Let’s walk among the trumpets and crazy wide slicks of the 1972 Can-Am paddock at Road Atlanta. Maybe I over-romanticize the history of motor racing—okay, definitely—but wandering among the teams here looks much more like any amateur vintage race happening this weekend than the velvet-rope, VIP charade of top-shelf racing in the modern era. You can argue safety and engineering advances, but you’ll never make me believe that fan access is better now.
We frequently bemoan the fact that the modern reinterpretations of classic road races have reduced these once thrilling spectacles to timed rallies. But the timed rally has its own rich history as demonstrated here by this remarkable document of the 1963 Atlantic Sports Car Club Rally. If you prescribe to the theory that sports car clubs fundamentally transformed from casual social clubs that had fairly inclusive low-key timed events and gymkhanas, to racing clubs that focused solely on competition; then that return to the more social events is perhaps a welcome return to the roots of sports cars clubs. If those events look a lot more like this Nova Scotian rally, I’m for it.
This spring the Amelia Island Concourse d’Elegance celebrated its 20th year. For the past three of them Justin Lapriore’s videos have become a bit of a tradition for the Florida island community as well.
It’s wonderful to see that in much the same way that the Amelia Island event has grown into one of the premier concours in the States, Justin’s videos have followed a similar trajectory. I look forward to them each year, and although a few months have past since the event, post-production—just like a concours level restoration—takes time.
This is what passion looks like. It’s not uncommon to know someone that has a few old cars and a bit of memorabilia locked away in a garage. But when someone opens their garage up as a museum; starts a club to share their passion with the world; and gets their cars out and seen as much as possible—that’s the kind of passion and sense of community that I have a deep respect for. Bruno Dorigo’s Abarth collection is impressive, but it’s his passion that is truly enviable.
I’ve seen a few clips here and there from Catalina, but never anything this comprehensive. This collection of 22 minutes from the 1957 running of the 100-mile Catalina Grand Prix motorcycle race is absolutely fantastic. The chaos of that start is crazy. That everyone seems to just get up and start their bikes back up and continues is even crazier.
Another can of film has made it out of the attic and onto YouTube. Rejoice! Here is the Owens Family’s footage from 1959’s Memorial Day Santa Barbara Road Races, The Kiwanis Grand Prix at Riverside, and The Labor Day Santa Barbara Road Races. How is it possible that this footage has been up for over a year and only has 28 views? Can’t we do something about that, readers?!
Stirling Moss and Lewis Hamilton demonstrate that there’s still a few serviceable stretches of Monza’s legendary Parabolica banking. I would have thought that Hamilton would have been struggling to keep that W196 that high up the banking at these speeds but he seems positively casual about it. Doesn’t Moss look great nestled into the seat of that marvelous 300 SLR W196R Streamliner?
Edit: Thanks for the correction, Gary. I should have known better than to trust the YouTube uploader
Small displacement. Tight courses. Community involvement. Participatory spectators. Pick any one two these and apply them to a contemporary racing series and I’ll be a fan. I’m envious of these residents of Napoli that they got to have all of them.