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entry 31 Oct 2009, 17:29
The History of the Slot Car


The History of the Slot Car I have not updated my Slot Car Gallery website for quite some time but now that I have some free cycles I have added a brief history of the slot car and will be adding articles from various vintage magazines in the near future. Here is what I have done so far.

Now, decades after the slot car craze hit the United States, many enthusiasts still consider it as their hobby of choice and many a gray beard can still be seen holding a controller remnants of when slot cars were king. It began in the early 60s and was so popular that special racing events were televised live nationally on shows hosted by Mike Douglas, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan but before the decade was even over the American public had turned their focus elsewhere.

To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 12 Sep 2009, 03:32
Pietro Bordino


Pietro Bordino Bordino was born in Turin, November 22, 1887. The son of a Fiat caretaker he would spend his early years around the factory before he was given a job as a mechanic. In 1904 he would become a racing mechanic to the works drivers, Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazzaro. In 1908 he took the wheel himself at the Chateau Thierry hill-climb in France, winning on his first attempt. He would travel to England in 1911 for a series speed record attempts in an airship-engined Fiat but to know avail as the car was next to impossible to drive.

World War I would intercede just as his career was starting to take off. He Rejoined Fiat when the company decided to go racing again in 1921. In the first Italian Grand Prix on the old Montichiari circuit just outside of Brescia he set fastest lap at nearly 100 mph he failed to finish the race with a broken oil pipe after leading the early stages of the race. This would prove to be a pattern throughout his career. Described by none other but H. O. D. Segrave as "the finest road race driver in the world", his results never matched his abilities.

To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 6 Sep 2009, 22:30
Felice Nazzaro




He was called the sport's first racing super star when in 1925 he retired from frontline racing after two and one half decades. During that time he won all the great races of the day including the Targa Florio, the Kaiserpreise and the French Grand Prix, the initial trio all at the wheel of a Fiat. He won the latter twice with a war and an unprecedented 15 years separating victories.

To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 13 Jan 2009, 19:36
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W196S)




Wining the sports car championship in 1955 the Mercedes was not the fastest car, that honor probably belonged to 4.9-liter Ferrari but what it lacked in speed was more than compensated for by its durability as Peter Collins and John Fitch would atteste to. "Despite Stirling's efforts and my own to write the machine off," Collins said after winning the Targa Florio, "by going over precipices and through walls and shunting other cars, still somehow the car managed to last right through the race." John Fitch had put his car to a similar test: "The durability of the SLR was unbelievable. As demonstrated here at the Targa, it would stand up to incredible abuse and continue to operate perfectly. This highly developed sports-racing machine was built like a tank, yet was as responsive as a jungle cat - a truly fabulous accomplishment in the field of automotive design."

To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 31 Dec 2008, 02:19
Mille Miglia Racing Notes

The Mille Miglia was more than just a race. It was a festival of triumph and tragedy.


To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 14 Dec 2008, 03:14
1934 French Grand Prix

Not until barely sixty seconds remained were the engines started up, mechanics using crank-handles, because the rules of the race permitted no other method of rousing the engines. Exhaust notes roared out, rising swiftly to a blast of tremendous sound which echoed across the great track and reached the crowd lining the circuit routier, beyond the narrow exit towards which the machines faced. Mechanics ran from the cars as a starter poised his flag and, during the moments before the flag dropped, Chiron's Alfa-Romeo began to roll forward as if its driver was impatient and eager to get away. Suddenly the flag fell and, at that, Chiron's scarlet machine hurled itself away from the line in one magnificent burst of acceleration.



To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 12 Dec 2008, 00:08
I'm continuing to add more material to my Mille Miglia history and have now added all of the years up to 1940 excluding 1949. Take a look!


To read the rest of the article go here.

 | Category: General Observations
entry 22 Sep 2007, 10:03
Well after a year spent working in Singapore where it's summer every day I'll soon be returning to the land of Dubya. Hopefully I can start updating my site with some more stories from The Mille Miglia of years past. Stay Tuned, Oh and buy my calendar!

 | Category: General Observations
entry 21 Sep 2007, 09:16
2009 Classic Grand Prix Calendar

POWERED BY TURBO


Presenting the new Classic Formula 1 Grand Prix calendar. Theme for 2009 calendar is “Powered by Turbo.” A tribute to the rage and age of turbo era. Alain Prost, France’s greatest Formula 1 driver, graces the cover in the Principality of Monaco.

Additional drivers include:

Nelson Piquet, Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton Senna, Didier Pironi, Keke Rosberg, Michele Alboreto, Nigel Mansell, Niki Lauda, Patrick Tambay, Rene Arnoux and Riccardo Patrese are all captured in beautiful images from the archives of Grand Prix Photo, a leading European motorsports photo studio.

An added bonus is an interview with Francois Castaing, the Renault engineer who turbo-charged Formula 1. He shares the ‘moment’ that was Dijon-Prenois 1979, when Jean-Pierre Jabouille rode into history as the first turbo-charged Grand Prix winner.

