MMR Blog

MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on March 14, 2014 Comments (2)

Ferrari 275

As promised, we drove the WASRED 308 from Boston to Amelia Island and back, and shot 1068 images in the process. If you need official results from the Amelia Island Concours or the RM and Gooding Auctions, please look elsewhere as we will not get to them here for several weeks. MMR will bring you stories and images not found elsewhere. This week’s images are entitled “Setting the Field” and were taken as cars were either uncovered from being parked the night before or arriving to be placed. We also do our Picks and Pans about the roads, food and public washrooms en route. Read on McDuff!

Alfa at Amelia


Denise McCluggage

Broken but unbowed

Denise McCluggage, winning race and rally driver, missed Amelia because she recently slipped and fell, broke a bone and is now in rehab. But she still writes better than anybody we know and we will have her scheduled story for you next week. 

However, if you send her a cheery message we will happily forward it to her.


Sebring; great place to visit for 12 hours but I wouldn’t …

Justin Bell

This Saturday is The 12 Hours of Sebring and round #2 of the IMSA Tudor Sports Car Series. Only the first three hours will be live on Fox Sports 1. The remainder will be streamed live at IMSA.com. Young Tommy Kendall, the MMR Community’s youthful hero, has decided to sit this one out. “This track is really bumpy” he was quoted as saying in a recent AARP Harp magazine interview, “and my Depends bunch up in the corners.” He’s our hero. He and his slightly younger but equally irreverent friend, Justin Bell, will be broadcasters. Justin wrote to the MMR Community:

It’s called the IMSA Pre Show with Justin Bell and will air LIVE on IMSA.com on Saturday morning before the main race on Fox Sports 1. It is basically the longest grid walk in history and will see me talking with loads of drivers.

This should be a hoot, so don’t miss it.


A Cadillac! A Cadillac! My Kingdom for a Cadillac! N’est pas?

Sorry Richard, either the price is too high or it isn’t much of a kingdom. Our comments about the Sochi Cadillac ad in last week’s newsletter prompted some of you to suggest we try things that, while possibly entertaining, are simply anatomically impossible. On the other hand, some of you, agreed with us. Don Klein at Car and Driver, had this to say.


F1 2014 Season begins and you may be a winner.

Here we go again! Australia begins this weekend. Check your local listings. Also, please remember last week’s promise. If you were at Amelia and have 5 decent images, send them to us. We will pick a winner and send her or him a signed Denise McCluggage Ferrari Transporter image.

Have a great weekend!

Peter

Setting the field at Amelia

Maserati at Amelia

Mercedes at Amelia


Road to Amelia

Posted on March 13, 2014 Comments (0)

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions but even if the destination is not attractive, at least it is paved. Long time readers remember that every March we drive the WASRED 308 Ferrari from its Boston area home to Amelia Island in Northern Florida, a trip of about 1,200 miles that takes us through eleven states and a short distance in Florida. Most of the drive is on I-95. On the way down I stopped in Philadelphia which, of course, necessitated going thru Pennsylvania. On the way back I used the NJ Turnpike and avoided I-95 in Pennsylvania entirely.

WASRED on her way south

We look for three important things in our trip review: Good roads, good bathrooms and good food. Obviously we didn’t stop in every state to eat and use the facilities but we did use their roads. This is our report of best and worse.

Roads: a caveat here. A Maryland trooper explained that the northern states have had a brutal winter and the freeze-thaw-freeze aspect of it has affected the roads terribly this winter. Having said that, each state appears to have dealt with it differently and this is all we can assess.

WASRED in the rain

Best roads were in Georgia. Three lanes in areas and no potholes.

Worst roads: By a country mile were in Pennsylvania. We did less than one hundred miles in the state but each mile threatened to damage a wheel or the suspension at least once. Rumor has it that some of the holes are deep enough to be designated tourist attractions. NY is second worst but is tops in missing or misleading signage.

Bathrooms: Because of the storm, we flew last year. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the improvement over our last road trip two years ago. None were bad and Maryland House which straddles 95 North and South was the best by far. Maryland, which only has 105 miles of 95, also had excellent roads.

