Nothing quite sounds like a vintage Alfa Romeo four-cylinder engine at full gallop, especially in motorsport trim. With a combination of low-frequency burbling played over a high-pitch scream, they really know how to sing. This week Petrolicious takes a look at a truly unique Alfa Sprint Speciale that's just as adept at competing in the wide-open La Carrera Panamericana vintage race in Mexico as it is snaking through some undulating, tree-lined back roads.
Ostensibly, this is a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale, although it's really much more the creation of Alfa-restorer Conrad Stevenson. The roof section, including the holes for the windshield and rear glass, is original to one of these fantastic-looking coupes. But everything below that is Stevenson's handiwork. To shape the styling, he combined the original Bertone design with his own ideas to purpose build the car for the challenges of the Mexican race.
As usual, Petrolicious nails every aspect of the production, especially the handheld camera work inside the cabin as the car negotiates the curves. It really communicates the connection between this swoopy Alfa and its builder. Plus, the sound mix lets the engine play its glorious tune.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Vintage racing provides fans with the opportunity to watch some of the greatest cars from yesteryear still competing on track against some of their contemporaries. Unfortunately, like any form of motorsports, racing in classics can never be completely safe, a reality sadly illustrated during this weekend's Lime Rock Park Historic Festival on Saturday, August 30.
Lee Duran, a 73-year-old racer from Lyme, CT, was in a single-vehicle accident in his 1934 MG PA Special on the final corner of the track. According to The Hartford Courant, his car spun, crashed and Duran was fatally injured. Track officials believe that this was the event's first fatality since it began 32 years ago. State police are also still investigating.
The crash came on the third day of the Lime Rock festival celebrating vintage cars and racing. According to the track schedule, the event was split among nine groups of various categories with over 30 races scheduled for the weekend.
Our condolences go out to Duran's friends and family.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Sometimes important decisions come down to a split second where you just have to go with your gut. While leaving is son Paul's soccer game in the early 1990s, Ron Cressey spotted a 1959 Peerless GT on a car transporter. It turned out the owner was moving and shipping the car with him. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass, Ron started negotiating and bought the car on the spot. It took him another five years to restore it for vintage racing.
Cressey certainly has an eye for rarity because Peerless is among the lesser known British sports car builders. The company went out of business in 1960 and only sold cars for a few years. For the GT, Peerless took the engine, transmission and front suspension from a Triumph TR3, plus a Jaguar rear differential, and crafted a coupe body over it all.
As usual, Petrolicious contributes cinematography that is among the best anywhere on the web, and its sound mix allows the Peerless' four-cylinder engine to really sing. Scroll down to learn more about this vintage racer and the father/son connection that keeps it at the track.Permalink | Email this | Comments
In what presenters describe as the "biggest and best historic motor racing party of the year," the Goodwood Revival features famous cars, famous drivers and a racetrack. Combine the three and you've got a bloody-good weekend. Watching a peerless assortment of vintage racecars go round the track from the grandstands is good fun, but what's it like watching from the drivers' perspectives?
Fortunately, the proliferation of video cameras in vintage racing and online video services have allowed us to do just that. In particular, in-car videos are most entertaining when great drivers are behind the wheel, such as Indy Racing League champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Bräck. At last weekend's Goodwood Revival, he took some wet laps in a Ford GT40 and somehow managed not to go straight - pretty much ever. From the safety of our desks, he still made us a bit nervous sawing at the wheel on a straightaway next to a wall (pictured above).
We included six other in-car/bicycle videos from the weekend below, such as one with former Formula One racer and endurance racing legend Derek Bell, who manhandles an old Corvette and its venerable 396-cubic-inch, 425-horsepower V8. And despite the wet track during the bicycle race, don't expect any powerslides.Permalink | Email this | Comments
How cool would it be if instead of calling it your "birthday" you called it your "anniversary" and spent an entire year celebrating it? Porsche has kept the lights on and the music going for its 50th anniversary this year, and the latest huzzah is called Project 50, which will see a 1965 Porsche 911 short wheelbase racecar run in The Masters Series of vintage racing.
Not just a parade lap around some vintage circuits, The Master Series is FIA-sanctioned and has five competitive classes. The 911 entered the picture at Round Two, held last weekend at Brands Hatch, and will make five more appearances this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Silverstone Classic, Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix, Spa 6-Hour at Spa Francorchamps and the Jerez Masters festival.
There's a video below announcing the event, and the promise of more to come.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Classics
Any motoring enthusiast worth his salt knows and reveres the Goodwood Revival. While the Festival of Speed is exactly what the name states, the Goodwood Revival is an experience unlike any other. More than just vintage racing, nearly everyone in attendance dresses in period-correct clothing, and you are immersed in a different era. Now, if only we could have something like that here in the States.
It appears that may be in the works, as Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance founder Bill Warner is in talks with Goodwood's Lord March to bring an event like the revival to the United States. According to the report from Auto Minded, the aim is to have an event take place in the fall, after the conclusion of Europe's vintage events.
The report suggests that the Florida town of Fernandina Beach, to which Warner has strong ties, is an ideal location. The town has a municipal airport that can provide facilities for vintage aircraft as well as the layout for a race course. (The FAA would need to approve the location.) Additionally, Fernandina Beach is close to luxury resorts that befit the concours/vintage-racing set.
While there are several prominent Concours events, such as Pebble Beach. Amelia Island and Greenwich, as well as racing events in Lime Rock and Monterey, the US does not have a revival-type event that throws you into the past the way that Goodwood does. Let's hope this plan comes to fruition.
UPDATE: The PR firm representing the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance contacted us to inform us that the group is not involved in the above plans. Please scroll down to read a statement from Amelia Island Concours chairman Bill Warner.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Just because Ferrari nixed the New Stratos doesn't mean the existing high-performance wedge can't have a little fun on its own. This past March, the F430-based tribute to the rallying great led a littany of classics as the pace car for the Rally Isla Mallorca. The 2012 race marked the one-year anniversary of its debut at the event.
The vintage race consisted of 14 stages, totaling 280 miles, and the New Stratos led the way every time. The number zero affixed to the side marked the New Stratos as the pace vehicle, and signaled the impending classics fast approaching behind it.
The modern interpretation of the classic Italian racer was piloted by the Brose team, which consisted of Michael Stoschek and Dieter Hawkranke. Each evening, when racing ceased, the Stratos, as well as the vintage racing entrants, would take go on display in the yachting community of Portals Nous. However, those who ventured into the mountainous terrain on which the rally was held benefitted from seeing the New Stratos in action. You can see it in action, as well as the classic racers, by watching on the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments