After a three-decade absence, Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

After a three-decade absence, Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

Automaker Alfa Romeo has a long and storied history in Grand Prix and Formula 1 racing, dating back to the 1920s. The last time the Alfa Romeo name graced a Formula 1 car in any manner was 1987, when it supplied the turbocharged 890T engine to the Osella team. But, in 2018, the Italian automaker and FCA brand becomes a title sponsor of the Switzerland-based Sauber team, now renamed the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

The recently announced agreement includes “strategic, commercial, and technological cooperation” between Alfa Romeo and Sauber, but does not include engines (or, more correctly, “power units” since they also include an electric motor) branded with the Alfa Romeo name. Instead, Sauber will equip its 2018 chassis with current-year Ferrari F1 power units, an improvement over the 2017 season that saw the Swiss team equipped with year-old Ferrari engines.

Following World War I, Grand Prix racing returned to Europe in 1920, and during an abbreviated season of just two races, Alfa Romeo scored a victory at the Mugello Circuit with driver Giuseppe Campari. Campari and Alfa Romeo won again at Mugello in 1921, but the brand was absent the following season. From 1923-’25, Alfa Romeo was a force to be reckoned with in Grand Prix racing, posting three wins in 1924, six wins in 1924, and capturing the first World Manufacturer’s Championship in 1925 with the legendary P2.

Alfa Romeo P2

Alfa Romeo P2, circa 1925. Photo courtesy FCA.

The next few years saw the rise of Bugatti and Delage, but Alfa Romeo returned to its winning ways in 1929. Alfa Corse, the Alfa Romeo works team, took championships in 1931 and 1932 (with driver Tazio Nuvolari), and, in 1933, Alfa Romeos proved victorious in 19 of the season’s 38 events. Proving this was no fluke, Alfa Romeos earned another 18 wins in 35 races during the 1934 Grand Prix season, fielded by privateer teams (like Enzo Ferrari’s Scuderia Ferrari) since the Italian automaker no longer ran a works squad. Change was on the horizon, though, and Germany’s “Silver Arrows,” the cars of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union, would capture every remaining championship in the prewar years.

Alfa Romeo P2

The P2’s 2.0-liter straight-eight, rated at 155 horsepower in 1925.

When Grand Prix racing resumed in Europe following World War II, Alfa Romeo was again a competitor. In 1946, Alfa Romeo and Maserati were the manufacturers to beat, but in 1947 Alfa Romeo dominated, winning three of the four Grandes Épreuves races and 10 other Grands Prix.

The Formula 1 World Championship debuted in 1950, and the Alfa Corse squad utterly dominated the competition, winning every race entered and, according to Roger Smith’s Formula 1: All the Races, leading all but seven laps of the entire F1 season.  The following season saw Alfa Corse repeat and Juan Manuel Fangio, the team’s star driver, earn his first World Championship, but Ferrari was proving ever more difficult to beat. Without money to design an all-new chassis for 1952, Alfa Romeo withdrew from Formula 1 racing.

Alfa Romeo 159

The 1951 Alfa Romeo 159, a design that dated to the prewar years. Photo by Lennart Coopmans.

Though Alfa Romeo would supply engines to a handful of F1 privateer teams in the 1960s and 1970s, it wouldn’t plunge feet-first back into the sport until 1979, when Autodelta appeared as an Alfa Romeo works team to contest five of the season’s 15 races. Reliability of the all-new V-12 proved to be an issue, with Autodelta drivers Bruno Giacomelli and Vittorio Brambilla finishing just two races in six starts. Improvements were incremental in the ever-changing sport, and after scoring just 50 championship points in seven years, Alfa Romeo again departed the series in 1985, providing engines for the perpetually underfunded Osella team through the 1988 season.

Technically, these were only branded as Alfa Romeo engines through the 1987 season. Reliability of the Alfa Romeo 890T engine, a turbocharged, 1.5-liter V-8 screamer, proved problematic during the 1986 season—with 29 early retirements in 40 starts—but positively nightmarish during 1987. In 17 starts among three team drivers, cars were retired prematurely in all events, though driver Alex Caffi was scored in 12th place at the San Marino Grand Prix after covering over 90 percent of the race distance. Seeking to avoid any further negative publicity, Alfa Romeo agreed to supply engines to Osella for 1988 on the condition that these were branded as Osella V-8s.

