MMR Blog

MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on April 16, 2015 Comments (0)

F1 - China Ho Hum

Empty F1 Grandstands

Shanghai, China: Following an exciting Malaysian GP, hopes were high that China would produce another close race between two teams. It didn’t and it did. The first six spots returned to form and Mercedes, chagrined by their loss in Race #2, emphatically and depressingly controlled every facet of Race #3.

Meanwhile back in the remainder of the field, the once mighty Red Bulls were beaten by lowly Lotus and Sauber and McLaren, the perennial challenger with the second most successful GP record of all modern day teams finished one lap down and trounced only Marussia. Sad.

For the top four cars, Mercedes and Ferrari, this was a race determined by tire degradation. For those watching on TV, color commentators, with the aid of intercepted team-driver communications, interpreted what passed as drama. Pity the poor people in the stands who, without access to even that sad explanation, paid serious money and watched a 90 minute parade interspersed with lightning fast pit stops.

Press: Autoweek.com reports that after the event, China GP organizers lamented the steadily declining quality of the F1 show. Their accompanying image showed stands filled with empty seats. Fascinating.

IndyCar - Nola Contendere

Rainy Pit Lane at IndyCar in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA: It is really quite amazing how, blessed with a field of competitive cars and many talented drivers, the crucial ingredient for good racing (and quite the opposite of F1), IndyCar still manages to produce a mediocre product. Sunday’s event on the outskirts of New Orleans was halted after 47 laps because TV time ran out. James Hinchcliffe stayed out when everyone else pitted on lap 33, and the race was called before he ran out of fuel.

Press: Racer.com ran an excellent commentary by print and oft times TV pit lane reporter Robin Miller. In it he decried the suitability of the track, the size of the crowd (8,000 maybe), and the IndyCar organization. In a piece entitled IndyCar Fans Deserve Better, he complained about the shame of running races on such courses when real race courses like Watkins Glen, Mosport, CoTA, Road Atlanta, and Road America go begging. Not to mention Mt.Tremblant and Lime Rock Park.

WEC Silverstone 6 hours: Audi Again

Silverstone 6 Hours

Silverstone, UK: First race of the season and primer for Le Mans in June, last year’s LMP1 World Endurance Championship (WEC) winning Audi finished first and fifth. Porsche was 4.6 seconds behind in second and Toyota Racing was another 10 seconds back in third and one lap down in fourth. Ligier/Nissan cars were sixth and seventh overall and first in LMP2. In GTE Pro, Ferrari beat Porsche and Aston Martin. In GTE Am, Aston Martin beat Ferrari and Porsche. This was the first race of the year, next comes SPA, on the same weekend as the Tudor IMSA race at CoTA. This is great racing and hopefully some broadcaster will pick it up for TV. We will, of course, see the Le Mans race.

Michael Furman - Photographer

This week’s Michael Furman image is detail of a 1959 Porsche 356A Carrera GS GT from his book Porsche Unexpected.

1959 Porsche 356A Carrera GS GT by Michael Furman

Classifieds

This week’s selected cars from MMR Classifieds are several interesting Porsches.

Eye Candy

Ferrari Interior, Amelia Island, by Bengt Persson

The eye candy this week is from the recent Amelia Island Concours event. We thank friend and MMR supporter Bengt Persson for his wonderful images. Circumstances dictated that Bengt was actually unable to attend the Concours but was fortunate enough to be there on Saturday and his work proves that people and surroundings contribute much to making images of even the most beautiful cars just a little more interesting.

Sandy’s Dino Image

Ferrari Dino, Amelia Island Concours, by Sandy Cotterman

Also at Amelia, Sandy Cotterman took a picture of a winning Ferrari Dino that had recently been prepared by Paul Russell and Co. of nearby Essex, MA. Unbeknownst to us at the time, this car is also the cover image for a forthcoming book by Michael Keyser about his close friend Jonathan Williams.

Shooting Star on a Prancing Horse, book cover, by Michael Keyser

Michael brought Jonathan to us and you can  read his Le Mans 1970 story here. The book will be available late summer.


From our MMR Goods & Services Directory we feature a brilliant garage lift for us amateurs. It’s finally getting warm enough to do some work out there.

F1 is in Bahrain this weekend.

Have a great one. And don’t forget to subscribe a friend who will thank you forever! And so will we.

