Tagged Racing

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Inside the 1955 Le Mans Tragedy

Inside the 1955 Le Mans Tragedy There were no sponsorship liveries on the 60 cars that started at Le Mans in 1955. Instead, they were adorned in the national racing colors of the countries that each represented: Rosso Corsa, Bleu de France, British Racing Green and German silver. As an endurance contest there was no…

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Austin-Healey NOJ 393

Notwithstanding its participation in the ill-fated race at Le Mans in 1955, NOJ 393 has an unparalleled provenance among Healey competition cars. It was constructed in 1953 as one of four Special Test Cars for use by the factory racing team and is one of only two that were later converted to 100S specification. NOJ…

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There Are Legends and Then There are Real Legends

Denise McCluggage definitely fits into the latter category. She was a legendary racer who competed against Phil Hill, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby and Juan Manuel Fangio. She won the GT class at Sebring running a Ferrari 250, won the Copa de Damas at the Grand Prix of Venezuela and the sedan class at the…

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Climbing Polish Mountain

Forget the Sound of Music. On the first weekend of August, the hills near Flintstone, Maryland were alive with the sound of competition cars on a 1.2-mile, nine turn, rural road up Polish Mountain. Fred and Barney must love the deep-throated sound of the Yamaha-powered D Sports Racers, the Mustangs and Camaros, Mazdas and even…

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The Chariots of Canada

Roger Hamel of Le Club Austin Healey du Québec called. Would I like to participate in the Candian Grand Prix’s F1 Pilot’s Parade and watch the race? He then emailed a picture of his wife, Lise’s, 100-6—the car I’d be driving. The gears in my brain slipped into overdrive. I’m a huge F1 fan, so…

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Nurburgring Novice

At the end of August 1961, John Whitmore had been racing in Denmark at the Roskilde Ring, doing battle with the work’s Saabs. He and Eoin Young then hurried down motorways to arrive in Germany at Adenau, performing a handbrake turn in the car park to celebrate a non-stop marathon. John and I were to…

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Drive Like a Girl

I had no idea that the young girls of the post-World War II era dreamed of becoming race car drivers. Certainly a pony might appear in their hopeful plans for the future, and many of them took part very successfully in show jumping and cross-country events—Pat Moss included. But driving ambitions came as naturally to many…

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To Race the Alps

The Legacy of Yesterday’s Mountain Climbers I sometimes wonder if the British cars that we collect, restore and love so much still carry with them the legacy of the rallies and races in the 1950s and sixties. Back in those Golden Days of motor sport, the cars not only had to look the same as…

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Driving Jenson Button

A World Champion gets his first Healey ride. A dark sky, rain threatening; early Sunday morning 18 June, 2000, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, site of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada. “Follow the course marshal’s instructions and DON’T SCREW UP! We’ll be in front of tens of thousands of people and…

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Number 79

The classified add read: “FOR SALE: ’61 Sprite, partially race-prepared, Engine rebuilt – $300. SW 4-1622 days till 7:00 pm.” We drove to Tom’s ABC Auto Service and there it was, a Cherry Red, H Production Bugeye Sprite with roll-bar, open exhaust, no windshield or front bumper.  Too boot, it was a “Sebring Sprite” with…

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