MMR Blog

MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on May 23, 2014 Comments (0)

Reading Ferrari Concours d’Elegance

Indianapolis 500

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the first big motorsports weekend of the season. On this side of the pond, the Month of May Marathon known as Indianapolis 500 dominates the news and the Charlotte 600 will occupy NASCAR fans who can stay awake that long. Something to look for at Indy: All the race cars have identical Dallara chassis. The differences are the drivers and the engines. The engines are by Honda and Chevy and each has five cars in the top ten starting spots. As in multiple pit stop races, this one will come down to which engine and driver combo gets the best mileage and makes the fewest, shortest stops. It should be a great race.

F1: GP of Monaco

AMG Mercedes F1

On the very same day, F1 celebrates its crown jewel, the Grand Prix de Monaco . Tickets are still available for Saturday and Sunday at just over $1K US per seat. Paddock Club Seats, with free refreshments, are $6.3K US each. Perhaps they call it the Crown Jewel of F1 because you almost have to hock yours to get a seat. If all goes to form, the winner may actually be chosen on Saturday at the end of qualifying. If you recall last year’s winner, Nico Rosberg, led from pole with a slow car that no one could pass. That is the nature of this track and that’s why this is the most important qualifying session of the season. Don’t miss it.

Monaco Video

This week’s video is a fascinating side-by-side look at Michael Schumacher’s lap of Monaco to win the F1 GP pole in 2012 and Nico Rosberg's 2013 Monaco pole. It is really quite remarkable just how devoid of imagination one needs to be to drive an F1 car there.

Monaco Books

Speaking of Monaco, check out David Bull Publishing who have a special offer on their signed copies of Hunt vs. Lauda and Chris Amon’s book A Year of Living Dangerously. The latter is reviewed in our Racemaker Press Book Reviews.

The Lotus-Etc I Left Behind

Denise McCluggage’s story about rallying a Ford Cortina in the sixties is the kind of adventure that just couldn’t happen today. Dammit.

In Praise of Older Cars, Part 2

Those of you who loved the ‘60s and ‘70s will enjoy it. Those of you who missed them will yawn or think me daft. Or both. We welcome your thoughts.

Passings

Sir Jack

An apt title for this paragraph as the death of Australian Sir Jack Brabham, three time F1 Champion, engineer, and car constructor reminds us of a winning driver who was hard to pass and difficult to keep passed. Putting aside stories of his driving style, Brabham’s accomplishments are not inconsiderable. He introduced rear engine cars to the Indianapolis 500 with Cooper in 1961. He is the only person to ever win an F1 World Championship with a car of his own construction. In 1966, he saw the potential of the Buick 215 CID aluminum engine which, with Australian parts company Repco’s help, he turned into a championship winning Repco V8 engine. He is survived by sons Geoff, Gary, and David. All successful racers.

Reading Concours. Pietro Castiglioni

Last weekend, Editor Dom Miliano attended the Reading Ferrari Concours d’Elegance where he shot this week’s eye candy. The event celebrated the life and Ferrari times of its founder Pietro Castiglioni. He is featured in this painting.

The Furman Image

Michael Furman photography. Side view of a Bugatti Type 35

This week’s Michael Furman image is a side view of a Bugatti Type 35.

Have a great weekend.

Peter Bourassa

Reading Ferrari Concours d’Elegance

Reading Ferrari Concours d’Elegance


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on December 27, 2013 Comments (0)

Christmas has passed, New Year’s Day is ahead; what to do in between? The past week has been hectic for everyone and this seems the perfect time to be catching up on our as yet unread magazines and books.

The Auctions Are Coming! The Auctions Are Coming!

But hold on! January is Auction Action Month. Bonhams kicks it off with a very interesting vintage motorcycle auction  in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 9th. The action then moves to Arizona the following Sunday for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. And so begins a week of auctions dominated by The Eight Days of Barrett-Jackson featuring the Salon Collection sale on Saturday. B-J hope to reintroduce themselves to the buyers of classic and foreign cars they deserted for the American Muscle car market several years ago. RM, Bonhams, and Gooding & Co., who presently own that business, will also be running in the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday timeslots.

Classic Car Auction

There is an interesting dynamic here as RM, who is the Big Dog on the World Stage, is followed closely by Gooding & Co. and then Bonhams. All consider Monterey the prize American location. But they come to Phoenix-Scottsdale to play in the Barrett-Jackson sandbox and protect their turf. B-J, who virtually created TV coverage of auction events, have turned their sale into a marathon TV show. Fox Sports and Fox Business channels will give them over 50 hours of TV coverage for the Arizona event. That’s a lot of Chevys!

BJ Scotsdale auction

The Arizona Concours is new and designed to bring diversity to the week’s offerings and broaden the customer base for the remainder of the events. It has heavy backing, a good setting and it should be interesting.

Denise is Coming! Denise is Coming!

A month from now, January 28th, Denise McCluggage will be in New England to present her workshop, The Centered Driver, tickets remain but they are going fast, so join us for dinner and an instructive and entertaining evening.

Denise

MMR 2014 Motorsports Calendar is Here!

Here is our MMR Motorsports calendar for January. Time to begin making plans, or at the very least, to begin dreaming.

This week’s video is a view of the 1960 Ferrari 250GTE SWB Spyder at Pebble Beach. Do you have a favorite video you want to share with the MMR Community? See you next Friday with our motorsports predictions for the coming twelve months. If you have thoughts about what will happen in 2014, drop us a line.

Have a great weekend!

