Archive for December, 2012

Fluff-Free Castrol

Porsche Breaks 6 World Records on Castrol: The Masterpiece in Oils.

At Montlhéry on March 18th a Porsche Spyder, driven my Messrs. Von Falkenberg and V. Riggenberg broke 6 World Class F. Records (1,100—1,500 c.c) using Castrol. These ranged from 200 miles to 6 hours at speeds between 128 m.p.h. and 131 m.p.h.

That’s some very “just the facts, ma’am” copywriting. No fluffy claims. No hyperbolic comparisons. This could just has easily been a segment in the week’s race report.

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Rick McTurtle.

Turtles they’re not.

The only slow-moving thing in Team McLaren is Rick McTurtle, the mascot Bruce McLaren found trying to cross the track during practice at St. Jovite. Rick has a lot of torque, but he doesn’t rev very fast.

The McLaren Can-Am cars are something else. They finished 1-2 at Watkins Glen and proved again that they were the fastest road-racing cars the world has ever seen. Bruce McLaren knocked 1.99 seconds off the outright practice lap record for the Glen, set last year by a Formula One Lotus. And Denis Hulme cut 2.62 seconds off the race lap record, also set by a Formula Once car, lappint at 132.27 mph.

The McLaren M8Bs are powered by 427 Chevrolet engines, with a lot of McLaren magic added. They develop 625 hp at 7,000 rpm, and 570 lbs/ft of torque. They run on Gulf NoNox gasoline and Gulfpride Formula G motor oil—products you can buy for your car at any Gulf station. Switch to them now.

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1952 Watkins Glen

As precious and rare as it is for these types of videos to surface, it makes it all the more disheartening when they’re pulled from YouTube. Looking back through the archives, I was saddened to see the marvelous footage of the 1951 Watkins Glen GP that we featured in a post earlier in the year has been pulled.

In the interests of maintaining a consistent level of Watkins Glen video on the site, I felt compelled to dig into the YouTubes to find a suitable replacement. This home-movie of the ’52 race should fit the bill nicely.

John McFarland says, “Here is some really cool video shot back in 1952 (nearest I can figure from cars/numbers vs. program) by my Grandfather at the Watkins Glen Grand prix. The number 54 car at the end of the video is a Cunningham (sick!). The races were held on September 19-20 and my Grandfather was filming with experimental color film from Kodak. Color home movie footage of the racing in 1952 is extremely rare.”

Might want to consider hitting mute on this one as the 1952 footage and the 1979 soundtrack don’t exactly fit perfectly.

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Topps World on Wheels: Connaught

Connaught trading card

More from the Topps World on Wheels bubblegum card collection. This time, Connaught.

From the card’s reverse: Horsepower: 107

A tiny factory in England, producing only about two cars per week, makes the Connaught. The body is very light and is built for speed. It has cycle fenders, outside exhaust pipes, bucket seats and a good finish. The price of the Connaught is $5,500! the basis for this car is a Lea-Francis engine. Under the cowl is a two and one half gallon gas tank.

Anyone have $5,500 I can borrow?

More Topps World on Wheels here.

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Autodromo's New Movement

We’ve been singing the praises of the aesthetic of Autodromo’s offerings for a while now. They wonderfully marry the sleek sophistication that so appeals to wrist watch aficionados with the purposeful elegance of motorsport. The world of vintage motoring has certainly embraced the endeavor. Some watch snobs though, have been less enthusiastic in throwing their support behind a piece with Quartz movement.

I’m guessing that with their latest release, Autodromo has silenced those naysayers. The limited edition Monoposto is not only marvelously designed and gorgeously detailed—I love the heavily threaded reinforcement on the strap— it is also Autodromo’s first watch with automatic mechanical movement.

Like all of Autodromo’s wristwatches, the references to motorsport are evident but not gaudy. The subtlety of their range is perhaps what I’m most drawn to. There’s no tacky racing graphics here. But those that are in the know will instantly see the sporting references in the design and execution of them.

