MMR Blog

Enzo Likes a Ringer

Posted on April 9, 2014 Comments (1)

By S. Scott Callan

As director of the newly minted Alfa Corsa, he had the full foundry and fabrication team at his disposal. He put together a new series of Tipo B (P3) engines, welded up some widened Tipo C GP chassis, they needed a second seat, slapped on some fenders, a couple of lights, some tools might be necessary, made some available to customers in bare chassis for the Carrozzeria to body, and called them sports cars. They were GP cars. And everyone knew it. The Mille Miglia in the late Thirties... for Alfa it was like O’Toole, Harris, and Burton on stage (or in the bars), everyone else was merely supporting cast.

Two Alfas


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on November 29, 2013 Comments (0)

Our images in this issue are by S. Scott Callan. The lead image is of an Alfa 8C shot at Pebble Beach several years ago. The Alfa Romeo – Paris badge is correct. (To view the rest of the images subscribe to our free community newsletter.)

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Figoni Roadster

Scott's multi-faceted site, Velocity Group, is featured in this issue. Scott has also offered MMR subscribers a first look at his new E-Book, The King’s Eyes. This E-Book has an amazing added dimension designed to bring your reading experience to an entirely new level. We urge you to explore his Kickstarter presentation and learn about this exciting new product.

The King's Eyes by S. Scott Callan

Fixing F1 – Step Four: Making Qualifying Count

At the beginning of Saturday qualifying, NBC F1 announcer/commentator, Leigh Diffy, advised viewers the rarely uttered truth about F1. He said viewers should prepare themselves for the most exciting part of the F1 weekend. We agree. So let’s recognize its entertainment value and make it more important to the teams. Consider awarding points towards both Driver and Manufacturer Championships throughout the whole grid. That insures everyone will compete. Then reverse the grid order for the following day’s race. This is not a new concept and it insures interesting passing and team tactics. What think you?

Brazil and F1 Wrap-Up

The final race was oddly interesting. Throughout the race, the threat of rain hung over the event and anyone who watched qualifying was hoping it would materialize. We have some thoughts about the season and we share them with you here.

Denise McCluggage: The Centered Driver Workshop – January 28th, 2014

The response to last week’s announcement about Denise’s workshop was excellent. We urge you to set aside the date and register for an unforgettable master class in road and track driving. Tickets are limited.

Following up on Risk in Racing

We had a number of email comments from subscribers about our lament re the lack of risk in racing. I watched live the final Superbike race of the 2002 season. These races were run in two heats and at the end of the first heat, Honda racer Colin Edwards, The Texas Tornado, had won the Championship from Ducati rider Troy Bayliss. This is a 7:02 minute video of the second heat. Yes, there is a Racing God. And he loves motorcycle racers and fans of putting-it-on-the line racing:

Hope you had a great T-Day.

Peter Bourassa


Conversations from the road. Kansas.

Posted on July 20, 2012 Comments (0)

Alfa Rear

“Wanna see something neat?” asked the young man at my elbow.

I hesitated. “Neater than this?”

“Uh huh.”

“I doubt it,” I said. Maybe later.

I was in Kansas standing under a lift. Up in the air was an immaculate Alfa Romeo TZ with its left rear suspension apart and hanging. I didn’t know how much time I would have to shoot this and I wasn’t moving until I was finished.

Alfa

There are not a lot of car foreign car repair places in Kansas City. My bet is that the TZ is the only one for five states around. Brian Haupt is an owner of Carriage and Motor Works. He is kind of a “been there-done that” crusty character who is the go-to guy for the younger people in his shop. He was unimpressed by my gift of Krispy Kreme donuts. That impressed me! The shop does everything from restoration to race prep. It is overflowing with Italian and English cars and in inordinate amount of Swedish cars all in various states of decay and disassembly.

“So, what could be neater than this?” I finally asked young David Henderson who was at my elbow.

A Volvo.” he said.

I doubt it.” I said again. “Not bloody likely,” I thought.

He waited patiently.

Volvo open hood

When I was through, he led me to the side of the main building and introduced me to the Volvo 122 that he and his dad, Jim, had lovingly restored for the past 15 years. He was right. With love and unbelievable attention to detail, this once ugly duckling is now a swan. I have a few pictures of it.

Volvo

Volvo

Volvo

Volvo

Volvo


The Simeone Museum: First Visit

Posted on May 26, 2011 Comments (0)

My driving companion Sam Hallowell and I left his home in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early morning hours, and except for a stop for coffee and fuel, we drove the “WASRED Express” directly to The Simeone Museum in Philadelphia. We were en route to the Vintage Ferrari Festival in the Baltimore area.

Alfa Romeo Monza

We arrived as final preparations were being made for Brian Redman to address the Jaguar faithful that evening. They will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Jaguar XKE’s introduction. As you might imagine, Brian’s plane had just landed and things were hectic. In the middle of this, we arrived unannounced at the museum and something happened, which I was told is not unusual here; people stopped what they were doing and greeted us with warmth, grace and cordiality. Apologies were made that they could not accompany us but we were given the run of the museum and invited to stop and chat after we visited the exhibits.

The museum itself appeared to be a work in progress. The collection was unexpectedly impressive. By that, I mean that much of the joy of the exhibits had the “WOW! I never expected to see that here!” element to it. That came from the shock of seeing important cars that leap from magazine page memories to immediate reality. Upon reflection, the common thread appeared to be exactly that; important cars with interesting stories from all eras.

Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe

While some cars were perfect, some were not. My favorite example was a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, the first and only American built car to win the Manufacturer’s World Championship for Grand Touring cars. It looked somewhat forlorn. Sitting on a sandy display patch before a tarp on which a mountain scene had been painted, it seemed to say: “This, Bonneville, was not my most glorious experience.” If you can find a copy of Peter Brock’s excellent book The Cobra Daytona Coupe you will know that Brock designed these cars and fought to bring them to life and race them. They were spectacular racers and then, like all race cars of that period, they were, for myriad reasons, ot longer competitive and put out behind the shop where they would be out of the way and might be used as part sources. This particular car had a brief but successful post-racing adventure on the Bonneville salt-flats where it set a world 24-hour distance record. It was then dragged home and once again relegated to the group “out back”. The car now sits among other autos of accomplishment and, though battered, is at home. The Shelby Cobra Daytona is a testament to the capabilities of American hot-rodders and engineers who accomplish great feats with simple tools. It is, after all, just a small block pushrod engine in a clever, yet simple chassis. And it is a winner.

NART Ferrari 250 LM

You could write something like this about almost every car in The Simeone Museum.

At the end of our tour, Harry Hurst, author of the book “Glory Days of Racing”, introduced us to Dr. Fred Simeone, a most gracious host. “Dr. Fred” is the consummate collector. His energy and fascination with the history and the details of his charges is what makes this wonderful exhibit possible.

Our two hour tour was hardly enough to do the collection justice, and because the cars aren’t the only winners in this building, we will return. We urge you to visit The Simeone Museum in person or online at: www.simeonefoundation.org.