Archive for April, 2012

Weekend Viewing: 1973 German Grand Prix

Clear the next two hours from your calendar, pour yourself a beer, and watch Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell get airborne on the Nordschleife.

via Pistonheads

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All the Way from California to Daytona Beach

1967 Union 76 Racing Ad.

1967 SCCA Class C Production Champion Alan Johnson knows that Royal 76 is powerful enough to make a difference.

Alan Johnson and Roger Bursch took no chances on gasoline for their Porsche 911 S in the 1967 American Road Race of Champions.

They took Union Oil’s Royal 76 premium with them—all the way from California to Daytona Beach.

Why Royal 76?

Winner Alan Johnson puts it this way. “Roger and I have experimented with a lot of gasolines in the years we’ve been racing together. We learned by experience that Royal 76 works better—delivers maximum power, mileage and performance.”

Royal 76: a balanced blend of eight powerful fuels—exactly the same gasoline you get at any Union Oil station.

Exactly the same gasoline that won the Can-Am series at Monterey… at Riverside… at Stardust.

Why not try a tankful of championship performance in your car?

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Wild Hare Run – Alton, VA – 04/13/12

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Factories at Work: Assembling the Shelby Daytona

Seeing the mighty Daytona Coupe in her bare aluminum bodywork in these Shelby American publicity photos from 1964 makes me sympathize with these engineers and mechanics. They must have been filled with trepidation for the coming season. This being Shelby American, I’m sure they didn’t show it. But although their heads must have been dancing with the possibility, they couldn’t have known that this intoxicating machine they were assembling were about to become a legend.

Presumably this is CSX2287—the prototype—being gingerly pieced together at Shelby’s Venice workshop. If I’m right, it wouldn’t be long before this machine would the piloted by Phil Hill, by Dave MacDonald, by Bob Holbert, by Innes Ireland…. and the list goes on.

If this is indeed the prototype, Wikipedia says that this gorgeous piece of American muscle exited her career with a little vacation that earned her 25 USAC/FIA world records on the Bonneville Salt Flats. That, my friends, is a proper retirement party for a racing car; particularly an American racing car.

Regardless, it’s marvelous to see things humming inside the Shelby Workshops.

via Nigel Smuckatelli’s brilliant Flickr Stream.

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Gran Premio di Siracusa

Every season I try and give F1 another shot. But more and more I find myself hoping for another series to follow. Something more accessible. Something more inclusive of its fans. Something…. different.

I guess I’ve just never quite forgiven F1 for the 2005 USGP farce.

This footage from various running of Sicily’s non-championship Grand Prix of Syracuse only fuels my desire for a racing series that’s about the race and not the championship. Can you imagine contemporary non-championship races for Formula 1? Or even a reinvigorated Formula 2 (or, better yet, 3). The idea of Moss and Fangio and Ascari and, later, Siffert and Clark running alongside hometown hero local entrants sounds thrilling. The advances in racing technology at the top-levels makes this kind of thing all but impossible today—the notion of a wealthy enthusiast dropping in at Ferrari and buying a customer F1 car is almost laughable. But these images remind me that this type of participation was once commonplace.

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R.I.P. Butzi


Even if he’d only designed the 904 (his favorite) his legacy in motorsport would have been remembered. That he also penned the 911 makes him one of the great automotive designers of all time. The LA Times has a nice writeup on Ferdinand Porsche’s death and legacy.

You did Grandpa proud, Butzi.

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Well Won. Shell Won.

3 World Champions in International Motor Racing.

Phil Hill
1961 World Champion Driver

Ferrari
1961 World Champion Formula 1 Car

Shell
Supershell plus I.C.A. and Shell X-100 motor oils used by Phil Hill and Ferrari team during the 1961 International Motor Racing season.

Well Won — Shell Won

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Watkins Glen 1948

Even though this scan isn’t particularly well done, you can still see the charm in this circuit map from Watkin Glen’s 1948 layout.

Every purpose-built racing course has a few named features: Eau Rouge or Corkscrew or Karussel. None of these, though, will ever be as charming as “School House Corner” or “Archy Smith Corner” or “White House S”. There’s something.. I don’t know.. adorable about these street course featured named after the farmer who’s house marks a turn.

Beyond that, I just love this illustration style. As I browse old maps of all varieties, I’m always impressed with how these maps draw the viewer in to the experience and provoke daydreams of strolling down these illustrated streets.

They may not be as accurate or informative as today’s more utilitarian map aesthetic, but they sure are a more notable artistic achievement.

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1962 Rand Grand Prix

The Fifth Rand Grand Prix at Kyalami foreshadowed the international stage that Kyalami, only a year after its construction, was quickly becoming. This Non-Championship race in the ’62 Formula 1 season drew top talent from the British Formula 1 teams in particular with Jim Clark, Graham Hill, and John Surtees along with American Richie Ginther competing on the grid on a December afternoon. Clark won from pole, with Lotus team mate Trevor Taylor three-tenths of a second behind him.

Thanks again to Andrew Duncan who has been sharing with us scans of his program collection from his boyhood visits to Kyalami. See more of the Duncan Collection here.

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