Alfa Romeo 177

The Alfa Romeo 177, raced during the 1979 F1 season. Photo by

Alfa Romeo’s return to F1 in 2018 is under much better circumstances. Though Sauber finished last in the championship standings in 2017, the team was limited by the performance of a year-old Ferrari power unit, an obstacle that won’t be faced in 2018. Of the multi-year agreement, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said,

This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years. The brand itself will also benefit from the sharing of technology and strategic know-how with a partner of the Sauber F1 Team’s undisputed experience. The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 Team. At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history.”

Charles Leclerc (L) and Marcus Ericsson pose with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team’s latest car and livery. Photo courtesy Alfa Romeo Sauber F1.

Drivers Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc will race for Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 during the 2018 season, which opens on March 25 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.



Hemmings Find of the Day – 1971 Ford Ranchero

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1971 Ford Ranchero

Restomodded 1971 Ford Ranchero for sale on From the seller’s description:

This 1971 Ranchero GT-500 is completely restored, updated and modernized. It has all the power under the hood you will ever need and more, yet with the updated suspension and fuel injection it is a breeze for anyone to drive. Creature comforts in the all-black interior include AC and heat, CD stereo system, LED lighting, velour seats and a new modern digital dashboard.

This car features gorgeous pearl orange paint, elegant brushed nickle trim, and a beautiful wood bed liner inside its orange rhino-lined trunk. Additional details such as custom LED tail lights, a “Ranchero” engraved gas cap, and a Daytona chin spoiler set this vehicle apart.


Professionally Built 1971 351 Cleveland, bored .030 over
Crank and rods shot peened and balanced
Keith Black Forged Pistons and Rings
Comp’s Roller Cam and Valve Train
Aussie Heads fitted with Manly Valves
New March Pulley Serpentine Kit
MSD Atomic Electronic Fuel Injection and Ignition System
New Billet Rail Valve Covers
New Edelbrock Intake
New Spectre Air Cleaner
New “Be Cool” Aluminum Radiator
New Chrome Coolant Overflow Tank
New Dual Electric Fans
Brand New Optima or Conventional Battery – Your Choice


Professionally Rebuilt C4 Transmission built with 2500 B&M Stall Converter
Stage II B&M Shift Kit
9” Rear End fitted with 3.73 Gears with Auburn Gear Posi Unit

EXHAUST – All New:

Pace Performance Ceramic Coated Headers
2 1/2” Stainless Dual Exhaust
40-Series Flowmaster Mufflers & Tail Pipes


PST Performance Polygraphite Front Suspension
PST Performance Solid Steel Tie Rod Sleeves
PST Performance Front Sway Bar
Chris Alston Chassis Works Front Coil Over Kit
9-Way Adjustable Viking Coil Overs
Corvette Remote Reservoir and Power Steering System
Graphite Rear Bushings
PST Performance Rear Springs and Heavy Duty Shocks
Baer SS4+ 11” Front and Rear Disk Brakes

WHEELS – All New:

Rocket Racing Velocity 17X7 Front and 17X8 Rear
Front Tires Federal 225-45-17
Rear Tires Federal 245-25-17


New Dashboard Pad
Grant Steering Wheel
Dakota Digital Instruments Digital Dash
Custom Center Console with 7” LCD Back-Up Camera
B&M Ratchet Shifter w/ Twisted Shifters Custom Orange Shift Knob
New Door Panels & Billet Aluminum Window Cranks
New Pro Car 90 Series Velour Seats
New Heater and Updated Factory AC


Marker Lights Removed
Car has been cleaned up and de-badged
New Rear Quarter Panels
02 Honda Goldwing Sunburst Pearl Orange Paint with Flat Black Accents
New Curly Maple Bed Wood Kit
Orange Rhino-Liner in Bed
All trim and bumpers are hand-brushed nickel plated
New Custom LED Tail Lights with Backup Lights
New Daytona Chin Spoiler
1970 Cobra Grill



Location Marker

Centerville, Washington

Magnifying Glass


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He wasn’t fast: the legend of Prince Valiant

He wasn’t fast: the legend of Prince Valiant

Photos by the author except where noted.