More information at the Autodromo store and at Automobiliac. Bradley tells me that they can still ship for Christmas if you order today. Get on it!

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Available on eBay: Paramount Ranch's First Race Program

I love the track at Paramount Ranch. That tunnel is so romantic and deadly, and the location in the Santa Monica Mountains ensured that Hollywood stars and starlets made appearances both mixing it up on course and spectating trackside.

A good example of the program for that first race at Paramount in August 1956 has come available on eBay. The price might drive some away, but what a marvelous reminder of the golden era of the California Sports Car Club. Just take a look at the footage of the race from our earlier post on the Ranch. How could you not want a reminder of this kind of immediate, friendly, competitive-as-hell era in motorsport.

Keep your eye on the auction. Thankfully by pointing you to it, I don’t have to be the one to buy it.

Stay strong… stay strong.

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Jim Clark Hard at Work.

I have this image in my head of Jim Clark easily and effortlessly winning race after race. Nearly every photo I’ve seen of the man after a race is of his smiling face as he celebrates with his crew or the other drivers—not of him slumped and tired and broken down after the strain of a race.

The look of concentration in his face in this photo confirms that it wasn’t just a leisurely drive the led to his victories. It reminds me that just because someone is good at something, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for them.

As an aside: While we can all agree that full-face helmets are safer, what a shame that we’ll never see a photo like this of Vettel or Alonso or Hamilton. Not visibly seeing their struggle just plays into this fantasy of the robotic, efficient driving machine that never breaks a sweat. That’s just Räikkönen.

Photo by Patrick Lichfield. Prints of this shot are available at Chris Beetle’s Fine Photographs. Found via Le Container.

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Topps World on Wheels: Allard

The latest from our series featuring cards from the 1953—1955 Topps issued bubblegum cards, “World on Wheels”. This time it’s Allard: “British Sports Car: Speed-Lined Beauty”.

From the card’s reverse: Horsepower 160

This British sports car weighs less than 2,500 pounds, and can reach a speed of sixty miles an hour in about seven seconds. This is from a standstill. The top speed is about 130 miles per hour. The Allard’s brakes are right out in the open, and are highly efficient. Allard now makes two kinds of cars… one for normal, everyday use, and the other as a competition car.

These artifacts of boyhood obsession with racing are so very valuable. I can’t help but imagine an 8 or 10 year old laying on his bedroom floor obsessing over every detail in this basic line drawing and imagining himself changing gear through a hairpin.

Check out the rest of the the World on Wheels series.

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At Your Service

I can’t get over the details in this marvelous shot of a Porsche 550 grabbing some new rubber. The stenciled racing number. The chain-link barn doors on the Dunlop Racing Service truck. The tire tech pressing a tire onto the rim with a piece of plywood serving as a shop floor. The simplicity. Gorgeous.

The Porsche ain’t bad either.

I can’t find a source for this photo. If you know anything more about it, leave a comment.

Update: Over on Facebook, Joe Camilleri suggests that this was in Australia. In the comments below, Andrew goes one further. Confirming Australia (Phillip Island race track in Victoria Australia in 1957) and even identifies the specific Porsche Spyder as chassis 550-0056. He should know, his is an authoritative source on all things Spyders. Thanks guys!

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A Performance to Match

DeTomaso Pantera. For those who seek perfection.

The Tomaso Pantera is a luxury two seater sports saloon with a beautifully styled body by Ghia and a performance to match. The top speed is approximately 161 mph — and you can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and very considerable comfort. Further details are obtainable from MTC Cars at the address below.

MTC Cars, LTD. 173 Westbourne Grove, London. W111 2 RT. UK agents

DeTomaso • Pantera • GTS • Deauville

Demonstrations. Factory Trained Staff, Spares and Service, Exports.

I feel like this ad was written by Google Translate.

Found on Classic & Sportscar Magazine’s Facebook Page.

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