So Tycho just got back from the amazing Taico Festival [yes, really] in Nagano, and on our off day in Tokyo I had the pleasure of visiting the Tower Records book store in Shibuya. I cannot stress enough, this place was coffeetable book PARADISE, I walked out of there with slight buyers remorse, that is, until the flight back when the “in flight entertainment” consisted of endless episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. I digress. Although they didn’t have the one i’ve been looking for for years, Part 1, they did have this second volume of Honda Design drawings from the mid eighties throughout the 2000′s. In this post I featured just a few of the exquisite hand-drawn mockups of some timeless Honda machines.
Just got my CB360 on the road yesterday [with rebuilt Mikuni carbs and CB750 forks], so this seemed like a fitting post for the weekend as I gear up to blast around the Berkshires. Enjoy!
[Published by Dainippon Kaiga, ISBN 978-4-499-32107-7]
Just a few photos of the very awesome Renault Sport livery used prominently from the late 70′s throughout the mid 80′s. Renault Sport works teams have alternated between a few color schemes over the past 40 years, but the classic black/yellow with isometric accents towards the aft has always been my favorite. While Renault officially exited F1 with the debut of Team Lotus, it was nice seeing the vintage livery on the grid for a few seasons. With so many heinous paint jobs these days, it was a bummer to see it go. Be sure to check out the YouTube clip for some very casual conversations in French at 200+ mph. More after the jump. Continue reading →
Ahhh, spring is here. So we head to the Continent for some of the best racing of the year. Its name has changed over the years, but the format has largely remained the same: fields of 40+ cars of varying classes (and relative speeds) going as fast as possible for irresponsible amounts of time on extremely long, dangerous tracks. Spa Francorchamps, the Nürburgring, Circuit de la Sarthe, Monza, all european locales known for high average speeds and hosting these prestigious 24 hour (or sometimes 1000km) events. After the jump is a collection of some of my favorite images from the late 50′s through the 1970′s, as well as a short video of the 1971 ADAC Nürburgring 1000km to give you a sense of the scope and speed of the old event. Continue reading →
Testing for the 2013 Formula 1 season began earlier this morning at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain. This is a stable year in terms of regulations, not much has changed since 2012. This [should] mean a closer field and some desperate development avenues for the Big 5. Red Bull is [still] clearly the team to beat coming of of their 3rd straight Constructors Championship & WDC after a down-to-the-wire finish at Interlagos in Brazil.
The offseason proved to be the biggest driver shakeup in recent memory, the most sizable of which was Lewis Hamilton making a shock exit at McLaren and forcing Michael Schumacher at Mercedes into his 2nd [and hopefully final] retirement. This inevitably caused a ripple effect to many of the teams and drivers below scrambling to fill – and find – seats, and left one of my favorite drivers on the grid, Kamui Kobayashi, hung out to dry sadly. How all the big money in Japan let this happen, I don’t know. Hope to see him back next year, maybe with a Honda sticker on his helmet.
With some interesting packaging choices and a new Pirelli tire, I’m personally hugely anxious to see how everyone’s form fares over the next few weeks. All teams will be in attendance, the only caveat being that Williams will be running their 2012 spec car in order to finish preseason preperations in time for the next test in Barcelona. Missing from the grid this year is perennial backmarker HRT who folded at the conclusion of last season. Rumour has it that some idiots here stateside are looking to buy in, however, and if that’s truly the case I’ve got a bridge to sell them as well…
Check out all the 2013 challengers after the jump.
I usually like to present these posts in a factual tone, but it’s hard for me to be impartial when talking about [the original] DTM. Nowadays they run silhouette cars – merely skinned to resemble production vehicles [ie NASCAR]. Back then, the M3 you bought at the dealer was basically what these guys ran, and the series spawned a lot of my favorite cars. Seeing pictures of the 190e with all four wheels off the tarmac really rustles my jimmies. Enjoy!
As busy as we are recording & preparing for the Tycho shows coming up, Dakar is celebrating it’s birthday this week and I didn’t want to miss out. Here is some great imagery captured in the 34 years since the rally raid’s inception.
Starting in 1966, Can-Am was an idealistic series conceived by the SCCA and its Canadian counterpart, CASC. Running under FIA Group 7 rules, it was as open as a series could get, essentially a formula libre format with the chassis weight and horsepower being, for all intents and purposes, unlimited. If the the tires weren’t exposed and it had 2 seats, you could race it. It was popular among drivers and enthusiasts, the likes of Keke Rosberg, Gilles Villeneuve, and even Paul Newman being regulars at the meets.
While this format led to some interesting technological developments and some truly oddball designs, it also opened the door to the inevitable: 1,000+HP engines bolted to cars that proved to be as unsafe as they were powerful. Lola & McLaren dominated the front 9 of the first era, the latter half saw the introduction and subsequent perfection of the Porsche 917, which nearly spelled the end of the series as they were unbeatable by non-works sponsored teams.
Some notable offspring of the early Can-Am years included heavy experimentation with aerodynamics and downforce, particularly Jim Hall’s Chaparral cars. The 2J, or “sucker car” [seen above in b&w bearing the number 66] used a series of skirts and a small 2 stroke engine which powered 2 fans aft of the vehicle. This combination of parts cobbled together [on what I feel is one of the ugliest race cars ever produced] created a unique type of ground effect, one which didn’t require moving air over the car, meaning that downforce in excess of 1.5g could be accomplished at any speed. When it was actually working, it qualified 2 seconds faster than the closest car, and was quickly banned.
The late 1970′s saw the waning series combined with then thriving Formula 5000 category, allowing teams to convert single-seat, open wheeled tubs into closed-wheel sports cars. While less popular in the long run, it encouraged many more teams to compete and led to a truly unique chapter of motorsport, as well as some really good looking cars. This modest resurgence continued until the dominance IMSA/Camel & CART took over as the format of choice in the 80′s.