[Editor’s Note: Jim Van Orden, of Richardson, Texas, has owned 23 cars, and the one he considers best of them all, a 1965 Plymouth Valiant 100, he dubbed “Prince.” This week, Jim relates what made Prince so special.]

Talk about “Plain Jane” cars.

The 1965 Plymouth Valiant 100 I bought for $500 in 1969 was about as basic as they come. No fins, portholes, hood ornaments, wire wheels, “bullet” grills/bumpers, white-wall tires, two-tone paint jobs or chrome strips adorned “Prince,” the car’s nickname.

Being a lowly “100” model, “Prince” was the cheapest, most basic and under-powered economy car in Chrysler’s line-up…and perhaps among all American cars that year. If he had been the “200” model he would have had chrome strips on rear fenders, red insignia on the grill and trunk lid, and two side mirrors (instead of just one on the driver’s side).

But to beat competitors’ prices, the automaker needed a stripped-down model dealers could sell for under $2,000. And strip it down they did. The seats had barely an inch of foam rubber on top of tiny springs covered in cheap, thin and dull-looking cloth—usually a metallic blue color—that reminded me of fabric used on inexpensive lawn chairs.

This is a “luxury” 1965 Valiant “200” dashboard with steering wheel horn ring. My “100” model had only one option: a radio with speaker on top of the dashboard. Photo by Jeff Koch.

Forget about “bucket” front seats or reclining seatbacks. A manually operated “bench” seat that slid back and forth when you pulled a lever was standard, as was a heater. Instead of carpet, the “100” model had a black, industrial looking rubber floor covering with no insulation or padding.

That was it…there were no other standard features. You paid extra for the AM radio (no FM or stereo) and its single speaker. The latter was mounted under the front window, the worst possible place because water blew through open vent windows and dripped down the plastic cover, making the radio sound like it had laryngitis. I was grateful for the vent windows, however, which could be turned to direct air into my face…much needed in a non-air conditioned car.

Mechanically, “Prince” was as simple a car as could be manufactured. There was no power anything, especially items that made driving easier such as power steering and brakes. In a day when 400 horsepower muscle cars prevailed, the Valiant’s 170-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine produced a measly 101 horsepower. I guess Chrysler decided no one would steal the car as no alarm system was offered.

Unlike today’s eight- and ten-speed automatic transmissions, the Valiant had a three-speed manual gearbox—the same one installed in Plymouths since the 1940s—with shift lever on the steering column. There was no synchromesh on first gear, so you came to a stop to downshift into low. Overdrive for relaxed, high-speed driving wasn’t available.

You rolled windows up or down (the rear windows only went halfway) with eight full turns of door-mounted hand cranks. Doors were locked by pushing a knob near each window. The side- and rear-view mirrors were adjusted manually, too.

Simple dashboard knobs you pushed or pulled controlled exterior lights and heater/ventilation functions. Your left foot depressed a floor-mounted button to activate high beams. The horn, a feeble, monotone “C note,” tooted when you pushed a big button in the steering wheel’s center. Not having a clock didn’t concern me.

“Prince’s” 170-cubic-inch, 101-horsepower slant-six engine was economical and simple to maintain. I could do everything myself, from rebuilding the carb to changing the points and spark plugs. Photo by Terry Shea.

What the car lacked in fancy design cues found on many 1960s vehicles it made up with clean, unadulterated and functional lines. Some called its design “bland.” I thought its smooth, straight form made a statement. The car didn’t need chrome to look good. It was an “Andy Warhol look” the artist would have appreciated.

Unlike most cars that year, it had two—not four—headlights. Back-up lights were an option and didn’t adorn “Prince’s” simple, single-bulb taillights. Two-speed windshield wipers—not the “variable-speed” units found on today’s cars—did an admirable job of shedding rain and snow, but didn’t retract to hide in hood recesses.

