MMR Community Newsletter

November 15, 2013 Comments (6)

Our images this week are from the new book 1967 – Chris Amon, Scuderia Ferrari and a Year of Living Dangerously by John Julian. See our review.

Fixing F1 – Step Two – Tires

Instead of a single source, open it up to two or more manufacturers and scrap the six lap specials except for qualifying. Let the tire manufacturers work with the teams. Since each chassis reacts differently to the current tires, it is already a part of the strategy. Change the paradigm from adjusting cars to tires to adjusting tires to cars. The current situation benefits Bernie and the teams as they sell the exclusive rights to one manufacturer. The manufacturer gives them money they would otherwise have spent on developing better tires for the different teams and tracks. Under the current formula, Pirelli has no competition, no incentive, and no opportunity to show themselves better than their competitors.


1967: My Favorite Car Year

I was 23, single, with a good job that partially involved racing. I wasn’t ugly or stupid and I had a little jingle in my jeans. Life wasn’t bad. On the car front it was also a good year. Corvette introduced the final iteration of the C2. The '67 Stingray model went from the iconic 1963’s split rear window to an iconic stinger hood on the 427 and subdued front side vents. Refining the details on each model year has been a Corvette tradition. The '62 C1 was the cleanest of that grouping also. If that holds true, considering all the bits added on to and hanging off the C7, it should be pretty by 2018. A friend had a '67 427 4-speed 435 HP convertible, dark green on tan with a white stinger and tan top. It had the optional side pipes and cast aluminum finned wheels. It was a comfortable driver and I don’t think he paid $5K for it. Unlike today’s performance cars, the suspension wasn’t tuned to generate g-forces through turns. It was a simpler time. We burned rubber and street raced in straight lines.

1967 Stingray

Mustang introduced its second generation model in 1967 and in some people’s view (mine) the first completely real Mustang. The very early first series Mustangs with six cylinder engines and 260 CID V8s were pretty and popular but they were not much as cars. Shelby and other racers got power out of the 289s and retuned the suspension. Once they got a fastback model and began racing and rallying them, they became decent cars. But the '67 with the 390 320 HP GT package was, in my opinion, as close as America ever got to the European style Gran Turismo of the day. The 390 engine was heavy and had no top end, but it had tons of grunt and would lope along at 3000 RPM all day long. Gas was cheap then. In hindsight, the 289 with the 271 HP engine was probably a better balanced package overall but it was not a popular option then and Ford built fewer than 500 of them.

1967 Mustang

If for nostalgic reasons alone, both are cars that might happily have a place in any garage today. But neither car would make a good daily driver. The things we loved about them in 1967 have been bred out of the newer cars by advanced technology and societal demands. Those Corvette side pipes we loved were hot as hell and far too loud for top down distance driving. Squealing bias ply tires? Both the Vette and the 390 Mustang plowed terribly at relatively slow speeds. The hardly sensitive worm and sector steering didn’t help either. Cars have come a long way since 1967. And so have we.

Have a great weekend.

Peter Bourassa


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Comments (6)

  1. John Brady:
    Nov 15, 2013 at 06:16 AM

    " I wasn't ugly or stupid." What happened?

  2. James Deady:
    Nov 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Every time I see the Movie ," Bullit," I want to kill myself. In 1967 I bought a 390 Mustang, 4 speed, ltd slip, fast ratio steering, koni shocks, front and rear sway bars and traction masters to keep the rear axle hop under some kind of control. It was non GT inside and out and the same colour as the," Bullit," car. It was just fast and I was 21. I had to carry a coat hanger because it would shear aircraft quality bolts on the traction masters. It wasn't pretty but it got me home. I traded it for a BMW 2002. Who knew ?

  3. Peter Bourassa:
    Nov 15, 2013 at 01:48 PM

    John: Time

    James: I initially thought the engine was a 289 but it turns out to be a 390. Max (Ol Yaller") Balchowski tricked out two the Mustangs suspensions and "breathed " on the 390. The Charger had a stock 440 - 375 horse engine and beefed up suspension. Bud Ekins did the high speed driving and McQueen did the rest. Ekins is also the rider who lays down his bike in the chase scene. He was a stunt buddy of McQueen's who jumped the army bike over a barb wire fence in The Great Escape. Word from the set was that the Mustang was flat out and the Charger was backing off. Having driven both, I could believe that. TMI

  4. Jim:
    Nov 15, 2013 at 05:29 PM

    Your a man after my own heart. It may be only the two of us that know, or remember all the details from those flics. Did you every count the number of hubcaps that came off that Charger or notice the dents in the Mustang at the beginning of the chase ? That was Ekins who laid the Bike down in Bullit. I've got to get a life; and as much as I loved that Mustang I wouldn't want it back without power steering, big discs and air conditioning !


  5. Peter Bourassa:
    Nov 15, 2013 at 07:03 PM

    I actually like the whole movie. And yes the lens through which we often view the past is the wrong end of the telescope. Not too much detail. And it is probably better that way. Technically, both those cars, by today's standards, are pretty clumsy. Then again, their visual appeal, their unrefined power, and their susceptibility to catastrophic failures made them a bloody exciting drive anywhere near the limit, theirs or yours. Remember, these things had no electronic nannies.

  6. Jim Deady:
    Nov 15, 2013 at 08:10 PM

    It was a decent film and it's probably good not to look at it to critically. As much as I love that car in my minds eye if I had a chance to drive it again it probably wouldn't be pretty.
    When I went to order it I had to take my Mother since this was my first loan. My Mother asked the salesmen if it was very fast ? He looked at her, than at me and than back to her and said, " No ma'am not really." I only ordered performance modifications. On the way out he yelled and asked if I wanted a radio, I said," Yea, whatever you have." Times have changed. Electronic controls ? As you know, not than. Control was limited to your hands and feet and a young brain. Probably not a good mix but it was fun. On a road trip to Florida for College Weeks we picked up a Chevelle someplace down south. We both stopped and gassed together and he got out first and made it about a hundred yards and the cops had him and we rolled by and waved. I had to give it to him, he caught back up at the beginning of the peninsula so the race continued from Northern Florida to Fort Lauderdale. 21 hours and 95 hadn't been completed. Good times ! At 67, it's still cars and motorcycles. Life is good.

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