On this day, May 27, Le Mans 24 hour endurance racing was started in 1923, exactly Ninety years. Le Mans has seen the rise and fall of many champions, amazing successes, dismal failures, tragedy. Many races have taken place in … Continue reading →
Automobiles have been around for a little over a hundred years, I hope they stay with us for another hundred at least. Cars today are most likely better than those of the early 1900’s. But what about the 50’s and 60’s? A lot of people are into that specific time period as styling for cars back then is arguably better than those today. Racing history was at its best, you had all these beautiful cars. The DBR1, the 250 Testa Rossa, the 300 SLR, the Shelby Daytona Coupe, the GT40, the Jaguar D-Type and the E-Type (there was a lightweight version for racing). As I said, some of the best cars that you could think of. Beyond racing you had the 300SL, the BMW 507 (one of the most beautiful cars ever made), Aston Martin DB5, the Corvette,
Ferrari 250 California, the Lambo Muira, you had Austin Healey’s, pretty much the coolest cars around. Of course you have cool cars today, but I am not quite sure they could even match the charm of the cars of the 60’s.
Carroll Shelby died last year at the age of 89. He is known for his work with the AC Cobra and the his company that tunes Ford Mustangs and sells performance parts. He had many racing car successes, one of which was the Shelby Daytona Coupe. It was bred to be an auto racer, and accomplished it’s goal with 10 wins at 24 hour races like Le mans, Sebring and Daytona. It also set 23 land speed records at Bonneville. All of this was accomplished between 1964 and 1965. Only six chassises were built. Along with the Ford GT40, America had beat Enzo Ferrari at Le mans, something that would go down in history no doubt. In 2004, a concept called the GR-1 was developed by Ford and bears a resemblance to the Shelby Daytona. “Yesterday’s History, Tomorrow is a mystery, so live for today,” says Carroll Shelby. GR-1
I know that I just put the 507 as the pic of the week, but I just feeling liking writing a post about it. I’m a huge BMW fan and I absolutely adore this car. I just love this car because its post-war but still has the old authentic feel just looking at it through photos. Sure it’ll cost you 300k and up but what I would do is send it to BMW Classic and have it restored. If you’ve ever seen anything about BMW Classic you’ll know that they can modify and even put an “M sport” package even if there wasn’t necessarily one the year your car was made. My ideal way of obtaining this car would be to find it a barn because I’d being doing the noblest thing a car enthusiast could do, save a piece of automotive history. I love how its overshadowed by the Benz 300SL, it makes it more appealing because it’s rare and everyone would rather have the Merc, except me. It’s just such a beautiful car this. It just seems like a car you wouldn’t see everyday, or once in a lifetime. Only 252 examples were made and sadly it almost sent BMW to bankruptcy. One of my favorite bits is that each one that had a hardtop had it hand made to the car so one hardtop only fit one car. It was designed my Albrecht von Goertz who was a freelance designer who had been in contact with Raymond Loewy a famous designer of the period. Loewy encouraged Goertz to be a designer and he ended up designing the 507 for BMW.
Half a century, five decades, 50 years, whatever way you put it, it’s a long time. This milestone represents a dedication to an industry, people constantly innovating and pushing to make their product the best it can be. Over time, automakers make more cars, expand, get more experience under their belts, hit highs and lows, look towards the future, and glance back at the past, and soon enough an anniversary comes along. Maybe it’s just 10 years, or 20, they get to 40 and so on. 50 is half of 100 so it makes this year sort of special. In 1963, 50 years ago, the German company Porsche developed the 911. The car the most well known for. South of there, in Italy the fiery and frenzied passion that is Lamborghini was forming. To briefly explain how Lamborghini was founded (more details in my Lambo vs Ferrari post), a successful business man by the name of Ferruccio Lamborghini had a love for cars and bought a Ferrari. He fell in love with it and with only one complaint, there was a clutch malfunction. He went to Enzo Ferrari to see if they could solve it and was insulted by Ferrari. From that point on he had decided to develop a proper sports car.
So, all I really have to say is how much I think both the 911 and Lamborghini have improved. The 911 is in my opinion a great looking car with a bright future; it’s got an engine, a flat six a.k.a. a boxer, that only a few car companies use, it’s fuel efficient, it’s loaded with technology, what more could you ask for? Lamborghini had become an amazing company known for it’s crazy cars with their radical styling and impressive performance. In essence, two extraordinary things have hit the 50 year mark. The 911 and Lamborghini have made it half a century and in good health, they might as well stick around for another 50.