Peter Bourassa
Publisher


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on February 26, 2015 Comments (0)

Baillon Collection, Sandy Cotterman

F1 Update

Mercedes F1 testing

One final test session to go and things appear to not have changed very much from where 2014 ended. Mercedes remains the quickest with Williams not far behind. Ferrari looks to have made strides and Red Bull, saddled with the once formidable Renault engine, hasn’t. McLaren remains an enigma. Last year, with the best engine available, their chassis was too weak to allow them to be competitive. The new Honda engine, despite rumors of its great potential, hasn’t been on track long enough to assess. When they have sorted it out, and if they have resolved their chassis issues, they may be great. There are big “ifs” in McLaren’s future.

Morgan Engines

Buick 215 V8

With just scant mention of the V8 powered Morgan came a brace of reader emails. All pointed out that the engine began life as an aluminum Buick and Oldsmobile 215 CID engine offered in ‘61 thru ‘63 Skylarks, F-85s (some turbo-charged) and in a small quantity of Pontiac Tempests. Over 700,000 were produced from 1960 thru 1963. GM stopped production because warranty issues were making them too expensive. In 1965 GM sold the tooling for the engine to Rover. Retiring Buick engineer, Joe Turley, moved to the UK to help solve its issues and thus began a long and fascinating life for this castaway that saw it win two Formula 1 world championships, race at Indy, and power a host of other interesting vehicles on and off-road. Read more.

Michael Furman – Photographer

Michael’s image this week is the 1965 Ferrari 250 LM 6107, which was shot for RM Auctions.

1965 Ferrari 250 LM 6107, photographed by Michael Furman

Sandy On Assignment: Sleeping Beauties

Baillon Collection, Sandy Cotterman

Sandy Cotterman attended the sale of the Baillon Collection at Retromobile and brings an interesting, even emotional, perspective to the sales of this long neglected collection. Looking for a broader view of Retromobileclick here for Sandy’s 2014 Retromobile story and images.

Featured Classifieds

Standard Catalog of Ferrari 1947-2003, by Michael Covello

Mike Covello’s excellent book, Standard Catalog of Ferrari 1947-2003, put this car in context. The Lamborghini Miura was already out and Ferrari would soon introduce a mid-engined boxer, this front engine V-12 was the last of the “true Ferraris”. Long hood and short rear deck, the 365 GTB/4 made a statement. Road & Track called it “the best sports car in the world, or the best GT. Take your pick.” Detractors say that at low speeds it requires muscling. Admirers say that at sixty and above it is a dream. Either way, it is a beautiful and powerful car and this week we introduce you to four of them in three different colors presently stabled at Autosport Designs on Long Island. This would seem to be an appropriate time to pick a color and cut a deal.

MMR March Motorsports Calendar

The season kicks off with two F1 races, Sebring 12 hours, Amelia Concours d’Elegance and World Superbike. A fine beginning.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to pass this on to a friend or two.

Peter Bourassa
Publisher


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on November 29, 2014 Comments (4)

The entire MMR team, Dom, Lucy, Ashley, Dianne, Sandy, Denise, and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday and welcome you to Black Friday. MMR is but words and pictures and we work hard to bring you the best of both. Our Black Friday edition reflects this as we present a number of interesting classified cars and some new books we know you will want in your collection! Buy Something!

The 2014 F1 Season Ends with a Whimper

Nico Rosberg’s race and season ended when the red lights went out. His otherwise moderately reliable Mercedes had an issue with its electronic launch control system. Do you remember when launch control was a left foot and a pedal? It is somehow fitting that a race series that generates so much money and is discussing how that money could be more equally shared should end in Abu Dhabi at a marina in a desert country where the best seats are on multi-million dollar yachts. No disconnect here. The best car won. It was the combination of two excellent drivers with different strengths. The constant reliability concerns supplied the tension and entertainment for the season.

The following is our 2015 winners & losers list.

Sam Posey

#1 Winner: NBCSN

Thanks for making the Fox “bargain basement” coverage a thing of the past. Pre and Post race programs are appreciated. Thanks especially for keeping Sam Posey in the transition. His insights do make a difference. A class act all around.


Williams Racing

#2 Winner: Williams Racing

Not the most money but they kicked ass. Thank You Martini for believing. Next time we are shopping we will buy a bottle of your product.


Massa and Bottas

#3 Winners: Bottas...

Finished fourth in the Championship. Fast, a good racer, self-deprecating, and a future World Champion. 

and Massa

Kicked out by Ferrari, did better than Raikkonen by far.


Vettel and Ricciardo

#1 Loser: Vettel

Four times World Champion and wonder boy, to a distant second to Ricciardo, and now on to Ferrari.


Ferrari off-track

#2 Loser: Ferrari

No engine, chassis, or aero package. Moving forward with new management and the possibility of uncertain funding.