The little car that could
Thirteen years of driving “Prince” proved he was far better than previous cars at navigating snow and ice. It was a combination of factors. Studded snow tires, illegal today, gave the car excellent grip. A 50/50 weight distribution between front and rear ensured well-balanced, stable handling when the car slid or swerved. Skinny tires tracked through deep snow with ease compared to wider, high-performance versions.

“Prince” had good traction in snow and ice and was easy and inexpensive to maintain. The car averaged about 21 miles-per-gallon and only needed one clutch replacement during 160,000 miles.

Speaking of tires, over the years I only wore out two sets of new 13-inch black-walls, each set lasting about 60,000 miles and costing less than $100. Never requiring balancing, I rotated them myself and seldom had flats. A damaged steel wheel, the result of hitting highway debris, cost $12 to replace after a junkyard visit.

“Prince” was easy and inexpensive to maintain, too. I learned how to service the “slant-six” engine years before when working on my wife’s 1961 Valiant.

Everything could be fixed with basic tools. I regularly changed spark plugs and wires, installed new points and condensers, replaced or rebuilt carburetors, flushed radiator coolant, changed oil and filters, installed batteries—the car wore out only two, each costing $25—and replaced a couple of fan belts. The car went through one four-dollar headlight and two one-dollar taillight bulbs, all of which I replaced myself.

Unlike today’s computer-controlled engines that require technicians to master electronic devices, codes and software programs, the engine could be tuned to perfection “by ear.” After loosening a bolt on the distributor, I slowly turned it to advance or retard the timing. Leaning close, my ear told me precisely when I achieved the engine’s “sweet spot.” The sound was unmistakable: valves and exhaust quieted and the engine purred.

My wife’s first-generation 1961 Plymouth Valiant had the same mechanical features as “Prince.” The two cars were outstanding in every way and simple to maintain.

Utterly dependable, “Prince” hauled me and my family everywhere…to work, schools, shopping, Brownie and Girl Scout expeditions, vacations and weekend visits with family members. Each Saturday saw my daughters buy chewing gum in a drug store. Thanks to their non-stop chewing of the strawberry-flavored gum, “Prince” forever smelled like a candy factory.

Other odors added to the car’s interior “patina” such as engine oil dripping from the valve cover, gasoline leaking from a rebuilt carburetor’s gasket, anti-freeze bypassing a worn head gasket, seat covers saturated with years of spilled food—mustard, catchup, milkshakes and pizza—and sweat from the owner, a runner and bicyclist who stored shoes, socks and shorts in the trunk.

Cars die of cancer, too
Dented beyond repair, window glass shattered, “Prince’s” driver-side door was a mess.

“The man slammed into me and I couldn’t avoid him,” my wife explained as I surveyed the damage. It wasn’t her fault and I was grateful she had no injuries. As I would discover, the damage was inexpensive to repair…but hard to fix.

“How much do you want for that door?” I asked the junkyard’s proprietor.

“That’ll cost you $25,” he said.

“Too much,” I responded. “It’s red, my car is white and the panel is torn. Will you take $15?”

If you ever lift a car door, get help. Good thing my father was with me because we both struggled to lift it. How could a car door be so heavy, I wondered? The thing weighed more than 100 pounds.

Daughters Tori (left) and Jenne filled “Prince” on Saturdays with the powerful aroma of “Bubblicious” gum. They played in the backseat with Barbie dolls.

It was easy to remove “Prince’s” old door, which Dad and I accomplished in 15 minutes in his driveway. Four bolts held it on heavy-duty hinges. But lifting and positioning the junkyard door took 60 minutes of back-breaking, knuckle-busting torture. Once we got the alignment right, the door opened and closed perfectly. I replaced the panel, as well as door and window handles, with “Prince’s” original equipment. A few coats of primer and white paint finished the job.

Total cost: about $20 and two hours of effort. Imagine doing that today. Depending on make and model, a dealer-installed door can run more than $1,000…and the cost goes up dramatically if the door has tinted glass, speakers and power devices such as locks, windows and mirrors.

