MMR Community Newsletter

December 4, 2014 Comments (3)

Racing is over in the countries where winter has sway but in the land down under, the V8 Supercars are getting ready to roll. We are looking into it and will post their events on the MMR Motorsports Calendar when we have the information.

Once the holidays are behind us January will launch the MMR Community into the concours and auctions season. January in Scottsdale will be busy with both and our MMR Calendar below will give you an overview. As we get closer we will give you some idea of our plans to attend events in the new year.

F1. The Season that Never Ends

While American F1 commentators waxed rhapsodically about how exciting the past season has been, close to a million of the 5.3 million Germans who watched it in 2013 tuned out. Their country produced the team that won the Manufacturers Championship and the only serious contender for Driver’s Championship other than the British winner! In the US meanwhile, F1 popularity is reportedly “exploding”. Most of us would prefer our excitement to come from closer racing on the track than the game of “Angry Teammates”.

Meanwhile, back in the back room, the big boys are trying to figure out how to (1) divvy the loot so that more than four teams can compete all the time and making certain that their crown jewel, Ferrari, doesn’t implode or (2) figure out how to get Bernie and CVC to kick back some more of what they take out.It ain’t gonna be easy folks! But it may be more entertaining than watching another season of Mercedes domination and Ferrari in the doldrums.

Luca de Montezemolo, former Ferrari Chairman, now heads Alitalia Airlines. His replacement at Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, has replaced recent Team Principal Marco Mattiacci with Maurizio Arrivabene (pictured). He has F1 political experience which is something neither his boss has, nor his predecessor had. Which probably explains exactly why he is there. This is no longer a game of technology and small fast men and increasingly boys.

F1 Engines

The F1 engine issue has yet to be resolved and only concessions to the agreed upon existing formula by Mercedes can change the deal. It is their edge and, understandably, they have little interest in change. New entry Honda is not constrained by this agreement and comes in with a clean slate. Question is, can their engine be more competitive than those produced by others? Based on results of the original outing at Abu Dhabi, they have a ways to go. And one must keep in mind that Honda’s historical commitment to F1 could only charitably be viewed as consistent. They once fielded a team, then they supplied an engine, then they fielded a team again, which is now the Mercedes team, and now they want to field an engine, again. And BTW, Honda car sales, in an up market, are down.

2015 IndyCar Schedule Released

Progress is being made at IndyCar. Though having next season end in August remains incomprehensible, not having it end at the dreaded Fontana track is a bonus. Sadly it remains on the schedule. Someone of influence obviously has power over good sense and is also not a driver. Verizon remain the series sponsor and the Penske team will run four cars in 2015. Simon Pagenaud will drive for them. That will be interesting to watch as he and now teammate, and former close friend, IndyCar Champion Will Power, will share the same equipment. Power is also rumored to have less than warm relations with often affable and often surly but always competitive and quick-tempered teammate, Yuan Pablo Montoya.  Montoya is a modern AJ Foyt. That leaves the aging but still quick Helio Castroneves, who gets along with everyone, as Power’s likely lunch companion this year. This will be a tough team to beat and neither Ganassi nor Andretti Racing looks to be their match. On the positive side, unlike F1, there are a number of small teams that can give the big boys (read money) a run on any given day. More on Indy in future weeks.

This week’s Michael Furman Image is a Porsche America Roadster from the book Porsche Unexpected.

Our Eye Candy is from editor/photographer Dom Miliano’s collection.

Our feature story is the first in a series of stories about sports cars of the sixties and this week’s chosen favorite is the Sunbeam Tiger.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to encourage friends to subscribe to our Newsletter.

Peter Bourassa

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Comments (3)

  1. Richard Witt:
    Dec 06, 2014 at 01:26 AM

    Peter, I enjoyed your comment about sports cars of the 60's compared to those of today.

    Drafty, crappy heaters & defrosters, you name it. Yup, but we were younger then and it didn't matter so much. For me the epitome of that era was my '60 TR-3. I also had a '60 & a'64 Corvette, (both were converts with the removeable hard-top) and while while they were fairly snug, all the other stuff applied. The seats were terrible.

    Today my 2012 GS convertible is not only snug as a Cadillac, but when I drove it last week on one of the days that temp (Chicago area) was just in the high teens, the heated seat and the great heater, which was blowing warm air within two blocks made me appreciate the advances over the past half-century. BUT, if I had a large enough garage, I'd have either a 60's TR-3 or other 60' s sports car in it, and would take it out and drive it, even in winter!

  2. Dianne:
    Dec 06, 2014 at 01:36 PM

    There is nothing to rival 1960s sports cars, especially the British ones. They were unreliable but beautiful.

    My 1959 TR3 is still a passion. It was black on red with white walls and white top. A stunner. I could drive it anywhere under any weather conditions. In the snow, the slush from the roadway would come up through the floorboards and everything else came in through those ill-fitted snap-on side curtains. Nevertheless, it was fearless... and so was I then. In the summer, I would detach the windscreen and stow the side curtains and top in the trunk. What a kick.

    Today, I drive a 2004 Z4 which I also love. Same color combo (sans WWs). It's as though the TR3 morphed into the Z4. It has an automatic top, manual transmission, speed package, heated seats, and it's tight. I drive it all winter and it's extremely road worthy but never goes out in the snow. (I have a Camry for that.) I love the Z4 but still long for the TR3.


  3. Peter Bourassa:
    Dec 06, 2014 at 08:47 PM

    I agree completely. Those cars at 60mph were far more thrilling than today's techno rockets. They were also unreliable, had poorly designed heating and electrical systems and wore out quickly. Further they were designed to rapidly duplicate inside the cabin whatever weather prevailed outside. Yet, no car has ever smelled better than the inside of a small Jag sedan left baking in the sun. No car equaled racy sex appeal or ever allowed a young couple to be so intimate while driving, without touching, as a black MGA with wire wheels. And early XKEs, for all their mechanical and electrical idiosyncrasies, were breathtaking to behold and remain so today. Parked or rolling. For all their faults, and perhaps because of them, maintaining aging British sports cars often involved solving electrical and mechanical mysteries and was always an adventure. There is a reason why we always drove in packs. Thanks for contributing Richard and stay tuned for more. At some point we will talk about Corvettes.


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