Mini Challenge #632: Motorsports

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
edform Veteran Member • Posts: 7,882
Re: Mini Challenge #632: Motorsports Exhibits and entries

NicholasD wrote:

These are wonderful - thanks for posting. Some thoughts below...

(was Goodwood the Revival? I went in '99 and 2000 and there never would have been a contemporary car in the paddock)

It was one of the Festival of Speed days. A big highlight was Honda's stand where they had all the landmark bikes and ran up each of the engines for ten minutes or so at intervals during the day. Never saw a queue like it. At one point the mechanics in charge, all in their white overalls and white cotton gloves, suddenly lined up in a sort of guard of honour while a little guy came onto the stand and shook their hands with much bowing. It was Tommy Robb; they treated him as if he were a king. Wonderful to see. We were so close to the gate in the end rail of the fence that we had to move to the side to let him get in.

We were standing there, and not moving come what may, because we knew that quarter of an hour later they were scheduled to run up John Surtees' RA300 V12 Fi car and we were not going to miss that. Incredible sound.

edform wrote:

Some very good stuff in this challenge - thought these might fit...

Exhibit 1: D-Type Jaguar on show at Goodwood

Exhibit 2: Gearbox of one of the Toyota Le Mans cars - can't recall which.

Exhibit 3: Ford GT40 giving it some around a spectator-lined street circuit.

A GT40 at speed - Elkhart Lake, WI....

Nice shot.

The crank and rods are just gorgeous metal working art that is normally invisible. Coincidentally, I encountered intact examples of both engines a couple of months ago at Revs.....


and a 917...

The Mercedes and Porsche museums are full of this stuff and the Auto Union GP racers in the Audi Museum at Ingolstadt are beyond wonderful - but then, they were all built by British engineers and craftsmen in Sussex.

I appreciated your comments on LeMans below. I was a track marshal there in '95 at Mulsanne. Last practice was Thursday night from (I think) 8pm to midnight with a half hour break midway through. The corner crew cooked a dinner during the break with the last bit of sun dropping below the horizon. They started up again at 10 pm - perfectly still night and before you saw them, you heard them flat out coming out of the last chicane, then you saw the headlights reflecting off the guardrail, and then the lead group of prototypes crested the shallow hill a quarter mile away at 200 plus. Not a bad way to spend a summer weekend in France.

Wonderful captures - thanks for sharing

I have a sequence of images of one of these flat-12s set out in exploded format on a big flat surface, the noticeable difference is it has a steel crank. They were shot in the Porsche Museum.

Last time I was at Le Mans for the 24 hours was 1963 or 1964 - the year that all the Ford stuff retired with broken gearboxes. The next year they won by miles. Their big rivalry with Ferrari was all very well, but the star of the show to my mind was an insanely fast open cockpit Maserati which began life as a small capacity 'Birdcage' racer before being bought by a French stable and fitted with progressively bigger and bigger Maser V8s. That year it was 5.3 litres and ran in France's light blue national livery. At the start it fled into the distance and had lapped every other car by about lap 30 - blew itself to bits big time just as night fell, to an agonised groan from the French crowds. One of the drivers was Maurice Trintignant.

We went to the restaurant half way down the Mulsanne straight in the early evening and stood on the huge concrete wall at the bottom of the garden with the track only 20 feet away - not a marshall to be seen. The Maser went past several time at very close to 200mph. You'd see it appear in the corner at the top of the straight and pull out to overtake one of the slower cars - the Gordini cars were only doing about 105mph that year - and then, as if by some kind of elastic force, it was on you and past. Just wonderful. It was a year or 2 years later that the first official 200mph run down Mulsanne was recorded, but the French all thought the blue car had already done it the year we saw it run in the 5.3 litre version. I seem to remember that it never appeared again.

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Ed Form

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