Formula Vees on the Nürbugring Südschleife

It was only the big events that were raced on the combined glory of the North and South loops of the Nürburgring into it’s complete 17 mile configuration. Of course, the Nordschleife got all the fame and left it’s little brother Südschleife to languish away alone: oft-forgotten and little loved (even in its prime) compared to the more challenging technical turns of the Nordschleife.

Today, while much of the public roads remain, the connecting pathways to the Nordschleife were destroyed during the construction of the GP circuit. This Formula Vee race from 1968 though, shows the Südschleife in all its glory. It must be hard to be considered great when the basis for comparison is the Nordschleife but on it’s own this looks like a hell of a track. Also, helicopter footage of the F-V race? Who would have thought….

Let’s hope at the Nordschleife lives on in more than just videos of this kind 50 years from now.

Jerry Melton’s 1968 Detroit SCCA Regionals

From yesterday’s shots of the ’67 LeMans—perhaps the biggest sportscar race in the world—to today’s snaps from a regional track in the midwest; there’s virtually no end to the historic images and stories that drive our sickness passion for vintage racing.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Waterford Hills Road Racing course. This was my home track growing up. It was where I saw my first club racing and my first vintage racing. I vividly remember 911s and even VW Golfs lifting a wheel at the crest of Hilltop Turn; and seeing more than a few cars lift 2 and sometimes 4 wheels if they overcooked it. That was it. I was hooked. So when Cliff pointed me to these Jerry Melton photographs from the June, 1968 SCCA Regionals at my beloved Waterford, I couldn’t just keep them to myself—could I?

I can’t resist sharing one more: Many of us know Garret Van Camp through his dominance in Formula Vee. It’s marvelous to see him in his earlier incarnation racing a Porsche Speedster. Check out that strap to the roll bar holding the door shut!

I’d seen Formula 1 cars thunder down the closed city streets of Detroit, their cacophonous engine notes echoing off the windows of the Pontchartrain Hotel and reverberating through Atwater Tunnel. But it was these smaller club events at local tracks that made me a lifelong racing fan. Even today, it’s these regional events that give me the greater thrill. A thrill that Jerry has managed to capture beautifully in these images from the June ’68 SCCA Regionals. Check out more of Jerry Melton’s archives on Etceterini.

More from the Tijuana Internaccional

Tijuana Road Races
Along with the map and video from earlier today, here are some photos from the 1966 or 67 road races held on the temporary street circuit along the beach in Tijuana. There’s some street action with the Formula Vees entering turn one at the end of the long beachside straight, the drivers in the production class lining up for their LeMans start, and some track shots of some MGAs and Sprites. Excellent stuff here.
Formula Vees in Tijuana
On Your Marks...
Tijuana Drivers Meeting
Now that looks like a happy bunch of drivers.

Paul’s New Vee

I mentioned in the recap of this year’s Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival that my friend Paul was looking for a vintage formula vee. He climbed in and out of as many different models of vee in attendance as possible, and got sage advice from the outstandingly friendly Vintage Vees contingent of the VSCDA. “What you really want is a Lynx B”, some would say. Others tried to sway him towards a Zinc. Even some of the Formcar guys tried to beckon him in; “Nothing can touch them in the wet”, they’d say.

So what does Paul do? He does the right thing and ignores them all when he finds a remarkable McNamara Sebring for sale a mere 20 blocks from his Minnesota house. I can’t say I blame him, the McNamara looks very good—more like a Formula Ford than a vee with that mysterious air opening at the nose. And the car came complete with a custom build trailer and second set of body work. There’s just no way to walk away from that.

Beyond the car itself are the bounty of stories that came from the wife and son of the previous owner. Several period photos of the car in action and several tales of the involvement of the former owner in the seminal years of Minnesota’s club racing scene.

Needless to say, I’ll be writing more about Paul’s new ride more in the coming months as we fit him to the car and get race-ready for spring. There’s not a huge amount to do; the car is in quite good shape just needs some modification to bring it back into Monoposto compliance. Stay tuned for the progress.

I’ll leave you now with a photo of Paul’s McNamara Sebring as she was raced in her earlier years (we think she’s number 12)