Archive for September, 2009

1963 Road America 500 Final Installment

It all comes down to this, in the closing laps of the RA 500, will it be Elva-Porsche? or Cobra?

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More 1963 Road America 500

I’m always struck, when seeing vintage footage of Road America, by how little the track itself has changed over the years. Yes, the old buildings and start/finish complex is noticeably different, but the track itself is much the same as when Gurney, Hill, and Gregory gritted their teeth through the Carousel.

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1963 Road America 500 part 1

I’ll be traveling to the happiest place on Earth, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, this weekend for the VSCDA Fall Vintage Race. While I’m gone, let me share a bit of Road America with you in the form of this three part video of the 1963 SCCA Road Racing Championship Road America 500 race.

It’s Porsche-Elva vs. Cobra. Reliability vs. brute force. Maneuverability vs. top speed. It’s Road America. What more do you want?

Parts 2 and 3 will follow through the weekend.

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This Never Works

I can understand the appeal of this advertising method. We have a car. Its an iconic car. Its a car people fell in love with when they were 15 years old. Let’s play on that lineage and unquenched desires of youth by reminding them of the love they had for this car when they were a kid. We show the old car, we show the new car; the thing sells itself.

The problem is that it just never works. No one has ever seen one of these ads and craved the new car.

Maybe I’m not being fair. It sort of does work. Unquenched desires swell, purchase thoughts creep into your head. But they’re not desires for the new car; no. You just want the old car more.


When Porsche can’t even pull this off, you know it’s time to abandon this entire marketing tactic. Porsche is releasing the 911 Sport Classic, a limited edition 911 inspired by the Touring RS. They’ve pulled in some of the performance spirit and visual hallmarks of the classic: 408hp, carrera stripes, the ducktail. I’m a sucker for the ducktail, so this should really be driving me crazy. But then they go ahead and photograph it next to an original 70’s RS. Guess which one I want. Guess which one everyone wants. Does this ever work on anyone?

Bonus: Here, fold your own Carrera RS.

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The Automotive Photography of Tim Scott and Fluid Images

DAVID-AND-GOLIATHI first saw Tim Scott’s photography as I browsed the always exciting inventory of classic and competition autos at London dealer, Fiskens, web site. While it should be the norm, a fair bit of dealer photography is no better than the average eBay listing. Fiskens, however, invests in beautiful photography of their inventory, usually shot in interesting locations that accentuate the subject. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that we have Tim Scott to thank for that. His portfolio site is well worth a visit for fans of everything from vintage racecars to Bonneville specials to classic cycles and Italian motor scooters. Here are a few of my favorites, definitely visit his site for the complete breadth of stunning work.


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1951 Bridgehampton Road Race Film

Our love for the Bridgehampton road race is well known. We even love the later purpose-built race course that has since suffered the ultimate humility—becoming a golf course.

But now is not the time to dwell on these tragedies, for some lovely footage of the 1951 Road Race has surfaced. Not seen in over 25 years, this fantastic film provided by Walter McCarthy and the Long Island Old Car Club showcases such competitors as Briggs Cunningham and John Fitch pushing their mighty Ferrari and Jaguar through a field of Cad-Allards, Healeys, Cisitalias, and MGs on city streets and county roads. This is absolutely marvelous!

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09/05/09 – Columbia River Classic – Portland, OR

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Jim Clark Racing Coveralls at Auction

Jim Clark's DunlopsJust when the mania of the Monterey weekend events and auctions die down, we’re getting ready for the Goodwood Revival and the associated auctions.

There are, of course, many amazing racing cars coming available, but this lot from Bonham’s upcoming Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia auction really struck a chord with me. The set of two-piece racing Dunlop blues was a gift from Clark to his accountant’s motorfan son. The auction catalog says this race suit was race-worn and will include a photo of Clark wearing them in 1965, but doesn’t specify the race.

The GPDA badge on the chest was a gift given separately, and added to the suit by the young fan. I don’t know the age of the boy that received this marvelous gift, but I like to imagine him draped in the oversized race suit and making engine noises in a pedal car or refrigerator box. I almost like this artifact of motoring history for the story after they were Clark’s as much as their provenance with the champion.

Bonham’s estimates the suit will sell for £2,000 – 4,000. See the lot details page for more detail.

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Monterey Photo Gallery

Finally, worthy competition for a Porsche 550.

Finally, worthy competition for a Porsche 550.

Ok, I promise this is my last Monterey Historics post for a while—probably. Besides, with Goodwood right around the corner, I’ll have plenty of the best vintage racecars to overdose on.

That being said, Sports Car Digest’s compiled photo gallery is really worth a look. It may be a little photoshoppy for some, but most of the processing looks intended to evoke the period of the car being photographed. Nice stuff.

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