Other do-it-yourself repairs were equally inexpensive, such as installing a $40 radiator, rebuilding the carburetor using a $5 kit, and replacing the heater core with a $20 unit. The only major repair I couldn’t do myself was a $100 clutch replacement.

Despite Chrysler’s claims that its “Seven Soak Rustproofing” provided “lifetime” protection, every model had major rust problems. Little pockets in the lower edges of quarter panels and other locations collected water.

I knew something was wrong as I drove home from work and my right foot suddenly dropped through the floorboard…only inches from the road. A gap the size of a bowling ball opened. Using skills learned in high school shop, I patched the opening by applying a wire screen and layers of “bondo.” Close examination of “Prince’s” metal revealed several other rust holes.

“It’s bondo time,” I reminded myself each spring. Cans of metal primer and white paint, along with a fine-hair brush, were all I needed to restore “Prince” and make him look presentable. I got so good at sanding and painting the bondo-filled holes that the car sparkled like new…as long as you stood more than ten feet away.

But time was running out for “Prince.” Rust popped up everywhere. Now there were ever-widening holes on the fender tops and inside the trunk.

Mechanically, “Prince” was in fine shape and his engine and transmission still operated flawlessly. This was hardly a surprise. Fleet- and taxi-operators reported the same engine/transmission delivered more than 400,000 miles of service before needing an overhaul.

It was time to sell “Prince”…but who would buy a 17-year-old, rusted-out car with 160,000 miles on the odometer?

Then I learned my brother’s daughter needed a car. I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse and sold “Prince” for one dollar. Deal consummated, I was sad as I watched my niece—a big smile on her face—back “Prince” out of our driveway. “Prince” looked good. White paint hid rust. The old “slant-six” purred. But he was gone from my life.

What I miss most
There are so many “intangibles” in life.

Each of the 23 cars I’ve owned was very special. It’s hard to say why “Prince” was my favorite. I guess he had lots of intangible qualities that gave him “personality.” He wasn’t the most economical. Several cars delivered as much as 36 miles-per-gallon. He wasn’t fast. In fact, he may have been one of the slowest. He didn’t corner or stop as well as most, either.

Although he was commodious inside, several cars had larger passenger space and could carry more suitcases in the trunk. His “Plain Jane” styling made him the least stylish among cars with fins, rakish fenders and hoods, chrome wheels and convertible tops.

But it was what “Prince” didn’t have that made me appreciate him. Computers didn’t control his engine and transmission, or any of his functions. Everything was manually operated…windows, seats, doors, radio, heater…you name it. Which meant everything was easy to operate and inexpensive to repair.

Look under today’s car hoods and all you see is a plastic shroud covering the engine. You’re not supposed to do engine work. That’s for your dealer’s expensive mechanics. Do anything yourself and you might void the warranty.

Years later, I drove from New Jersey to Dallas to start a new job. On the way, I stopped in Blacksburg, VA, to visit my niece and her husband. After dinner, I asked if they still owned “Prince.”

Taking me outside, we walked to a remote corner of their driveway. There, parked in partial darkness, was the car that played such an important role in my life for so many years. “Prince” wasn’t operating now and I could see rust everywhere on his decaying carcass. Powerful memories flooded my mind.

Before departing, I quietly said goodbye to the “best car I ever owned.”


Hemmings Find of the Day – 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

1969 Plymouth Road Runner

From the seller’s description:

1969 Plymouth Road Runner. RM21H9A235823. Matching number 383 Magnum engine (E63) with 727 automatic transmission (D32). Odometer reads 12,118 (true mileage cannot be verified). Equipped with power steering, manual drum brakes and no air conditioner. The Fender Tag is intact. Built March 07, 1969 at Lynch Road, Michigan plant. Bright Red exterior (R4) with black vinyl bench seat interior (M2X). The paint is driver quality, has a good shine. The interior is in good condition – no rips / tears or flaws. Vinyl top looks good. The body is straight and only has a couple minor rust issues underneath – nothing major, 2 very small areas in rear floor area. The engine runs great, transmission shifts smooth, brakes stop fine and the car rides and drives good. The 15″ wheels are new and the white-letter radial tires are brand new as well.

