Archive for November, 2013

Turkey Bowl XVII – 11/29 – Summit Point Raceway

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A Sleeping Beauty of a Cisitalia D46

Giorgio Oppici sent in his spectacular short film showcasing a perfectly patinaed Cisitalia D46. There are a lot of ways to make a film about a car, but usually they feature quick cuts, loud music, and booming exhaust notes. They get your adrenaline up. They get you excited about the subject. Advertisers and music video directors have known how to pull those emotions out of us for a long time.

Giorgio’s approach is the exact opposite. This isn’t a music video (although the music is perfect). This doesn’t get your adrenaline up. It doesn’t even motivate. What it does do is all the more rare. It forces you to pause… To appreciate… To wonder. It is a love letter to the magnificent Cisitalia D46 that I want to read again and again.

Thank you for sending this in, Giorgio. It’s fantastic. Check out Giorgio’s equally beautiful film on BMW Motorcycles that we featured last year.

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5th Palm Springs Revival – Eagle Mountain, CA – 11/23 – Chuckwalla Valley Raceway – USA

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Art Appreciation: Ecurie Ecosse 1960 Cooper-Monaco Mark II

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Bonhams upcoming December auction featuring the Dick Skipwworth Ecorie Ecosse Collection has no shortage of amazing racing cars included (and one Hell of a nice transporter too), and even though this Cooper-Monaco won’t draw in the top dollar bids the way that the D-Type or C-Type will, it might be my favorite of the bunch. The rear-engined Type 57 is surely one of the most beautiful sports-racing cars to come out of Cooper Car’s garages, if not the whole of the UK racing community. Those elegant curves wrapped around that miraculous little 2 1/2 liter Coventry Climax twin cam just make me smile.

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Cooper delivered the cars to purchasers as a kit, and if I were to choose any single example I think I’d be most inclined to trust the one built by this legendary team. It won’t surprise you to learn that this little beauty has a magnificent race history with events on both sides of the Atlantic. Formula Libre events at Watkins, Riverside, and Laguna Seca (with Jack Brabham in the wheel for Laguna) wonderfully complement her European history at Goodwood, Oulton Park, Aintree, and LeMans. Arguably her best years, however, came when the car was entrusted to Ecurie Ecosse driver Jimmy Stewarts scrappy kid brother Jackie. He took to the machine wonderfully and racked up a series of victories right out the gate. Can you imagine owning a car that has been driven by both Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart (and Roy Salvadori! And more!)?

Jackie Stewart in the Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Bonhams is offering this car alongside many of her Ecurie Ecosse stablemates at their December auction. I sincerely hope that a very well heeled buyer comes along and nabs them all. They really do deserve to remain together, don’t you think?

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

More information on Bonhams’ lot detail page.

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Liveries Matter

C-Type for the color blind.

“Welcome to Automotive Paint Supplies, Ltd., How can I help you?”

“I would like any two colors of paint, please. Whatever the first two cans of paint you can reach are, I want those.”

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The Joys of Lotus Motoring

Lotus Ad in BARC Gazette, 1961

Begone Dull Care!

Let the spirited Elite introduce you to the joys of Lotus motoring, derived from unique specification: glass-reinforced plastic unitary construction all independent suspension, four wheel disc brakes, Coventry Climax 1214 cc power unite. Lotus Elite – LeMans 1960— 1300 cc class First, Index of Thermal Efficiency First. Manufactured and distributed by: LOTUS Cars Ltd. Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Telephone Waltham Cross 26181.

Wow. Now there’s an unformatted pile of text that is very difficult to make any sense of. I can only imagine that this was dictated over the phone to the advertising editor at the BARC Gazette and just transcribed and keylined in. It looks almost like a telegram of the ad’s copy.

Let’s just concentrate on those lovely lines of the Elite’s bodywork instead. There, that’s better.

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Wes Anderson's Tribute to the Mille Miglia

This short film that Wes Anderson made for Prada whimsically evokes the Mille Miglia with the charming beauty the director is known for. The glimpses of the racing cars putting through Castello Cavalcanti are painfully short, but I’ll use any excuse to post a Wes Anderson piece.

Now I just hope that Prada actually makes that racing suit.

More at Variety. Yes, I’m linking to Variety.

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El Maestro

24 minutes of Fangio footage… No clever title nor caption needed.

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On the Curb at Watkins Glen, 1952


I adore this shot of Bill Spear’s OSCA MT4 thundering past the start-finish line of the Watkins Glen street circuit in 1952. Bill went on to win the Queen Catherine Cup race for small displacement cars.

The composition of the photo though, puts it in a different light that makes me love the photo all the more. The biggest thing in this photo isn’t that gorgeous little barchetta. Just as important in the photo are the three spectators crouched behind a streetlight, ready to leap out of the line of danger.

I don’t think there’s many of us that would want motorsport to return to the closeness and peril of this spectator experience, but there is a sense of loss that we’ll never feel the adrenaline rush those three spectators felt as a passing racing car sent a blast of air over their bodies. It’s a sense of immediacy that connected racing fans to racing drivers. If you found yourself at the Seneca Lodge after the race, you’d have been able to swap stories with drivers and other spectators in the same way that drivers talked amongst themselves. You had your own harrowing experience. You had your own adrenaline coursing through your veins—not in support of your favorite driver, but for your own very real brush with death.

Dangerous? Foolish?


Does part of me want to be able to watch a race this way?


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What It's Like to Own a Miura

Marvelous to hear this interview with Colin Gilmore-Merchant at a Goodwood Breakfast Club event about his experience with his Lamborghini Miura. Such a miraculously beautiful machine. Even with Colin simply standing next to it, it looks as though it could take flight at any moment.

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