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MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on January 3, 2014 Comments (0)

Welcome to the New Year!

Our images this week are some of our favorite leads of MMR Newsletters past. If you are reading this on the MMR blog and want to see more images, simply subscribe to our MMR Newsletter and we will forward this issue. For subscribers, simply click on the images below to be taken to the issue that featured them and learn more about the photographers and what they were shooting.

While this is unquestionably the first MMR Newsletter of 2014, it somehow still feels like the final MMR Newsletter of 2013. In keeping with that, we will follow up on stories recently begun and cast a prescient eye on the horizon of events to come.

Sadly, as we write this, Michael Schumacher is in an induced coma in a hospital in France. The most recent news is more hopeful and we wish him well.

Cleaning up some of the leftovers from 2013, we offer a sampling of your responses from the query about purchasing a Cadillac vs. a Euro sedan.

Looking Forward…

Stay tuned, while this issue has no room for our 2014 predictions. As threatened, we will share them with you next week. Meanwhile check out this week’s video, a Porsche 908 cockpit view of one lap of the Targa Florio. Thanks to Michael Keyser, co-author of Racing Demons.

Going to Scottsdale? Tony Singer, founder of Automobilia Monterey is launching a similar event, Automobilia Scottsdale, with the same excellent vendors. Most are listed as suppliers in the MMR Goods and Services Directory. See poster below for details.

Also in January, Denise McCluggage comes to New England for dinner and The Centered Driver Workshop  at European Motorsports Exhibit Center in Lawrence MA. Tickets are still available, but not many.

Here’s wishing you all good health and a wonderful 2014!

Peter and the MMR Team


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 December 13, 2013 Comments (0)

Our images this week are paintings by the artist and enthusiast Roger Blanchard. These and other images and prints are available on his website; find them in the MMR Goods and Services Directory.

Fixing F1 – Step 6: Refereeing

The FIA spells out the rules which govern F1 racing. The rules relating to how the race is conducted and what the drivers must and mustn’t do are the responsibility of the FIA Race Director. A small group of racing experts, sometimes local, all part-time, often former drivers, supply input on individual racing incidents. They are called Race Stewards. A guest celebrity ex-driver is also part of the rules team for every race. In other words, well intentioned amateurs are making decisions that govern a billion dollar sport/business. Sir Jackie Stewart has been lobbying for professional stewards for this billion dollar industry. Good for him and for us! 

Jackie Stewart 2

Denise McCluggage

Denise McCluggage: The Centered Driver Workshop

January 28th, 2014

Two years ago Denise McCluggage visited New England and gave an enjoyable and informative series of talks to several local clubs and the MMR Community. This January 28th, Denise returns with an interactive driver’s workshop entitled The Centered Driver. The event is being offered first to the MMR Community. In January we will open it up to the public. Please read more about it and reserve your spot now. Our thanks to Michael Ricciardi and European Motorsports of Lawrence MA for making this event happen.

Ferrari Myth Calendar                                                        

Gunther Raupp’s annual Ferrari Myth Calendar is once again available from David Bull Publishing.

Ferrari Myth

An Uncommon Auction

Last Saturday, Dom Miliano and I, along with a number of MMR Community members, attended the Dragone Auctions in Westport Connecticut. The cars were stunning and many sold after the gavel had fallen. Highlights included the sale of a 1930 Packard Phaeton for $920K and an unrestored 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost for $520K. As mentioned last week, this small auction is unique. It is focused on privately owned cars never before offered at auction.

Etre Bien Dans Ca Peau (To Be Well In One’s Skin)

Despite the less than positive aspects attributed to maturity, there are some things about aging that are totally positive. For instance, fashionable clothing gives way to wearing garments that serve a purpose other than style, like comfort and utility. The same goes for our cars. We once responded to questions about what we drive by first stating the year, then marque and model, as though the most recent date were the winner. At a recent gathering, I asked three friends what they were driving. One said an M-5, a second said a 5 Series, and the third mentioned a Mercedes 320. I drive an Allroad. We are all driving vehicles we like in which we are comfortable. All are fine and proven cars. None, like us, is new or in fashion. Then again, none of the newer models appear compelling enough to encourage a change. That might say something about both of us.

BMW

Peter Bourassa


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on December 6, 2013 Comments (2)

Fixing F1 – Step 5: Shared Engineering

If you have been following this series you recognize that we have had two goals in mind. First, to make F1 more entertaining for spectators and TV viewers and, second, to level the playing field among the competitors. The disparity in resources available to each team makes that last goal most difficult. Just last week grumblings were heard that the FIA needs to cap previously unlimited spending because Red Bull now spends considerably more than Fiat/Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren. So let’s consider the model followed by horse racing. Assume a car is worth a million dollars; the winning car of every third race is offered to the last place team for $1M. If, for some reason they don’t want it, it goes to the next lowest team and so on. Just a thought.

Formula 1 Back Marker

On a Similar Note

Gordon Kirby, well known author and motorsports correspondent, sent along a link to an interview he did with designer Nigel Bennett which discusses how F1 and IndyCar might be made more exciting.

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

Two years ago Denise McCluggage visited New England and gave an enjoyable and informative series of talks to several local clubs and the MMR Community. This January 28th, Denise returns with an interactive driver’s workshop entitled The Centered Driver. The event is being offered first to the MMR Community. In January we will open it up to the public. Please read more about it at and reserve your spot now. Our thanks to Michael Ricciardi and European Motorsports of Lawrence, MA for making this event happen.

A Conundrum

What to call it? In Italy, the 1960’s, automobile manufacturers bought serial numbers from the government in advance of building the cars. A form of pre-paid tax. Our feature car this week is a recently completed ISO A3/C. While several components, notably the 327 CID Chevy engine have been updated, the basic car, including the stamped period frame is either NOS (new old stock) or, in the case of the interior and many body panels, totally new. So what is it?

Going Fast Smoothly

Several years ago Porsche produced incontrovertible data which indicated that faster shifting, some call it “hard” or “speed” shifting reduced lap times dramatically. Though unquestionably slower, what we know as normal shifting is based on often personal evidence that the gearbox could not withstand the abuse of speed shifting. Metallurgy and transmission design have both moved light years ahead since the ‘50s and ‘60s. New racing transmissions are designed to withstand electronic milli-second paddle shifting and the clumsy “rowing” of those among us who still prefer a foot clutch. But what about vintage racing or simply good fast driving? Our video this week is of Jackie Stewart on the secrets of going fast.

A final note

The Porsche Carrera GT is an exceptional performance car. Few among us are capable of driving it near its limits. While we are saddened by the unexpected death of actor Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, focusing blame on the car as the cause is just plain wrong. Had an innocent third party been injured or killed the public would have been rightly outraged. There are closed courses around the country offering ample opportunities to exercise these and similar cars in relative safety. Industrial parks are obviously not one of them.

Porsche Carrera GT

Dom Miliano and I hope to see you tomorrow at Dragone Auctions in Westport, CT. The show starts at 1:00PM. See you there.


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