1969 Plymouth Road Runner 1969 Plymouth Road Runner 1969 Plymouth Road Runner 1969 Plymouth Road Runner



Location Marker

Sherman, Texas

Magnifying Glass


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Four-Links – flathead flyer, Beechcraft’s Plainsman, turbine bike, Crosley’s discs

Four-Links – flathead flyer, Beechcraft’s Plainsman, turbine bike, Crosley’s discs

Ford’s purchase of Stout led to a number of innovations, perhaps the least known until now was the experimental 15P, a tailless plane powered by an aluminum version of the Ford flathead V-8. The Jalopy Journal this week had the story on the one and only example built.

* If we dig through our bookmarks and archives a bit, we find an example of the 15P’s opposite: a prototype car built by a plane company. In this case, it’s the Beechcraft Plainsman, a gas-electric hybrid proposed in 1946. Torch at Jalopnik had an article on it, and we covered the car in Special Interest Autos.

* How about just an aircraft engine in a ground-based vehicle? Engine Swap Depot has us covered with a custom-built motorcycle powered by a Rolls-Royce turbine sourced from a Bell helicopter.

* Okay, how about aircraft parts used in production vehicles? Then there’s the Goodyear-Hawley disc brakes used in the 1949 Crosley, the first instance of spot disc brake use in an assembly line automobile.

* And, of course, we can’t do an aircraft-themed Four-Links without a mention of a flying car, so let’s watch Mizar’s pitch for its ill-fated flying Pinto.


Recommended Reading – Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir

Recommended Reading – Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir

Bookstore shelves are filled with volumes about muscle cars and the muscle-car era, but how many were written by someone who spent their entire life driving the cars, building them, and writing about them? Penned by long-time auto journalist—and partner in Baldwin-Motion—Martyn Schorr, Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir is a new release from Motorbooks that gives a behind-the-curtain look at a wide variety of American muscle cars built between 1962 and 1974.

Bill Mitchell piloting the Baldwin-Motion 427 Camaro. Photo by Martyn Schorr.

While the usual candidates are represented, there’s plenty of detail on cars that others may have overlooked. Schorr describes what it was like to drive the Chrysler turbine car at its press introduction; sample the Chrysler “Street Hemi” a year before its debut; drive a dual-engine, four-wheel drive Oldsmobile Toronado; pilot a Cotton Owens-prepared Hemi Coronet; and get behind the wheel of a 427 “Cammer” Ford Galaxie prototype.

One of about a dozen lightweight ’62 Galaxies with dual quad 406 engines built by Ford to run in NHRA A/FX at the Indy Nationals. Photo courtesy Factory Lightweight Collection.

Both street and racing cars are covered in Day One’s pages, and Schorr illustrates that cars of the era often went fast in more than just a straight line. There are bits on several Trans Am cars, including Mark Donohue’s 1971 AMC Javelin, George Follmer’s Boss 302 Mustang, Sam Posey’s Dodge Challenger, and an in-depth look at the genesis of Chevy’s Z/28, developed specifically for SCCA road racing.

A 304-inch destroked 360 AMC engine powered Donohue’s ’71 Javelin to win the 1971 Trans-Am crown for AMC. It was actually his ’70 Penske Javelin rebodied for the new season. Photo by M.M. “Mike” Matune Jr.

Baldwin-Motion receives coverage, but so do other famous tuners of the day, like Royal Pontiac and Yenko Chevrolet. Still, the most interesting parts of the book might well be the builds carried out for the various titles that Schorr wrote for over the years. Want to know about his former daily driver, an under-the-radar 1973 Oldsmobile Salon stuffed full of W30 V-8 built by Oldsmobile Engineering, or the never-was 1973 Super-Duty 455 GTO, or the 390 Super Javelin built for a Hi-Performance CARS project? The stories are between the covers.

