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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 20, 2013 Comments (0)

Bronson

Then Came Bronson

The response to last week’s piece on Michael Parks and the Then Came Bronson TV show was far greater than expected. The series is fondly remembered by a significant number of our readers. Considering it only lasted one season of 26 episodes, it obviously had an impact. The character of Parks strongly influenced the character he portrayed and while he speaks fondly of the product, he readily admits that the producers constantly pressured him to make the stories more in tune with the Hopper-Fonda angry biker image of the time. He was unwilling. Refreshingly, he sees himself as an actor first and the stint on motorcycles as just an opportunity and a job. Parks was also a gifted athlete who ran the mile in 4:05 and tried out with a major league baseball team. To everyone’s amazement, he simply packed up and walked out of training camp to pursue a life in the arts. The Bronson character was probably pretty close to the Parks character.

What are you driving?

A loyal subscriber wrote in response to our comment about preferring older Euro vehicles to the new offerings and asks if we would consider owning a new Cadillac. The Derek Hill Cadillac commercial, featuring the ATS Turbo being driven in Monaco, prompted a switch from a BMW Five Series to a new Cadillac ATS Turbo.

The writer loves the car and states that the car “makes me feel young.”

Caddy

While I was not initially fond of the styling, one of us is changing. I now find myself warming to the newer models and it is hard to ignore that Cadillac has done a hell of a job making the thing work. A small and quick survey of our recent Dragone auction travel group resulted in two distinct considerations. First, a competitive American car is very appealing. Second, Cadillac has yet to overcome its previous cumbersome image. What do you think?

Castello Cavalcanti

This week’s Video, Wes Anderson’s Castello Cavalcanti is a true hoot. Starring Jason Schwartzman as race driver Jet Cavalcanti, it hits absolutely every cliché possible about Italian villages, relations, race drivers, mechanics, and the Molte Miglia. Enjoy!

MMR Goods & Services Directory

Stuck for something you want somebody to buy for you? A reminder that our MMR Goods & Services Directory has over 2800 top quality suppliers of all the stuff you need in 350 categories. The trick now is to get the second most significant person in your life to find exactly what you want. Good Luck!

Happy Holidays to you and your family from the MMR Team.

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