Archive for April, 2014

A Certain Inertia: Justin Lapriore's Amelia Island

Justin Lapriore has returned to Amelia Island for their 2014 concours and, just as in previous years, has created an absolutely stunning document of the event.

I can think of worse ways to start the day than rising before dawn with a Ferrari 330 P4. I love that the owner has that license plate. Hell, I love that he even has it plated.

You can really see that Justin’s reputation within the Amelia participants has grown alongside his growing video artistry. What used to be beautifully shot scenes of the cars simply passing by has expanded to give him a greater level of access: clipping a camera on the wing of Jochen Mass’ McLaren or going handheld inches off the bumper of Can-Am cars as they roll out of garages and along fairways. Wonderful, close detail shots with equally enthralling exhaust notes. Riding shotgun with Hurley Haywood ain’t bad either.

An aspect of the film that I enjoy is that the pure glory of these machines shares the stage with shots of the people that make these events happen. You start to get an idea of how much work a concours d’elegance truly is.

It’s one thing to gain this level of access, it’s another thing to do something with the opportunity. Justin Lapriore has delivered again on that front and many others. Great stuff, Justin.

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The Joy of Carelessness

Low Tech Elf

The problem with digital photo archive tools is that there’s often little context, little attribution, and even less backstory. As a result, I don’t know anything about this image that I stumbled upon on Pinterest (or maybe it was Tumblr) and all image searches just lead me back to other pins or tumbles.

What I do know is this: Red Bull isn’t going to just tip over their Formula car and see what’s going on under there. This glimpse of race (low) tech of the past was a common thread that united hot rodders and shadetree mechanics with the pinnacle of motorsport. Now you’ll see greater kinship between Formula 1 technicians and aerospace engineers.

The same was true then, of course; but aerospace engineers and shadetree mechanics shared that kinship as well!

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Period Barchetta Extravaganza Film

Wow. Just wow.

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Gorgeous Scenery at Tour Auto

Mini at Tour Auto 2014 by Rémi Dargegen

These photos from Tour Auto 2014 shot by Remi Dargagen for Classic Driver are absolutely stunning. Sure, he’s got some good subject matter in these exquisite sports and racing cars, but the environments are simply astounding. Really it’s shots like these that make me want to attend these kinds of events. All too often there are shots from staging areas showing a lineup of cars waiting their turn, or bedded down for the night. But seeing these machines in these environments is so tantalizing. Remi definitely focused his attention on the right things here. Marvelous.

Porsche 906 at Tour Auto 2014 by Rémi Dargegen

Click through to Classic Driver’s article for the complete collection.

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Available in California: 1968 Toyota 2000GT

1968 Toyota 2000GT for sale at Symbolic Motors

You don’t often see Toyota 2000GTs come up for sale. Certainly the most hotly coveted Japanese sportscar, it is also one of the few that, in my opinion, holds the stage with any late 60’s sportscar regardless of country of origin. This example on offer from Symbolic Motors in La Jolla California, is the very first left-hand-drive model to leave the factory. Whether this bit of build history makes her more valuable than the other 39 American market examples believed to still exist, I don’t know. What I do know is that I would have like to have picked this car up when it was advertised in AutoWeek magazine for $27,000 in February of 1987.

1968 Toyota 2000GT for sale at Symbolic Motors

Something I’ve never really noticed, that I think this color accentuates, is those little access doors for the battery and filter. Can you imagine these little strictly utilitarian exterior panels being produced today?

I’d be wary to restore this one. It might be one of very few “driver” 2000GTs on the planet. The vast majority that I’ve seen tend to fall into the over-restored trailer queen variety. This example looks like you wouldn’t feel guilty about tearing up the coast for an early morning ride. We often value patina only when there’s a specific race history with the car, saying things like, “that’s the paint that Fangio touched” or some other specific sentiment placed on the original bits. But this is different, it’s more like the beauty of a broken-in leather jacket being better than a new one. There’s value in these things even when they’re not museum pieces.

1968 Toyota 2000GT for sale at Symbolic Motors

She’s much prettier in red than I would have thought. You can blame my general distaste for red cars (a color best reserved for Italian machines), but it might also be my great appreciation for their stunning racing livery. More information at Symbolic’s inventory page.

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From the British Pathé Archives: Who'll be the Next Moss?

British Pathé has uploaded their full newsreel archive to YouTube; which means they’re finally embeddable. I’ll be digging through the reels and posting some favorites here in the coming weeks.

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LSR Invitational – Salinas, CA – 04/16 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – USA

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Onboard for Bridgehampton's Inaugural Race in 1957

“If you’ve known The Bridge at speed, you’re now in for an emotional jolt.”

True words. In addition to the truck motor under the bonnet, Daniel Stanfill’s hopped-up Austin Healey was also equipped with a miniature camera lens mounted under his rearview. It’s hard to remember how precious and rare this kind of footage was before the GoPro came on the scene and made this kind of footage a matter of course. Footage like this—particularly amateur footage—from 1957 is almost unheard of.

It’s amazing to me how very much these kinks and bends look like rural roads and how little they look like a world class racing facility. We’ve grown so accustomed to wide runoffs and debris catching fences that we’ve forgotten that the greatest racing courses were inspired by twisting country lanes and not inspired by maximum camera angles.

The insightful commentary by John Connolly speaking from his experience with Bridgehampton as his home track is a welcome peek into the track and her history. Hard to believe that he’s describing Bridgehampton of thirty years later as being just as sandy as we see here, where sections of the track are almost completely obscured by windswept sand drifts.

This was one of the good ones. Remember the Bridge.

via Andy Hartwell, who posted this to the Vintage Road Racing Archives.

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Jefferson 500 – 45th Anniversary of Formula Ford – 04/14 – Summit Point Raceway

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The Track that Might Have Been: Brands Hatch at Early GP Length

Brands Proposed layout 1952

The Half Liter Car Club has a marvelous article on Brands and its inextricable link with 500cc racing over at 500race.org. The original kidney shaped “Indy” circuit at Brands Hatch was a favorite among spectators who could see virtually the entire track from anywhere on the grounds. This plan, published by the club’s 1952 annual report demonstrates just how quickly there were plans in place to expand the track to accommodate Grand Prix racing. The above visualizes an expansion of Brands to meet the minimum length requirements for the fledgling Formula 1 series. After a series of expansions (and change in racing direction from counter-clockwise to clockwise), Brands Hatch hosted her first Formula 1 World Championship event 12 years later.

Head on over for more of Brands fascinating growth and her early dominance by a young Stirling Moss.

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