Maryland House

Food: Many states see I-95 as a cash cow for local small town economies and therefore provide few state services. Maryland House is the exception and is the Taj Mahal of I-95. I stopped there both ways. Food, fuel and facilities are superb. The food court is a huge high-ceilinged hall and has tables in three configurations. Many have electrical outlets for re-charging computers and cell phones.

Stopping along the way

The issue with off-highway independents is that there is little fresh food and late at night there is none. I bought a chocolate bar at a gas-station/convenience store in Fayetteville NC. Fifty miles down the road I opened the package and found the chocolate to be frosted over white with age. Carbon dating would have proved it to be from the last century. Bring food and liquids from home.

Next week we will talk about the drive itself.

Peter

How to pack the WASRED


MMR Community Newsletter

Posted on February 28, 2014 Comments (0)

This week’s Newsletter is focused on Northern Florida. We will focus first on The Daytona 500 race and on the upcoming Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Our images this week are from past Amelias.

Chevy, Hendricks, and Junior win Daytona

The Daytona 500 is a fascinating race. After running 38 laps, the race was delayed over six hours and, when it resumed, patient fans got their money’s worth. The culmination of a two week self-love fest, to win the 500 requires a good car, a good team, and an experienced driver. No matter how talented or quick, rookies and strangers don’t win the 500 today. Chevrolet provided a good car and the best team developed it and hired top drivers to win. Hendrick Motorsports had three cars in the top five finishers and they worked together. On the final restart, when push came to shove, Chevy driver Jeff Gordon literally pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to his second victory at Daytona. Gordon finished third and teammate Jimmie Johnson finished fifth. Note: A month ago the winner of the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona won just over $100K. Junior picked up $1.43M.

DW Does a Nutty

Darrell Waltrip, former NASCAR Champion and now Fox race commentator, had an opportunity to ride in an Australian V8 Series stock car and his reactions were recorded. Check out our homepage video for more.

Collector’s Corner

Last Sunday’s New York Times featured an interview with Sam Mann, a New Jersey collector whose cars have won at Pebble Beach four times and Amelia six. Mann is a successful design engineer with 81 patents to his name. His collection of forty-six vehicles is eclectic, interesting in its scope and reflective of his life experiences. As a young man growing up in Patterson, he learned to work on cars and in his early collecting days he did his own restoration work. In the article he explains how much he enjoyed seeking out, researching their histories, and purchasing cars directly from owners. Today “all is set before you in an auction book and the only remaining challenge is that of being outbid.” He laments the change. And so do we.

Amelia Cometh

We will be driving the WASRED 308 to Amelia again this year, weather permitting, and we will share some tips for fellow Amelia travelers a little further down this letter.

Please share this with a friend.

Have a great weekend,
Peter Bourassa


Amelia Primer:
Win a Denise McCluggage Picture!

Posted on February 27, 2014 Comments (0)

Here are a few bullet points for those among you who will be at Amelia next weekend.

  • Amelia Island is in Northern Florida very near the Georgia border. It can be cool there in March. Bring warm clothing.
  • Please remember that Bike Week begins March 7, just down the road, at Daytona. Bikes and trailers will be all over the highways that weekend.
  • View the Events Schedule here.
  • By now you have purchased your tickets. Don’t forget the seminars. They separate Amelia from every other similar event.
  • Most of the official (read sanctioned) events are either held at or emanate from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island.
  • The Gooding & Co. Auction will be held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
  • Fernandina Beach is the nearest town and it is a nice space with excellent restaurants and bars.
  • Check out the Passport Transport Eight Flags Road Tour to Fernandina Beach’s main street. It is a great opportunity to see and photograph the rare cars on the street.
  • Sunday morning: you cannot get on the field until 9:30AM and the line will start forming way before that. By 10:00AM everyone will be on the field and you will be able to walk right in.
  • The Ritz is great and there are a number of restaurants on the property. There simply aren’t enough on Sunday from 11:30AM to 2:30PM. Carry water and an energy bar with you. Then you can eat at your convenience.
  • If you want to take pictures you will need to be patient. Very patient.
  • Have a great time!
  • Send us your three favorite pictures and we will choose the one we like best and send the winner a signed Denise McCluggage picture of a Ferrari Transport taken in 1958.


