Back when PIR was Auto Sports Park they had a touch more personality and fun in their program ephemera than they do today. Look at all of the little details in Rick Owen’s old hand-drawn and watercolored(?) map. Some are useful information for drivers and spectators alike: the suggested speeds for each of the seven turns; the near-track hazards being cartoonishly confronted by the drivers in the map; US 99 disappearing into the a Seattle filled horizon. Others are there just to make us smile: the sea monster near the front straight; the mechanics dozing under the car at tech inspection; the distracted driver oggling a sunbathing spectator going in to turn 4. Rick’s map reminds us all that motorsport is supposed to be fun. Today’s maps have completely forgotten the fun side of the sport.
Don’t believe me? Check out their current map. I’ve seen golf course maps, or even county platt schematics with more artistry. Come on, Portland! Find Rick Owen and have him do the smallish updates to this gorgeous painterly map he created decades ago.
There is a thriving market for movie memorabilia from John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix on the Internet with movie posters in a variety of languages and programs from various cities’ premiers, some signed by the racing drivers and movie stars in attendance. Because I can’t think of better ways to spend my day I often find myself perusing the offerings from various auctioneers.
This series of photos is currently up for bidding at Heritage Auctions. These lobby displays sure put to shame any mere movie poster or lobby card. I wonder where that imposing display featuring the tracks of the Formula 1 season is today. Hopefully it escaped the landfill and is adorning the entryway to someone’s home screening room.
I don’t know about you, but Intellivision’sAuto Racing was my first experience with motorsport. On a given night, I might still occasionally reach for this before Forza or iRacing. Over on the Gameplay Archive, David has deconstructed the maps from Auto Racing to test the map’s accuracy and give us a complete view of the entire racing season’s (series?) venues. I love this kind of nerding out. It’s a great mashup of my love for vintage racing, classic gaming, and messing about with technology in ways the designers never intended. Here’s a video on David’s process, and head on over to the feature on Gameplay Archive for more. Fun!
At a “Buy it Now” price of $795, these might be most expensive 3-inch pinback badges on the market. If, however, I had a car that ran in the Watkins Glen International Grand Prix in 1954, 1955, or 1956, I’d be mighty tempted.
A week ago, I thought my life was fairly complete, but then I saw this slot car table from Slot Mods. Now when I want to hide something, I usually pick some nondescript, boring piece of the background for my secret to blend in with. The folks at Slot Mods think slightly differently. When they set out to create a slot car track loosely based on La Sarthe, they decided the most inconspicuous place to stash it was in this Gulf-liveried Porsche 917 fiberglass shell. Amazing. This is the same group of mad geniuses bringing you Neiman-Marcus’s $300K slot car table. Now how am I supposed to decide between them?
Neiman Marcus’ Christmas catalog is famous for their over-the-top gift ideas. My favorite from last year was the custom falconry equipment. This year though, I’m actually tempted to put together a crowdfunding campaign for this custom slot car set by Slot Mods. Even better, David Hobbs will attend your opening party.
I can imagine no better evening than sitting around this remarkable slot car table with David Hobbs calling the action. Only $300K. At that price, we can’t afford not to get it.
The winners of the Indy 500 might not get to take home the Borg-Warner after they drink their post-race milk but there’s something even more precious to each winner of the Borg-Warner trophy and how they are commemorated. Going all the way back to the 1911 victory of Ray Harroun and his Marmon Wasp, a relief of each winner of the 500 wraps around the trophy, transforming the trophy into a figurative wall of victors.
Like hockey’s Stanley Cup, the actual trophy isn’t kept by the winners but their legacy lives on for all-time as each successor to the crown is inscribed onto the trophy itself—which becomes its own history book. As a bauble to the winner it is unwieldy and heavy. That heft, however, is part of what makes the trophy important with each victory adding further physical manifestation of the hard work, determination, and luck of each of those successful drives.
I’m glad this isn’t mine. I would agonize for months over whether I should build this or not. Intellectually, coldly, logically I know that this should never be assembled. I know that tearing these pieces out of the bag and glueing them up would never result in something as beautiful as it is now. But then I would wake in the night, dreaming of it, and have to fight hard to not reach for the Testors.