Ice racing still happens on the frozen waters near St. Paul, Minnesota. But seeing Siatas and 356s and Allards wheel to slipping wheel is no less a tremendous sight out on the ice in this film of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Winter Ice Races of 1954.
As with many of the races of the period, I’m always astonished to see the variety of machines out there mixing it up. Not just sportscars of various sizes, but several American hot rodders joining the race as well
Worth watching just for the onboard from director Tom Countryman—who was a fixture in the upper-midwest vintage racing scene for decades. It really shows the delicate balance required for this very different kind of off-road racing. Glorious.
These onboards from the Targa Florio during the practice period are always harrowing. When you see the occasional shepherd and daily Sicilian traffic it’s not hard to see why this footage from 1973 was the last year of the event. Let’s ride shotgun with the Claude Haldi/Bernard Chenevière Porsche 908. Almost a shame we can’t see the lovely Toblerone livery of this unusually red P-car. The car didn’t make the main event due to blowing an engine in practice. Easy to believe from where I’m sitting.
The new Boxster is lovely. But sit one next to the old Porsche 718 and it looks like garbage. We’ve talked before about marketers doing this “let’s photograph the new one next to the old one and show our lineage and the power of our history” tactic before. It. Does. Not. Work.
Porsche already does a good job of getting their historic racing cars out to the track and in front of fans—but I’ve never heard of an event like this one and I hope to be there for the next one. Sadly, no video editor alive can resist putting a music bed behind this.
This place recognizes Porsche 917 body panels for what they are—works of art. These would make a lovely addition to the garage wall.. or better yet above the dining room table.
The decision isn’t so much whether to get one, but which iconic 917 livery to choose. Gulf? Hippy? Pink Pig? Martini? Perhaps I should just let each become a centerpiece of a different room. More information at CD Automobilia.
Whew! I thought Monday’s ride and rally around town brought out some great cars… and it did. But last night’s party had a parking lot full of amazing Porsches of all vintages. The 918 and Singer from the previous day were there, but joined by an astounding collection of Porsches ranging from a 959 to a gorgeous 914-6 and no less than three 4-cam powered machines: a 356 Carrera, an RS60, and a ’58 Speedster.
The party and ribbon cutting happening inside, though, was no less impressive (ok. maybe a little less impressive than an RS60 with Sebring history). There were signature cocktails of course, and never-ending spreads of wonderful food, and a cigar roller, and the most spotless service area I’ve ever seen, and Magnus Walker working the crowd and signing posters, and a custom microbrew created just for the event. It all added up to a wonderful evening. Congratulations to the organizers.
PCNA COO Joe Lawrence was on hand to cut the ribbon
Porsche Minneapolis was kind enough to loan me a 911 for the day. I think I’ll always prefer the vintage air-cooled variants of the 911, but you can still readily feel the legacy of Porsche’s motorsport heritage in the 991. Somehow despite all the revolutionary changes in every manner of engineering that goes into the modern 911, it still feels like a 911. A little quieter perhaps; a little more comfortable; a little less likely to spin on your when you’re decelerating in a curve—but it still retains enough of the 911 spirit that I can still imagine myself gritting my teeth through a turn on the Nordschleife or Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie in a stripped down 911R or RSR. I have personally been debating between a contemporary Cayman or SC-era 911 for my next car… after a day spent with modern Porsches, I think the only real solution is to get both… and maybe a few more for good measure.
Porsche Minneapolis celebrated the opening of their new facility in grand style today with a fantastic drive among several of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes that was intended to be led by Magnus Walker. After a rocky start to the day, the spirits and weather both turned for the warmer just in time for a wonderful blue-sky drive through the parks, farmland, and countryside of central Minnesota.
Magnus didn’t seem to let the incident with 277 ruin his day. Solid dude.
Although the dealership’s focus is obviously on the current generation of Porsches, there was a large contingent of classic and specialty examples of the marque including a couple of dozen examples of air-cooled 911s of all vintages, the Singer Minnesota car, and some contemporary rarities including a (stunning) 918 and a pair of current generation, impossible-to-get GT3RSs.
That Singer is truly exceptional. Even the casual Porsche aficionados amongst the hundred or so attendees were entranced by it. There are no shortage of gorgeously lit and professionally shot detail photos of the Singer cars, but standing right in front of it I couldn’t help but crouch down and get close to see the very smallest of little touches that make this very very expensive car start to feel worth the price. Things like the custom boot latches and hinges; the perfectly manicured engine compartment; the subtle steering wheel-mounted bluetooth controls that allow for modern phone integration without a garish contemporary stereo head unit (who designs those atrocities?). It all adds up to a simply arrestingly beautiful car.
While I am sorry that I couldn’t get to see Magnus’ equally beautiful (but on the opposite end of the customization spectrum) 277 car join us on the drive, he’s still confident that the car will be back on the road in time for next month’s Rennsport Reunion. It’s an ambitious goal, but I wouldn’t want to doubt his resolve.
Amongst a sea of exquisite Porsches was one particular car that caught my eye. It’s a fairly nondescript example of an Irish Green 911T—exactly the kind of car you would expect to see any number of littering the parking lot at any Cars and Coffee. It was the receipt in the window, however, that made the car truly special for the event. Not only is this an amazingly preserved car with original paint and windscreen, this car was bought new in 1970 at Carousel Porsche Audi in Excelsior, Minnesota—The very Porsche dealer we were celebrating today. What a precious connection between the past and future of Porsche’s dealership network in the Upper Midwest.
A grand opening party is on the schedule for Tuesday—I’m looking forward to it. More information at Porsche Minneapolis.
The Porsche RS61 Spyder that Stirling Moss bought at auction in 2010 is coming back across the block this weekend at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. It’s not hard to understand why this example caught Sir Stirling’s eye, as it’s a magnificent example and sister to the RS60 he drove to a 3rd at the 1961 Targa Florio.
Stirling Moss has called this the “best Porsche they ever made”. I think we’d all do well to trust his judgement on it. Although he’s more well known for his exploits behind the wheel of Maseratis and Mercedes and Ferraris, Sir Stirling had a good deal of experience with Porsche 550s and 718s, and used a 904 as his road car.
More on this example when we covered Stirling Moss’s purchase back in 2010.