Sandy on Assignment:
My Favorite...The Goodwood Revival

Posted on January 9, 2014 Comments (5)

By Sandy Cotterman, Motorsports Enthusiast

Adventure Begins - Goodwood House

Another adventure begins…in front of the Goodwood House.

Although it never made my motorsports bucket list, everyone I know who has attended the Goodwood Revival says it’s a must, so I felt compelled to check it out. It was fantastic - my all-time favorite adventure for the year! This is an event for everyone… from the vintage racing buff to the reluctant spouse. You can’t help but have a fabulous time... even in the rain!

Stepping Back in Time

Stepping back in time.

Mods and Rockers

A friendly group of mods and rockers.

Close your eyes and take yourself back in time... England, post war ‘40s and ‘50s, through the early ‘60s… and you have the setting for the Revival. Everyone is dressed to play the part from the golden era of motorsports. Tight skirts and silk stockings, British military uniforms, fedora hats, mechanics’ overalls, biker garb and bell bottoms… if it’s vintage, you’ll see it. Even the concessions are in period, selling absolutely everything to get you into the mood for this three-day event.

West Sussex County, the 2.4-mile circuit sits on the grounds of the Goodwood Estate. During WWII, this area was a key British airfield and home to several Spitfire squadrons. When the RAF closed the base after the war, the landowner, Freddie March, grandfather of the current Earl of March, turned the perimeter road into a racing circuit. Britain’s first post-war motor racing took place here on September 18, 1948. The track was closed to racing in 1966, then re-opened in 1998. In its 16th year, the Revival features 15 races and special tributes over the mid-September weekend. I’ll give you the how-to’s for this event. But first, if you ever think you’ll attend annually, get on the list for membership into the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC). Membership perks are outstanding. I’m on a 24 month wait list!

GTs

The GT’s from the Woodcote grandstands.

Taste of Victory

A taste of victory.

This year, celebrating 50 years of Ford’s GT40 history, an exciting one-make race for GT40s and related models took place. The career of legendary racecar driver Jim Clark was celebrated with 36 of the actual cars he raced, on parade. The Settrington Cup saw younger racers pedaling their way to glory in Austin J40s! Bonham’s auctioned over $23M in cars on Saturday. Tour de France cyclists, celebrating the 100th year running of the world’s greatest bicycle race, were also on parade. One hundred years of Aston Martin was celebrated in the Earl’s Court Motor Show exhibit and spectacular air shows went on overhead daily.... all just for starters!

Air shows and races

Air shows and races … all day long at the Revival.

Since I’m not a costume type person, I was a little apprehensive going into this adventure… easing in slowly. Outfitted in a black turtleneck, white jeans and big square sunglasses, I headed off to the Tampa airport feeling like Jackie O. By Day 3 at the track, I was so into dressing up that I didn’t think twice about wearing my red satin evening coat, long gloves and big sunglasses… in the pouring rain.

Before sharing my adventure, let me say that getting to Chichester, England, which is just up the road from Goodwood, was a snap! British Airways flies direct to Gatwick from Tampa, in eight hours, leaving at 6:15pm and arriving the next morning around 8am. Since tickets for this event go on sale mid-November, I was able to book a flight at a ridiculously low fare. Once in Gatwick, I hopped the train (right inside the airport) into Chichester. I personally didn’t want to hassle with a rental car and succumb to driving on the wrong side of the road. Lucky for me, I booked lodging in town and could take a five minute taxi ride to the Goodwood grounds after the gates opened at 7:30am and catch the official shuttle bus back into Chichester at the end of the day. Friends Keith Carlson and Bruce Murray were meeting up with Brits locally, and drove directly to the Estate in classic cars. The parking lots are a show in themselves!

Sandy in the Paddock

E2A and Sandy in the Paddock.

