Archive for November, 2013

Winning Favor Among Sportsmen Everywhere

One of the great losses of print advertising moving away from long copy and towards simple image and headline is that we may never again see another print ad series like this on from Martini & Rossi. This discussion of the driver’s seating position with Stirling Moss was “advertorial” content decades before the term was invented.

StirlingMossMartiniAdMartini & Rossi presents the Stirling Moss Competition Driving Lesson

Driving Position

The driving position is a very personal matter and one which you must work out for yourself. The main thing is to be comfortable and to have all the essential controls within easy reach.

The current practice on single-seater racing cars is to use a reclining seat with the steering wheel more or less upright and at arm’s length. It should be possible to adjust the position and rake of the seat to suit the majority of drivers.

The seat should give lateral support right up shoulder level, and for this reason it should, if possible, be made—or at least padded—to fit an individual driver. It should also be very rigidly mounted, to prevent any possibility of movement when cornering, accelerating, or braking.

In addition to being comfortable it is also necessary, on a single-seater, to be able to look over the top of the windscreen without being buffeted by the wind at high speeds. To attain the ideal in this respect it may be necessary to build different windscreens for different drivers.

There is much to be said in favor of the straight arm driving position. It allows the steering wheel to be turned the maximum amount without the arms becoming crossed up. It also permits rapid correction. Racing car steering is so light these days that the leverage of bent elbows is no longer necessary. And I find the straight arm position the most relaxing.

Martini & Rossi Suggests…
an enjoyable way to relax after the checkered flag goes down—M&R Vermouth on the rocks, a drink that is winning favor among sportsmen everywhere. Sweet or extra dry, Martini & Rossi Vermouth is great straight. It’s America’s favorite.

P.S.: Vote for your favorite driver… to receive the Martini & Rossi Award for Motorsportsman of the Year. Official ballot on page 14.

Martini & Rossi
Renfield Importers, LTD., N.Y.

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Topps World on Wheels: Maserati

Maserati Trading Card

Keep your rookie cards and let’s dig back into the Topps World on Wheels trading cards sets. This time, Maserati.

From the card’s reverse:

“Maserati is one of the great names in racing cars. Some of the most famous drivers in racing history have used the Maserati to win prizes… Wilbur Hatch having twice driven one to victory in the Indianapolis Races. In Italy, the Maserati Company is known more for production of spark plugs and batteries than for racing cars.”

Fascinating to me that they played up the Indy 500 connection and were so dismissive of Masers in Europe.

More Topps World on Wheels in the archives.

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The Red Bullet

Lambretta Record
I spent last evening at the cinema watching Gravity. I was particularly struck by several scenes shot from the main character’s point of view inside her helmet with her breath fogging the faceshield and the noise of each exhale filling the auditorium. The experience felt so claustrophobic and close. It reminded me of what it must have felt like for Romolo Ferri ducking into the lid of his bright red Lambretta Record and settling in for his record-setting run on a stretch of road between Munich and Ingolsdadt.

Look at this little thing. Like the Munro Special or a bellytank hot rod, the aerodynamic bodywork of surrounding this anything-but-stock Lambretta motorscooter must have felt so tight… and hot. It’s easy to see why the scooter was called “The Red Bullet”.

Romolo Ferri in Lambretta Record

Sure, Romolo was competing against Vespa, but as any salt flat driver will tell you, the real competition was himself, his previous record, the engineering limits of the 2-stroke engine underneath him.

So how did he do? 201 kph. 124.8 mph. In a 1951 Lambretta. Wow.

More on Romolo Ferri and his record-setting Lammy at Italian Ways. Thanks for sending this one in, Karp.

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Big Bore Bash – Rosamond, CA – 11/02 – Willow Springs International Raceway – USA

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46th Season Finale – Willows, CA – 11/01 – Thunderhill Raceway Park – USA

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