McLaren F1

#3 Loser: McLaren

Under new management they had the same engine as Mercedes and Williams and did nothing about their chassis. Next year they have a new Honda engine. And Alonso?


Alonso

Who were your winners and losers? Tell us in the comments below.

Have a great weekend and please remember to encourage friends to subscribe.

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on October 10, 2014 Comments (0)

With a slight bump and a bound, the midsize commuter jet lands in Santa Fe and disgorges twenty passengers. It is early evening Wednesday and 24 hours from now we begin our Santa Fe Concorso adventure.

My companion is a fellow Bostonian and motorsports friend who owns a place in the northwest quadrant of the city and has generously offered me lodging and transportation. He is a former Brit and an admirer of all things BRG. It’s genetic. Concurrent with the Concorso, a local British Car Club is also having a conclave and he anticipates attending a few of their functions.

Santa Fe Concorso 2014

This week’s issue is populated with images from our Santa Fe Friday gathering at the airport, the Saturday Mountain Tour, and the Sunday Concorso. Read about our adventures and view more photos in our gallery.

Santa Fe Concorso 2014


Michael Furman’s photograph is an image of the c-pillar vents on a 275GTB Ferrari.

Michael Furman’s contribution this week is an image of the c-pillar vents on a 275GTB Ferrari. Beautiful.


Classic Car Pricing “Bubble”

The Goodfellow Perspective

What’s in a name? A rose by any other name… Ah, but Shakespeare was wrong! There is much more in a name. Consider that few of us choose our own. Roughly half of us change one part of it at some point, and others ascribe to us, often wrongly, an ethnicity, heritage, and a financial value based solely upon hearing it. So names can hugely influence our lives. To wit, several years ago an excellent and now defunct magazine called Sports Car International had on its masthead the name of a contributing writer named Winston Goodfellow.

What better beginning to a writer’s name than “Winston”, a name synonymous with the capacity to inspired with words the English speaking world. What fitter ending for the name of a writer than “Goodfellow”. The OED says a good fellow is “an agreeable or jovial companion; a reliable or true friend”. In sum, a true friend of words. In the ensuing years I have read his thoughtful pieces and his measured prose in numerous magazines and books and have never been disappointed. He lives up to his name. Imagine my elation therefore when I was introduced to him in Santa Fe by a mutual friend. Over the weekend we chatted on several occasions and during one such conversation about the current vintage car “pricing bubble”, Winston offered to share with you, our MMR community, his thoughts on that subject which he had recently published on his website.


F1

Lewis Hamilton F1 Grand Prix Japan

The Japanese GP was a disaster. Uncommonly bad weather conditions and scheduling commitments elsewhere that narrowed the time frame in which the event could be run put organizers in a position where they either gambled on running the race or losing a fortune. In one way, organizers are not different from the drivers; neither believes that anyone will be seriously hurt racing in an F1 car. Both are wrong.

As for the race, we have come to recognize at this stage of the year that the main competitions on the track are within, not against, each team.  Mercedes has won the Manufacturers Championship and one of the Mercedes drivers will win the Drivers Championship. The question and the entertainment factor is which one? In third and fourth place are Ricciardo and Vettel. The latter has picked up his socks and may still catch and beat his young teammate before going to Ferrari next year. Alonso has solidly trounced Raikkonen at Ferrari and Bottas has beaten Massa at Williams. Button won’t be caught by Magnussen but Perez could catch Hulkenberg. No one cares about the remainder.

Vettel leaving Red Bull to drive for Ferrari could be a triumph of hope over history. Schumacher didn’t work those miracles alone. He had Todt, Brawn, and Montezemolo experience right there beside, behind, and in front of him. Vettel brings more F1 experience to Ferrari than both Marchionne and Mattiachi combined.

Alonso should think twice before committing to McLaren. This will be Honda’s first year with a new engine. Renault and Ferrari have both suffered through a humiliating engine building program but have learned a lot. Red Bull will have a new Renault engine, so will Lotus-Renault, if they survive. Alsonso is in fifth place in the Drivers Championship behind the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers. McLaren is in sixth place behind five other teams. He should stay with Ferrari because his options are worse elsewhere.

The inaugural Russian GP, at Sochi, is this weekend.

Have a great one.
Peter Bourassa


5 Cars

Posted on February 6, 2014 Comments (0)

By Adrianne Ross

Adrianne Ross is the Editor of the PCA North East Region’s monthly magazine the Nor’Easter, and a frequent contributor to the MMR Newsletter. Here Adrianne shatters the myth that Porsche owners have little interest in other cars. Her position offers her the opportunity to drive many new cars and she has offered to share with us her thoughts on her favorites. We think you may be surprised and a tad envious.

