The battles from the perspective of this MGB in the 2012 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix are fun and worth a watch on their own (man, this driver works through the traffic!). More importantly though, take a moment to look at the setting: Look at those low brick walls, bridges, and the brief glimpses of the glass structure of the conservatory. Now appreciate that this event is not happening in Sicily in 1962, or Brescia in 1951, or Pebble Beach in 1955. This is a race you can go and watch next year. I still can’t believe that they pulled it off. I still hope that more municipalities will find the will and the passion to do the same. I look forward to attending the Central Park Vintage Grand Prix, the Detroit Belle Isle Vintage Road Races, the Hyde Park Historics, and the Lincoln Park GP Classic.
Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
In case you missed it, the wonderful and attractive people on the Goodwood media team have uploaded the full-day replays of the 2016 Goodwood Revival. Put on your tweed jacket and kick your feet up.
♪It’s the mooooossstt wonderful time… of the year.♫
I’m glad someone else has followed The Goodwood Revival’s marvelous example of livestreaming and archiving contemporary vintage races. I can think of no better example of an event to do so than the 2016 Monterey Motorsports Reunion. I didn’t learn that the event was being streamed until the Monday after. Thankfully the archive is already up and running and ready for you to start your week. Throw on your headphones and be ready to quickly switch to a spreadsheet when your boss walks by.
This film would surely have disintegrated in its can if Fred Weinberg had not picked up at a yard sale. I like to imagine the thrill of discovery as Fred held that film reel up to the light and unspooled a few feet of film. That slow realization that those tiny shapes are racing cars; then taking it home and loading it into the old projector and beginning to recognize the streets of Watkins Glen. Then there’s trying to catch glimpses of racing numbers as he poured over archives of race results trying to figure out which running of a race this was. The ultimate realization that there’s footage here from the Queen Catherine Cup, the Seneca Sup, and the main event. Magnificent. Despite all of this archeology the original photographer is still unknown, but at least we can all appreciate his or her contribution to our precious little media of early American road racing.
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.
This video could have stopped at the handheld footage of the corners from an airplane passing slowly overhead and it still would have been worth sharing. But then the tours of the pits with some of the most beautiful cars ever made, including a whole suite of various Ferrari 250s and their shirtless pilots. Then they prepared for the LeMans start… and I’m hooked—all before the action even starts. Somehow even though I have such a deep love for vintage racing, the atmosphere of the pits and spectators in these old films draws me in just as much.
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.