqueline Evans, however, was not content to just do the race once. Ms. Evans was a piloto at every year of the Carreras running—from 1950 to 1954.
Arguably it was the 1953 race with her behind the wheel of the Eva Peron tribute Porsche 356 for which she’s most remembered. The car is certainly among the most famous liveries of the period. With its vibrantly painted portrait of the recently deceased First Lady of Argentina. Although she ran overtime which resulted in her disqualification in the race she is among the most photographed racers that year. Whether it was because of the exotic livery, the relative novelty of a woman racer, or because she just looked so very cool is anyone’s guess… but I’m sure glad she was.
En representacion de las mujeres del mundo indeed.
Even in an era before ubiquitous photography where everyone has a camera in their pocket (and no film processing!) there are thousands and thousands of moments captured on track. Perhaps that’s why I’m always so drawn in by these quieter, more banal moments.
This bustling workshop preparing for a race conjures so many stories in my mind: mechanics furiously scrambling to get the machines ready; visiting besuited executives quietly observing or barking encouragement; the professional-looking woman making a—for the time—rare entry to a male-dominated environ. I don’t even know what workshop this is (though it looks like some I’ve seen at LeMans) and as much as I want to know who these people are and what they were actually doing, I might prefer the imagined stories I’ve created for them in my head.
I am curious about the woman in the Dior-esque “new look” style skirt suit though—anyone recognize her?
Gary Mason sent us a whole pile of his photographs shot as a teenager during his travels through Europe hitting every motor race he could. His passion for racing, however, did not wane once he was back stateside. Here is a collection of his photos from the 1960 SCCA Nationals at Marlboro Motor Raceway in Maryland. Some great images here from the President’s Cup race which featured a wide variety of machines ranging from the heavy iron of Corvettes and big Ferraris down to Porsches and Lotus Elevens.
I love these mixed grids, especially when the finish order isn’t just a descending list of horsepower. Roger Penske took the day in his Porsche 718 after taking over the lead from fellow 718 driver Bob Holbert on the 3rd lap. If we were giving out trophies for aesthetics I’d be tempted to give a special prize to Bill Mitchell’s Corvette. That Stingray still looks exotic.
There are some photos from additional races that weekend, but I’m not immediately finding documentation about this MGA heavy grid or the little blue Devin.
Our mid-engine car is a fair-weather friend that won’t let you down in foul weather. On sunny days, the top snaps off in less than a minute, stores under the rear trunk lid and takes up almost no room at all. On rainy days the top locks back on almost as fast. And because it’s fiberglass, it won’t leak or rip. Unlike fabric.
But a friend is more than a fiberglass top. First of all, it’s a two-seater in the classic sports car tradition.
And right behind the two seats is an engine in our race car tradition.
The mid-engine concept gives the Porsche 914 a whole bundle of advantages over ordinary cars.
It holds the road better because its centre of gravity is lower.
It corners better, because there’s no heavy frond end to steer and no heavy back end to slide out.
It brakes faster and saves tire life because all the wheels carry a more equal load.
It also comes with a built-in roll bar, electronic fuel injection, 5 speed synchromesh transmission and two trunks.
Best of all, you can get all of this for a whole lot less than you would expect to pay to own a Porsche. Really.
But don’t just settle for an impression from an ad. Test drive the Porsche 914 yourself. Swing it into a few corners. Pop off the fiberglass top.
I thought I’d seen every possible accessory and customization for the 911, but I’m really digging these Ignition Switch Cover Decals from Car Bone Liveries. It’s such a subtle little touch that is not too ostentatious, not too enthusiastically screaming “outlaw!”. They’re just a nice little detail that pays tribute to a favorite racing livery or Porsche-inspired pattern. I like the tartan myself.. Now I just need the matching seats… and the car.
James Dean would hate that I’m posting this film featuring him as a celebrity participating in a weekend at the track. I don’t doubt that James Dean or Steve McQueen or Paul Newman had a genuine love for the sport, but I can’t help but think that part of the allure was that they weren’t catered to; weren’t ushered to the best table—they were just another competitor on the track that would be given no preferential treatment by their fellow racers. Being just another one of the guys must have been refreshing. That they were each of them skilled drivers and fierce competitors only helps solidify their respect and legend within the racing community.
Although I do enjoy that the pace of used car sales was such that only a mailing address was necessary.. Now I feel like if a Craigslist post is more than an hour old I’ve already missed it… Especially those $5,000 Porsche 550s or $3,200 Talbot Lagos.
Always shocking to see the stark contrast between the glitzy see-and-be-seen fanfare of today’s pits and the casual atmosphere of races of the past. Even a race like LeMans looks more like a club race weekend at your local track than the paramount international endurance event.
Lots of good footage of the LeMans race itself. Rare to see color film from this event. Even with all of the 1955 LeMans disaster documentaries and media analysis, almost everything I’ve ever seen of the race has been in black and white.
By now we’ve already done all the drooling we can over the impending sale of several of Jerry’s Porsches at the upcoming Gooding Amelia Island auction. But let’s at least take a moment to listen to the man himself introducing us to his 1959 Porsche 718 RSK in the style he’s made famous on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I’d be happy to join him for a cup if we can take this there.