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on November 1, 2013 Comments (0)

Our featured images this week are by Garret Vreeland. These were taken in Santa Fe at a recent 356 Registry meet.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel is Champion

Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix, his sixth race in a row and his fourth World Driving Championship… in a row. That is impressive. The race itself was another strategic tire wear battle and was shaping up to be an interesting Vettel-Webber conflict until Webber’s car showed signs of breaking down and was ordered by the team to stop. The post race festivities somehow rang a little hollow with broadcasters seemingly more excited for Vettel’s championship than he was himself. Interviewers seemed disappointed that the key Red Bullers interviewed were pleased, pragmatic and, other than Vettel, quite unemotional. Perhaps the fact that they have been winning for four seasons, with no end in sight, has dampened their enthusiasm for celebratory gushing.

Follow the Money

Drivers race for the title and glory of being World Drivers Champion. They are compensated by their teams and through personal endorsements. Teams race for the Manufacturers Championship, which is prestigious and certainly has advertising value and big money. Much comes from sponsorships and more comes from the purse available thru the Manufacturers Championship.

The exact amount of money the teams will divide this year is difficult to ascertain because the revenue from each event has not been determined until they have all been run. $700M is in the ballpark, with the top team receiving roughly $100M of that and second receiving roughly 15% less and third 35% less. So you can see that finishing second is hugely important. All positions thru 10 earn equal points for drivers and constructors. With only three races to go and 28 points separating Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus, having two cars finish high in the points is crucial. First place pays 25 points, second 18 and third 15. Now that is what racing is about!

Videos: 1955 Belgian GP and Modern Supercars

Many of you remarked how much you enjoyed the top quality film which was made by Shell and featured in last week’s Newsletter. This week we offer an interesting video comparing analog supercars. The vehicles chosen are the Ferrari F40 and F50, the McLaren F1, a Noble F-400, the Porsche Carrera, a Zonda and the Lambo 670SV. It is 17 minutes long and packed with neat sights, sounds and commentary. Our thanks to subscriber Paul Bicknell for sharing.

Goods and Services Directory: Storage - Auto & Motorcycle

Many of us live in harsh winter climates and have vehicle storage needs. The MMR Goods and Services Directory may be of some assistance. Visit the directory to find more storage locations near you.

Classifieds – Alvis – 1937 4.3 Vanden Plas Tourer

This week’s featured car in MMR Classifieds is a dramatic Alvis touring car that is worthy of note. Our Classifieds are growing and we welcome your comments.

Alvis 1937 4.3 Vanden Plas Tourer

Have a great weekend.

Peter Bourassa


Stance and Speed Monograph Series: Cunningham C-4RK

Posted on April 16, 2012 Comments (0)

We've posted a new book review…

Cunningham C-4RK

“The Stance and Speed Monograph Series, has introduced the first in a series of books about important race cars. This one is a collaboration between photographer Peter Harholdt, writer Peter Bodensteiner and noted designer Peter Brock. Together they have written a valuable and affordable book about the Cunningham C-4RK. What a winning combination of talent and subject!” (read the rest of the review...)

Watch Jay Leno's Book Club interview with Peter Harholdt and Peter Bodensteiner
And here's Jay on the Cunningham C-4R that won the 1953 Sebring

The Korean GP 2010 Settles Nothing

Posted on November 1, 2010 Comments (0)

I’ve waited up half the night for a lot of exciting things in my life. The Korean Grand Prix doesn’t qualify as one of them.

Red Bull's Korean Nightmare

Red Bull’s Korean GP debut was not pretty.

In a 16 race F1 schedule you can generally count on 75% of them being boring. The others are usually interesting either because they occur at the end of the year with a championship at stake, or it rains. Korea promised both. Instead it delivered a boring race in the rain and made us wait up for it. 

Alonso won by employing that clever old strategy of staying in front and not doing anything exciting. Webber and Vettel lost by being in front and being unlucky. In Webber's case he made a dumb mistake and was also unlucky enough to be caught out by it.

The really unlucky one was Nico Rosberg who was driving brilliantly until he was collected by the dumb/unlucky Webber who ended Rosberg’s bid for a podium and another trouncing of the once fabulous and now just plain old Schumi. Michael was jubilant with his finish and no one had the heart to point out that three guys in front of him had to crash for him to finish fourth.

In business or life, everyone needs a reserve of sympathy, understanding or forgiveness that gets one through a tough time. Supplying it is what friends are for. It’s what engenders a “second chance”. Webber may have eliminated himself from the championship and if he did and somehow there isn’t a great deal of that sympathy left in the tank for him. Odd, because he came into this race with the support of many but left it with much of that gone. At his level of pay and expectation, a self induced mistake at this point is really not forgivable.

If one of the Red Bull drivers or the team wins a championship, it will be despite their best efforts to throw it away. And if Alonso and/or Ferrari win, it will be because they never gave up. They took a “third best car on the grid” and kept making it better and they made less crucial mistakes. Ferrari Team Manager, Stefano Domenicali understands the sympathetic reserve and this season he has managed to put Ferrari in a position that the Todt-Braun-Schumacher team could never do. Through his thoughtful handling of interviews, he has mollified the ”anything-but-Ferrari” fans. Amazing what a little humility and grace can accomplish.

For raw talent there is not much to choose between the top six drivers and Rosberg. Experience and judgment are the determining factors and it is tough to take anything away from Alonso in either department. He is quick and he makes few mistakes and while that may win him a championship, it isn’t worth staying up half the night to see.