Archive for July, 2010

Finnish Cycle Racing Stickers

How great would these be on your toolbox or in the back window of your pickup?

More at via Death Spray Custom.

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That sucker totaled out his iron!

Grand Prix Comics, Issue 27

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Monaco Grand Prix 1936-37

Most of the prewar footage of Grands Prix that I come across are very short; a minute or two. The days of endlessly long recording time were still quite a ways off, particularly for cameras small enough to report trackside. As a result, we have precious little footage of Nuvolari or Caracciola. By these standards this wonderful clip is an epic film at 2 minutes and change.

It’s in clips like that that the legend of Monaco really shines. If this were any other track (except maybe Indianapolis) it would be so marred by change that this footage would be unrecognizable. Thankfully, the shots of the tunnel or Station Hairpin have meaning to us today. These aren’t simply clips of brave men careening through city streets, they’re the pioneers that allowed Jenson and Hamilton to round these same corners today. If not for these early GP giants, Monaco would have long since been replaced.

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Talbot-Lago T26 in Action

A marvelous clip of a different car than the ex-Grignard example coming up for auction that we saw earlier, complete with wonderful Talbot history from Richard Pilkington. He highlights another aspect of this era that is so appealing. Take this grand prix car, add motorcycle fenders and a pair of headlights and—presto!—sportscar racing eligible car. Imagine throwing a set of fenders on a modern F1 car and entering it in LeMans. Magnifique!

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Eye Candy: Porsche 911 RSR

Gulf Blue Porsche 911 RSR. Yes, please.

available in wallpaper sizes at GT Porsche via Motoring Con Brio

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Monterey Auction Preview: 1949 Talbot Lago T26 Monoposto

Can we already be closing in on Monterey Week? I’ve barely had time to brace myself for the enormous influx of vintage racing giddiness that it brings each year. As a result, I’ll ease into the season by showcasing this repeat visitor to the Monterey auctions—this gorgeous 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Racing Monoposto.

Gooding & Co counts this magnificent 1950 Paris Grand Prix winner among it’s featured cars for their Pebble Beach Auctions to be held on August 14 and 15. What a true beauty. This transitional immediate post-war period between the pre-war racers and the Grand Prix greats of the mid 50s is such an interesting time period for racing cars. They had much of the same visual aesthetic as the pre-war cars with their elegant boat tails and proportions that hide the enormous scale of the cars. The technology leaps of WWII were just starting to make the transition to civilian use. These immediate post-war cars present a fascinating period of technological transition. The beauty of the pre-war, mixed with the utility of the post-war.

This example, chassis #110006, wears her French blue paint with pride, having carried Frenchman Georges Grignard around 50 laps of the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry in 2 hours 05 minutes 38.8seconds to capture victory; 4 laps ahead of Louis Gérard’s Delage. The race must have been grueling indeed, only Grignard, Gérard, and fellow Delage driver Marc Versini finished the race at all. The other 8 racers all dropped out with mechanical problems (including Stirling Moss at the wheel of the #17 HWM-Alta which dropped out with a connecting rod failure). It’s no surprise that #110006 wears the livery today, with Grignard’s racing number 8 and driver identification hand-painted ahead of the cockpit. Grignard even played a part in the restoration of the car many years later when he provided the spare parts he’d kept from his campaigns with the car. I love the notion of Grignard caring for the car so many years after they’d parted.

Even without the marvelous history, this Talbot-Lago would be no less attractive. The aggressive stance that would surely strike a chord with any American hot-rodder; the bodywork and brightwork that any warbird pilot would feel comfortable in; that exaggerated steering wheel that would feel small in a bus driver’s hands – they unite in a singular display of shear racing beauty and menace. I find myself looking again and again at the simple hand-painted graphics on the car (if you can even call them graphics), just their simplicity and touch of personality communicate such romance and history. It’s simply perfect. If you were to meet Gooding’s estimated bid of $650,000-$850,000 and take this Talbot-Lago home, I’m sure you’d provide a warm and inviting home for her for many years.

Unless, of course, you were the buyer of #110006 at Bonham’s Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia at the Quail Lodge last year. The car was just as stunning as she is today, and was expected to bring an even more handsome sum, with an estimate of $1-1.3Million. Selling without reserve, though, has its risks and I’m sure there was a very disappointed owner with more than a few shed tears when the car sold for a mere $557,000.

So it’s a year later and that very lucky buyer is looking to see if their good fortune has lasted another 12 months, with an estimated $100,000-$300,000 turn on last year’s investment—not a bad return just for keeping a car in good kit for a year. I hope that this Talbot’s next caretaker doesn’t think of her as a mere investment, and that #110006 finds herself back on the track, not locked in a vault waiting for the next sale.

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Morgan Girl

“Speed, she likes. Comfort, she appreciates. She admires men sensible enough to choose the rather exclusive Morgan Plus Four Plus—and occasionally let her drive. 2138 c.c. TR4A engine. 110 m.p.h. Front Disc Brakes. And superb Morgan controllability. Try on for ever—this week.”

Definitely a Morgan Girl. I love that this reads like an installment of What Sort of Man Reads Playboy? but in reverse.

(found in MotorSport, April 1966)

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07/17/10 – 2010 Pikes Peak International Raceway – Fountain, CO

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Excellent Set of LeMans Classic Photos

Gaby participated in this year’s LeMans Classic and despite being busy with her own (gorgeous) car that weekend, still had time to flex her fabulous eye for photography. Head over to Meals n’ Wheels for the complete set.

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07/16/10 – VRC of BC Races – Mission, BC

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