Calendar size: Ships Finished 12 x 18. Flat 24 x 18 inch.
$15.95 plus shipping. US $7.95 International $12.95

To order contact me at: me@ddavid.com

 | Category: News Item
entry 29 Aug 2007, 04:49
Aston Martin, the icon of luxury sports cars made famous in James Bond movies, has been put up for sale by the struggling Ford Motor Co., the company said Thursday. Ford said in a statement that it is exploring the sale of all or part of the British-based carmaker, in part to raise capital for its other brands.

Let's hope it finds a happy (German?) home.

entry 22 Aug 2006, 06:20
He seemed to be well positioned at Fiat, then the leading racing team but his friend Luigi Bazzi who had recently joined Enzo Ferrari at Alfa Romeo knew the ego that blazed inside Vittorio Jano could not be contained at the larger company. After the desultory results of the new Alfa P1, a Fiat copy no less, it was suggested by Bazzi that in order to succeed they needed to go to the source, they needed to kidnap “Jano”. It was a job that the equally ambitious Ferrari, a self-described troublemaker was born to. Yet Jano was not so easily moved, and according to legend he demanded a formal proposal from Alfa Romeo, imperiously dismissing Ferrari by stating that he would “speak to the organ grinder, not the monkey”. To the shock and dismay of his managers at Fiat, Vittorio was soon headed to Alfa Romeo.


To read the rest of the article go here.

entry 16 Aug 2006, 05:20
While the activity of sportsmen has been stagnating until the past few days, the fever of sporting enthusiasts has been increasing. European champions, most of whom can only drive for their factory team, would like to show themselves on the larger motor racing stage. The public eagerly awaits the renaissance - but does not know how, or when it will come.

Giovanni Canestrini

To read the rest of the article go here.

 | Category: General Observations
entry 12 Aug 2006, 15:38
I don't usually carry my camera with me when I visit San Francisco but I did a couple of days ago and these pictures are the result.

If you asked a local citizen to compare San Francisco with other cities of similar size such as Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio or Jacksonville, Florida more often than not you would be met by an uncomprehending stare if not uncontrollable laughter as if you had just asked the most ridiculous question yet invented. For the citizen of San Francisco does not compare his city with hopeless also rans but with the great capitals of the world; New York, Rome and above all Paris. Visitors may snicker but the true citizen is oblivious to any faults and blame those that they admit, to be the fault of outside forces.

To see the rest of the images go here.

entry 7 Aug 2006, 17:07
First Juan Pablo and now Villenueve ... is it just me or have all my favorite drivers left Formula 1, a sport that I have followed for over four decades? I'm not naive enough to think that they had any World Championships in their future, the former maybe but certanly not the latter but the homogenization of F1 is now complete and with it goes any enthusiasm I had left for the sport. With an engine freeze to go along with a personality freeze by the Mosely/Bernie/Ferrari clique it all hardly seems worth it to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to attend a race. In fact this is the first year that I have not made a journey to Silverstone, Montreal or even Indy. The manner in which BMW replaced Villeneuve, a former World Champion has certainly ended any chance I'll ever buy one of their cars. Add that to the politics that have gone on at Toyota and I'm running out of brands.

It was said that both Montoya and Villeneuve had attitude problems ... could they have been right and the rest of us wrong?

entry 1 Aug 2006, 17:14
In 1830 a self-styled mountain man by the name of Isaac Graham settled in this area. Legend has it that he and his compatriots would cause such a ruckus that the local Mexican authorities named Graham’s wild settlement “Roaring Camp.” In 1842, Graham established the first saw mill west of the Mississippi but for one reason or another logging never took off here and he was convinced to spare the majestic trees that  25 years later became the first virgin stand of coastal redwoods to be protected from logging.

In order to garner some income the area’s first railroad, the Santa Cruz & Felton, began carrying tourists to the Big Trees as they became known in 1875. In 2003, the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge RR celebrated its Ruby Anniversary (40 years) and the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific RY has been operating along the 1875 Santa Cruz & Felton route since 1985.

The railroad is only a little over an hour from my home but I'm almost embarrassed to say that I have never visited it. I had a "spare" Saturday away from the wife so I decided to make the trip. Lo and behold this weekend saw the visit of Thomas the Tank Engine and it's many small fans, their parents and assorted mini vans. Luckily there are several tracks at Roaring Camp and our steam train was unaffected by the little monsters. I wonder how many of these will return to model railroading after suffering the indignities of middle age. The route of the steam train takes you up Herman Mountain amongst the old growth redwood trees. Something that we are blessed with here in Northern California.


To see the rest of the images go here.

 | Category: General Observations
entry 26 Jul 2006, 00:54

I cannot remember which infected me first, my love for reading or my urge to travel … what I call my long desire. My work has given me the chance to travel and I have grabbed it with both hands. I've always wondered why more people in the United States don't travel outside of the country. Friends of mine always seem to find a reason not to take the plunge. It's as if their comfort level won't allow them to venture beyond the Atlantic seashore.