Paddock - rows of racing

The Paddock…rows of racing history.

It was a given, I would be seeing a lot of British cars, but, I was curious as to what else was in the Paddock. I was also on a mission to track down a Ferrari or two. To my surprise, there was a paddock full of these stallions! Speaking of the Paddock, a special pass, and of course vintage attire, is required to enter. Getting a Paddock pass is difficult, as you cannot buy them. That’s where the GRRC membership comes in handy. Again, I lucked out. After stopping to take photos with a group of bikers, they handed me a pass!

For me, my motorsports adventures sparkle because of the people I meet. Whether it’s a famous race car driver, classic car collector, or just another motorsports enthusiast, like me, each person adds to my adventure. The Goodwood Revival was all sparkles!

Flurry of excitement

A flurry of excitement around Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass.

I checked out the racing line-up and was thrilled to be able to watch legends Derek Bell, Brian Redman, and Andy Wallace, and also Oliver Gavin and Tom Kristensen – whom I had just seen race at Le Mans, all take the wheel of some pretty cool vintage race cars. Stirling Moss was on hand signing autographs, but more special than that, I was able to witness Stirling and Jochen Mass prepare a race history time capsule. It was a treat to run into Garth Hammers from Gooding Auctions and Steve Serio from Aston Martin of New England, who, like me, were there enjoying the weekend festivities.

Max - race car driver

Max… the race car driver.

What made this entire adventure spectacular was following one very special racecar driver through every pace of the weekend. Right off the bat, I thought I recognized a familiar face from the automotive auction world, as I was snooping around the Paddock. No, it couldn’t be, I thought. But on Day 2, while again roaming the Paddock, I ran into my very favorite auctioneer, Max Girado, from RM Auctions. It really was Max whom I thought I recognized the day before. You’ve read my praises of Max, as an auctioneer in previous articles, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to find out he was racing… the Ferraris!!

Derek Bell

Derek Bell up second in the Corvette Sting Ray.

Besides being offered a Paddock pass at the start of the Revival, I was graciously offered another pass from the mechanic of the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, which Derek Bell would race on Sunday… a team armband. I hope that gentleman goes straight to heaven when the time comes, as doing such a good deed was amazing. I could maneuver anywhere inside the pits and team areas, wearing the armband.

Ready to race

Ready to race.

Following Max though the paces connected me with the excitement of the races. The owners of both cars he was driving, the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France and 1956 Ferrari 860 Monza, told me they had heard Max was a great auctioneer, but obviously admired him for his skills as a race car driver. Max slipped into the cars with ease, all smiles, and graciously took the time to wave before taking off. Watching Max finish third on Sunday, in the No. 22, 250 GT during the Fordwater Trophy race, was a thrill. I even watched him go through the post scrutineering checks. He definitely made my weekend!

Similar to Le Mans, you really have to watch the website (www.goodwood.com) to jump on board for early ticket sales, as they sell out quickly. Tickets are mailed after the first of the year. Here is what my website shopping cart included: A 3-day required roving grandstand general admission ticket, for $206; and, Saturday and Sunday reserved grandstand tickets at $122 each, in the Woodcote grandstands. The grandstands offer a fantastic viewing advantage.

I signed up for lunches at the Goodwood Hotel in the Cedar Suite. Dinners were back in Chichester at a fabulous Italian restaurant, Carluccio’s. Lodging at the Goodwood Hotel is reserved exclusively for guests of Lord March, but you can make reservations, on–line, for the three-course buffet lunch. Hostesses seat guests together, filling up tables for scheduled seatings. The Hotel ended up being my go to place for everything… relaxing, bathroom breaks and all other meals. There was even a fleet of complimentary vintage Jowett taxis and roadsters to take me back and forth to the track. The Hotel experience is definitely my MMR secret find!

Revival

Everyone has fun at the Revival.

Forever one of my favorite adventures, I hope the Goodwood Revival makes everyone’s motorsports bucket list. It’s no wonder Veuve Clicquot is sparkling everywhere during this weekend of excitement!