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Your Golden Epoch?

92517 Views 2678 Replies 48 Participants Last post by  chappyman66
Most motor racing folk look back to their favourite eras from time to time because we have brains that store memories. Like all 'disciplines' motor sport, in all its forms, has gone through highs and lows, but even during troughs, we can often reflect on something that has been stored in our minds with affection.

As usual your views and images will always be of great interest. And thanks.

A few memory joggers below.


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make you wonder what they used to paint the numbers on the car,
The numbers were self-stick vinyl in those days. You bought them pre-cut and peeled the backing off to reveal the glued surface.

Of course, if the surface you stuck them too was not clean, then the wind could lift them, and any fluttering could cause them to rip.
That's one of the 4 or 5 Maxi shells that I welded up in 1969.
It's welded up to look very much like a Mk1 Cortina to me. Have I missed something?
Trisha, I read in the moist recent biography of Dick Seaman, that there was a two-seater W125 built. i have no idea whether it was for publicity/marketing joy rides or serious engineering observations. Do you have any photos or info about it please. I have never come across any hint of such a car before.
Re Neubauer, I can't help thinking that Peter Ustinov would have been able to do an excellent impression!
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I had the good fortune to see Goldenrod when it was exhibited at the UK Hot Rod Nationals at Knebworth in 2002. It was accompanied by Bill Summers and it was great to speak with one of my heroes.

Looking at the cockpit I would not have wanted to sit in it even when stationary, let alone at 400 mph - claustrophibic or what! The steering wheel bolts on so it is impossible to get out without a spanner and some time.

The record they set is one of the longest unbroken in ANY sport. Bob Summers, the driver, lived on for many years until dying from natural causes.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Hood Automotive tire

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I always had a fascination with the tiddlers of the smaller capacity classes where seemingly impossible speeds were extracted from small engines. Here are a couple of classics.

The Pumpkin Seed
Vehicle Gas Bumper Electric blue Machine

and Wee Wee Eel
Automotive design Sportswear Walking shoe Athletic shoe Font

I agree that it's a pity we can't really use these cars as slot models in their proper environment as it would be a totally new challenge for all of us to see just how quick we could make them go. There would certainly be some spectacular pile ups in the process.
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I think that unless it was about 100 metres long, it would still be a dragstrip. The cars would have to reach their genuine maximum speed. I would relish the challenge though. Anyone with a very long shed (disused factory perhaps) that can be used?
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Thanks! That looked like a lot of fun and there were some fairly serious attempts. For info, 44.5 mph roughly equates to 38k on 2.7 to 1 gears with 26 mm diameter tyres.
Culled from a recent posting on FB, an excellent short film of Fangio in a Lancia D50 at Monaco in 1970 (sic).

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Nope, not circa. Sic as in "yes, that is not a mistake, it is exactly thus, as I write it".

The film was made over a decade after he retired.
Alan van der Merwe in the 3-litre Honda set a new record for a F1 car at Bonneville in 2006 with a top speed of 246mph (some sources say 248mph).

Whichever figure is accurate, it falls a long way short of speeds achieved by the Auto-Unions and Mercs before the War.
The classes run at Bonneville although somewhat impenetrable at first sight are in fact logical. The F1car and the pre war cars would have run in different classes, even if using the same sized engines. The ore war cars are “streamliners” which have enclosed bodies but the F1 car would be in the “lakester” class which has open wheels. Further the MB and AU’s ran “fuel” whereas the F1 car runs “gas”.
We are not therefore comparing like with like for straight line competition, even if all cars are notionally GP cars.
Give the F1 car to a hot rodder for a month or two and then see how it goes!
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I recall roughly 25 years ago that a 'hot-rodder' took his highly modified Gullwing to Bonneville. Its 3-litre engine was a real fire-breather that even included nitrous oxide.

To cut a long story short, his car managed 157mph, which is 2mph faster than a standard Gullwing fitted with the high-ratio final drive unit...
This is an interesting story which is revealed by Google searches. The car appears to be Marmite! From the reactions, folk either love it or hate it. Whichever, it certainly sounds good.

It is owned by Bob Sirna and was originally driven on the salt by John Fitch in 2004. Since then it has made several other visits in an attempt to get the class record of 173 mph. The final incarnation appears to have been with a Rousch prepared engine dyno'd at 427 bhp, so it should have gone well. The videos are very coy at either giving speeds, or why it didn't make them, although fuel pump problems were alluded to in one comment.

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I remember the Dinky one. It had a white flash on the bonnet so was presumably Swiss entered. Baron De Graffenried presumably?
Remarkable cars those Cisitalias. Nuvolari nearly won the 1947 Mille Miglia with an 1100cc one, a phenomenal performance. They finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall that year.
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Does the world really need cars as large as that?
No, but ego's do.

The vehicles are artificially high so that the occupants can look down on others. IIRC the first Citroen Picasso (a sort of minibus) had lockers for storage beneath the floor, to use up the otherwise wasted space.

So what are the advantages of increasing c of g height and frontal area?
I regard Nuvolari as the greatest of his generation.
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Re the P34 Tyrrell 6 wheeler, every time I read something these days about the car, there is a different reason proffered for it's design concept so the waters seem to be getting ever more muddied. IIRC at the time the stated idea was to get better aerodynamic penetration and airflow along the car with the same front contact patch area. Designers accepted that by the time the airflow reached the rear wheels it was very disturbed anyway, but this concept removed the turbulence created by the normal front wheels.

This was the same reasoning that left the engines exposed on the previous generation of cars, i.e. there was no point in carrying the extra weight of body panels as the air was already very disturbed behind the front wheels.

Now a theory is being peddled that it was to do with extra grip in the wet as the front pair of wheels cleared the way for the rear pair (of fronts) and the frontal area was the same as a conventional car - which is of course true, but frontal area alone is not directly proportional to drag. Drag is proportional to the product of frontal area and the drag coefficient. Reduction of the latter was the object of the exercise.

Will the real Derek Gardiner please stand up and tell us.
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The radial engined DHC3 Otter is still flying in Canada. Check the reg. on this one.

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