In travel literature I’m able to feed my need for travel and reading and as such I’m constantly devouring new/old works. It seems that recent trends in the market have popularized works that are meant to be humorous. These can be broken down into two rough categories, those that make fun of the natives and those that make fun of the travelers. While Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene is not a recent book it falls in the latter. What makes it interesting is that not all of the travelers in the novel are actually traveling in the manner in which you or I would go from point A to point B, rather our protagonist comes into contact with what the reviewer describes as a shiftless, twilight society of hippies, war criminals and CIA men. Where Henry, the nephew smokes pot and breaks all currency regulations.

Henry Pulling is a retired, complacent bank manager who meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time at his mother’s funeral and decides to travel with her to Brighton, Paris, Istanbul and Paraguay. Graham Greene called it “the only book I have ever written for the fun of it” and so I head to my library bound for Brighton …
 
Other recent travel narratives I have read.
  

entry 25 Jul 2006, 15:57
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entry 23 Jul 2006, 04:49

The Grand Prix History website is built upon an extensive collection of motorsports books. Recently I added a book entitled; Grand Prix Championship Courses and Drivers by noted author Griffith Borgeson. The book was first published in 1968 and offered for the princely sum of $5.95.

It starts with a brief introduction to Grand Prix racing and ends with short sketches of the leading drivers of the day, but it was what was written between these sections, that caught my interest. While most if not all of this material was available in other books Borgeson has the ability to concisely describe the important while dispensing with the frivolous. I especially appreciated some of the dollar figures he referenced such as the average price of conducting a Grand Prix circa 1965 ($24,000), the average salary for a top-flight driver ($110,000-140,000) or even what it costs to stage a single first-class event ($150,000). These amounts seem almost ludicrous in our present day environment but have we since been given our money’s worth? I hazard to think not. Besides current venues a number of circuits that are not used today are also described, such as my personal favorites Zandvoort, Watkins Glen and Kyalami which the author brings back to life.

 | Category: General Observations
entry 21 Jul 2006, 16:50

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a local baseball game in San Francisco’s AT&T Park. There is nothing like being able to walk to a downtown ballpark even one that’s several blocks from downtown especially when it’s the most beautiful baseball park in the most beautiful city in the United States. My wife was able to score some free tickets and since it was a “Spare the Air Day” BART was free as well. Unfortunately it was not spare the fan day and beer and hot dogs were at their normal outrageous prices. I never thought airport food would look so cheap. The weather was wonderful and we were entertained when Bonds led off “back to back to back” home runs.

Though the Giants are only a game above .500 and Bonds faces possible indictment for perjury and tax evasion, for one night at least all was well in Mudville.
 

 | Category: General Observations
entry 17 Jul 2006, 17:30
Oh, the pain, the agony of defeat that comes from being out bid on something you really wanted. That helpless feeling when your snipe was snipped and you get that mocking pop-up from eBay announcing that the item was not won. I thought for sure that with my bid of $202.75 that nobody in his right mind would offer more for a set of Limited Edition N-Scale Ore cars ...

Now comes the endless scrounging for garbage that you in turn can sell to other unsuspecting fools. Purchases long forgotten, boxes left unopened, projects abandoned, is this what drug addiction is like?

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Hall of Fame
Mario Andretti
Alberto Ascari
Jack Brabham
Rudolf Caracciola
Colin Chapman
Jimmy Clark
Juan-Manuel Fangio
Enzo Ferrari
Emerson Fittipaldi
Graham Hill
Vittorio Jarno
Niki Lauda
Nigel Mansell
Stirling Moss
Alfred Neubauer
Tazio Nuvolari
Ronnie Peterson
Nelson Piquet
Alain Prost
Jochen Rindt
Bernd Rosemeyer
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher
Ayrton Senna
Jackie Stewart
Achille Varzi
Gilles Villeneuve
Jean-Pierre Wimille

Great Racing Cars
Alfa P3
Alfa P3

Auto Union Type C
Auto Union Type C

Auto Union Type D
Auto Union Type D

Brabham Repco BT19
Brabham Repco BT19

BRM P56
BRM P56

Bugatti Type 35
Bugatti Type 35

Cisitalia D46
Cisitalia D46

Cooper T51
Cooper Climax T51

Duesenberg 1921 GP Car
Duesenberg 1921 GP Car

Eagle-Weslake
Eagle-Weslake

Ferrari 500
Ferrari 500

Ferrari 156
Ferrari 156

Ferrari 312B
Ferrari 312B

Ferrari 312T
Ferrari 312T

Lancia D50
Lancia D50

Locomobile Type 1906
Locomobile Type 1906

Lotus-Climax 25
Lotus-Climax 25

Lotus-Ford 49
Lotus-Ford 49

Lotus-Ford 72
Lotus-Ford 72

Lotus-Ford 79
Lotus-Ford 79

March 711
March 711

Maserati 250F
Maserati 250F

McLaren M23
McLaren M23

Mercedes 1908 GP
Mercedes 1908 GP

Mercedes W125
Mercedes W125

Mercedes-Benz 196
Mercedes-Benz 196

Napier 30 HP
Napier 30 HP

Peugeot 1914 GP
Peugeot 1914 GP

Renault RS11
Renault RS11

Tyrrell P34
Tyrrell P34

Vanwall 1957 F1
Vanwall 1957 F1


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