While some of the best cars on my list are Pcars, sadly the top of the list… isn’t.

And so, here in black and white, is my top 5 list of the best drives I’ve known.

Five – is the Ferrari 599 GTO. Yup 5. It’s half a million dollars worth of completely stunning, and completely unreasonable. This one is in the top 5 (representing almost all Ferraris on my list). I’m not really a Ferrari girl (but I’m learning). I’ve driven a few, and when I’ve said to Fcar enthusiasts, “I don’t like the shift.” They tell me it’s supposed to feel that way. This car is all animal… feral animal. It’s fast, it makes an amazing noise, and if you’re not grown up enough to deal with it, don’t get in one.

Ferrari GTO

Ferrari GTO 2

Four – the Lamborghini Gallard. This car makes it on aesthetics almost alone. It’s a crazy pretty car. The Lambos on a racetrack make for an unparalleled picture. It’s raw, the seats feel like one layer of leather over carbon fiber, and it’s planted and fast. I wouldn’t throw one out of my garage.

Lambo Gallard

Three Porsche Panamera. Go to your dealer and drive one. I guarantee you’ve never felt anything like it. It’s not a 911, and it’s not a GT3, and it’s not meant to be, but every model goes over 150MPH—in a sedate sedan. It’s comfortable, elegant, sophisticated, and I could sit in California traffic all day in this thing. You can drive it with 2 broken arms and legs; it’s that smooth. I never wanted to leave.

Porsche Panamera

Two the Porsche Cayenne. I took my Cayman into the dealer to have recall work done and I got this as the loaner. When I got back to Porsche, I started talking about buying one. The 2013 model of this car brings over the cockpit of the Panamera, with a big screen for directions, and enough buttons to make you feel like you’re in an airplane. I like buttons. I like them to heat my seat, cool my seat, navigate through traffic, and the big red one that says “sport.” This thing moves. Plus it tows 7500 pounds. That’s more than enough for one race car and an open trailer.

Porsche Cayenne

One – The McLaren MP4-12C. The happiest car in the world. They smile, have you ever noticed? Now, what I like about how this car drives was a recent argument with a friend, so I’ll lay it out, then you can know which side you’ll take.

McLaren

Him: “The car is too computerized; it’s not raw enough.” (He’s a Ferrari guy… you can tell.)

Me: The McLaren’s response to the driver feels like an extension of the driver. It’s not me and the car, it’s us, like a Borg, “We are one.” A flick of my pinky raised a response from the front tires, and it took me a solid 10 minutes (much to my passengers chagrin) for me to figure out how to brake without giving us both whiplash. In the end I hovered my foot above the pedal, and just imagined braking, and the McLaren responded; with a grace and style I’ve never experienced. The interior is comfortable. It’s not cushy, but it’s not stiff. It’s well equipped with nav, and a radio with more than one option, and it’s big enough to suit my 6’3” passenger. The scissor doors garnished a good deal of attention at the gas station, and the way they open is sublime. Nope—I’m not telling. It’ll sound weird, and it’s something you just have to experience.

On the highway, I burned through gears with lightning speed. It felt like lightning too, you didn’t know exactly what happened, but you were completely electrified. “I don’t have enough bail money on me for this!” my passenger warned. My mind flashed to the stack of credit cards in my wallet, but I relented.

I drove it in automatic through some small Massachusetts towns, because I wanted to focus on the car, and not shifting for slow traffic. Which leads me to one of the best experiences in the car. At a sustained 25 miles an hour through town, it had shifted, (I think), into 4th. As I braked for the lights 50 feet away, the car downshifted. That’s what it’s supposed to do, right? But on each down shift, 3…2…1… it blipped — RAWR! Shift. Rawr! Shift. rawr. Shift. Three engineered, completely unnecessary, wonderfully acoustically aesthetic, nerve tingling blips, at 15 miles an hour. Each one perfectly smooth, with just enough bump to let you know it happened.

You should have seen the grin on my face.

A very long time ago I went to my first autocross. “How fast did you go?” people asked. And I said I didn’t know but it felt FAST. I just wasn’t paying attention to that aspect.

When I told this story about the McLaren, someone asked if I got a lot of looks, or stares at the car. You know what? I have no idea. I was so engrossed in the experience of this car that I didn’t notice, and that’s never happened to me on the street before.

Supercars are built for speed, and experience. Some people want a raw, unadulterated, undomesticated experience. I’ve discovered I like the engineered, refined, cultivated experience. Someone at McLaren got it exactly right… just for me.