Magnificent 1957 Italian Motorcycle Racing Movie Trailer – I FiDanzati Della Morte

Taking to the Beach at the Race of Gentlemen

1957 Catalina Grand Prix for Motorcycles

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.

via Motobilia.

The Red Bullet

Lambretta Record
I spent last evening at the cinema watching Gravity. I was particularly struck by several scenes shot from the main character’s point of view inside her helmet with her breath fogging the faceshield and the noise of each exhale filling the auditorium. The experience felt so claustrophobic and close. It reminded me of what it must have felt like for Romolo Ferri ducking into the lid of his bright red Lambretta Record and settling in for his record-setting run on a stretch of road between Munich and Ingolsdadt.

Look at this little thing. Like the Munro Special or a bellytank hot rod, the aerodynamic bodywork of surrounding this anything-but-stock Lambretta motorscooter must have felt so tight… and hot. It’s easy to see why the scooter was called “The Red Bullet”.

Romolo Ferri in Lambretta Record

Sure, Romolo was competing against Vespa, but as any salt flat driver will tell you, the real competition was himself, his previous record, the engineering limits of the 2-stroke engine underneath him.

So how did he do? 201 kph. 124.8 mph. In a 1951 Lambretta. Wow.

More on Romolo Ferri and his record-setting Lammy at Italian Ways. Thanks for sending this one in, Karp.

The Motorcycle Artwork of Kenji Shibata

Kenji Shibata's 1959 Honda Painting

Look back up at that ’59 Honda. Go on, Look.

That’s not a photo.

Let that sink in for a second.

I find that I tend to be of two minds on automotive art. I tend to be most drawn to either those pieces of work that come from one of two very different points of view. I love work that evokes the motion of a machine: Blurred splashes of color that are barely recognizable silhouettes of specific racing machines but with an emphasis on the frenetic movement of a high speed machine caught in a barely focused instant. But with almost equal reverence I can appreciate a meticulously detailed piece of work like these. It’s hard not to appreciate the careful study of the minutia of a racing machine. Kenji Shibata’s work is breathtakingly precise. It wasn’t until I saw this photo of his work in process that I realized I wasn’t seeing a beautifully lit studio photograph.

Kenji Shibata at work

In a lot of ways, it’s a lot like how we all appreciate the two essences of motorsport: The high paced courage and emotion on the track itself versus the slow, careful detail work of the long hours spent in the workshop in preparation for the track. I’m sure that’s why I am so drawn to these two apparently opposing aesthetics: because together they represent the full experience of motorsport.

More at Kenji Shibata’s site. Via 8Negro.

Onboard for the 2013 Vintage Revival Montlhéry

Southsiders Visits the Vintage Revival Montlhéry

1932 Graham 8 Lucenti Indy car at the Montlhery Revival

Last month Southsiders MC‘s Vincent Prat made the short trip up the road to Europe’s second best known banked track for the Vintage Revival Montlhéry. Ok, maybe third best known. Fourth? Whatever. Lucky for us, The Southsiders crew has a fantastic photographic eye for capturing the atmosphere of the event. I’m so glad to see that the vintage spirit that surrounds the Goodwood Revival is spreading to other vintage events with period dress and accessories sharing the stage with the vintage machinery. The shots of the 1932 Graham 8 Lucenti Indy car wouldn’t have half the appeal were the pilot clad in just another contemporary race suit.

Entry to the banking at MontlhéryIt looks like a remarkable assemblage of machines were on-hand for the weekend, including machines that traveled from the Brooklands and Hockenheim museums—some returning to Montlhéry for the first time since they were actively racing pre-1940. Wonderful! You aren’t likely to see a better collection of Bugattis on any grid in the world. Looks like another to add to the ever-expanding list of events to attend in the future.

Click on through for Vincent’s recap and the rest of his fantastic photos from the event.

Young Spirits

…And I Thought Regular Boardtrack Racing Looked Dangerous

Giorgio Oppici’s BMW Motorrad

I’ve watched this Giorgio Oppici tribute to BMW several times, and each time I pause and silently digest what a glorious set of images I’ve taken in… And then I pick up my jaw and watch it again.

The advent of affordable high definition video cameras and dSLRs has been a boon to the world of web video. I’m not about to claim that it’s just the quality of the gear that makes it possible—Oppicci would have doubtless been an astoundingly good cinematographer with nothing but a pinhole camera; but putting affordable high-quality gear in the hands of more filmmakers lets them better realize their vision and push the outer edges of the craft’s potential.

Simply gorgeous work.