Archive for May, 2014

From the British Pathé Archives: Racing Drivers School

This racing school at Snetterton charged £1/week in 1959… Sign me up.

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VSCR Vintage Races – Brainerd, MN – 05/24 – Brainerd International Raceway – USA

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Sir Jack Brabham 1926—2014

Gnoo-Blas Championships Program

Of all the imagery we’ve seen commemorating the passing of Jack Brabham this week, my favorite might this shot of Jack in the Redex Special on the cover of this 1955 Program for the Gnoo-Blas Road Racing Championships. Looking back at his early midget racing days and knowing where he would go from there is a lovely way to appreciate his racing legacy.

Although I frequently glorify the records and accomplishments of racing drivers in the early years of Formula 1, the truth is that most of those records have been beaten and most of those glories have faded (at least in the minds of the general racing fan public). I feel pretty confident though, that one of Jack Brabham’s records will stand for a very long time indeed. I can’t imagine a future where another figure in Formula 1 emerges to design, build, and drive a Formula 1 car to another championship.

Jack Brabham: the ultimate union of engineer and driver.

Race in Peace.

Photo via Stephen on The Nostalgia Forum.

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2014 Spring Grand Prix – Deer Trail, CO – 05/17 – High Plains Raceway – USA

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Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival – Sonoma, CA – 05/16 – Sonoma Raceway – USA

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British Small Bore Feature Kastner Cup Sunday – Decatur, TX – 05/16 – Eagles Canyon Raceway – USA

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Jim Clark's "Swinging Style"

Let that Cortina’s ass slide.

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The Jefferson 500 – 05/15 – Summit Point Raceway

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Spring Vintage Festival – Elkhart Lake, WI – 05/15 – Road America – USA

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Jaguar to Build the Six "Missing" E-Type Lightweights

E-Type Lightweight at Silverstone, 1963

Jaguar’s original plan was to build 18 E-Type lightweights, but ultimately only 12 were built. In the years since, 2 were converted to low-drag bodywork and one is (currently) considered too damaged to rebuild. That makes 9. For fifty years, those 9 cars had to be enough and today they are among the most coveted GT racers in the world. A handful of workshops have made a decent business of reproducing lightweight specification parts—and even turnkey replicas. Now Jaguar has decided to finally follow through on the original build order and make the remaining “missing” 6 lightweights.

When I say original build order, I mean it. Jaguar intends for these to be perfect continuations of the build—down to using the 6 reserved chassis numbers from the original run. That means that right now there are craftsmen at Jaguar assembling full aluminum monocoques, dropping an alloy version of the 3.8 liter straight six fitted with a D-Type wide angle cylinder head, and mating it to a 5-speed ZF gearbox. There are Jaguar employees fitting aluminum bonnets and hardtops and vented bootlids.

So now there will be 6 more. Do they have the same provenance? No. Will they be as hotly desired as their older sisters? Nope. But none of that matters. What matters to me is that sometimes the original manufacturers show the same enthusiasm for their motorsport heritage that the rest of us have.

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