Stunning examples of Yenko/SC ’69 Camaro and Chevelle, built on 427 COPO models, and the ’70 Nova 350/360 COPO Deuce, marketed exclusively by Yenko. Photo courtesy Mark Hassett/Bob McClurg

The hardbound Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir runs 208 pages and is filled with period photography (much of it from Schorr’s archives), in black and white and color. The foreword was written by the late Joe Oldham, a columnist for Hemmings Muscle Machines and a long-time friend of the author, and his closing paragraph should be reason enough to include the book on your shelf:

This book continues Marty’s philosophy of pleasing the reader. I think you’ll find some of the best stories about some of the most fascinating muscle cars Marty encountered in his years as an editor. And all with a New York attitude.”

Henry Ford II’s younger brother Benson drove the highly modified Mustang to pace the 1964 Indy 500. It was capable of speeds up to 140 miles per hour. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir carries a list price of $45.00 and is available at your favorite book retailer, or directly from QuartoKnows.


Hemmings Find of the Day – 1970 Datsun 510

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1970 Datsun 510

Unmodified 1970 Datsun 510 for sale on From the seller’s description:

Cosmetically restored and mechanically refreshed, with a believed sub-45,000 mileage on the original, numbers matching L16 engine. 4 speed manual transmission from a 240Z.

The car has had a recent and professional windows-out repaint in Spanish Red. The car has no visible rust (none on the floors, if you know 510’s you know how great that is!) and any that it had (lower front fenders, small amount in the rear quarter panel) has been filled with metal and skim coated. The body looks as great as it would have in 1970. All chrome was redone, all stainless was poilished, all new rubber throughout the car.

The interior was redone in the original black vinyl style, with original datsun mats. The interior is a nice and comfy place to be!

Engine was removed, and all external seals were relaced, with new components such as water pump, alternator, wiring, hoses. the car runs great with a rebuilt original carburator, but would benefit for a bolt on Weber 32/36 if I were to keep the car.

Brand new tires on refinished wheels, with polished and pinstriped original hubcaps.



Location Marker

salt lake city, Utah

Magnifying Glass


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Driven by Phil Hill, the first Jaguar C-Type to win a race in the U.S. heads to auction

Driven by Phil Hill, the first Jaguar C-Type to win a race in the U.S. heads to auction

1952 Jaguar C-Type

1952 Jaguar C-Type, chassis XKC 007. Photos by Ryan Merrill, courtesy RM Sotheby’s.

Jaguar’s C-Type had already claimed victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans by the time Phil Hill drove a different car—chassis XKC 007, the first C-Type imported into the United States—to victory at a race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The September 1952 win for owner (and Los Angeles Jaguar importer) Chuck Hornberg was the first victory for a C-Type in the United States, and on December 6, XKC 007 heads to auction at RM Sotheby’s ICONS sale in New York City.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

Officially known as the XK 120 C—at least initially—the C-Type evolved from a trio of XK 120 models entered by privateer teams and supported by Jaguar in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans. While the XK 120s finished 12th, 15th, and 30th overall, the result was better than the finishing order indicated. The 30th-place Jaguar, which had retired after 220 laps, was running in third place when the clutch let go, despite a notable displacement and horsepower deficit compared to other entrants in the class.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

As the Jaguar C-Type, D-Type, and Lightweight E-Type Register relates, the automaker’s chief engineer, Bill Heynes, believed that Jaguar could win at Le Mans with a lighter, more aerodynamic, and more powerful car. William Lyons, head of Jaguar, eventually agreed, and the XK 120 C went from concept to race track in roughly eight months. On June 20, 1951—three days before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans—the XK 120 C was leaked to the public by The Autocar magazine.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

Powered by an XK 120-derived 3.4-liter, twin-cam inline-six engine tuned to make 205 horsepower, three XK 120 Cs—the “C” denoting Competition—were entered into the 1951 race by Jaguar. From the beginning, things went well for the British automaker, and by the start of hour three, the XK 120 C driven by Stirling Moss had lapped the entire field. An hour later, Moss and co-driver Jack Fairman had put their competitors two laps down, and for a brief period, the Jaguar works entries ran first, second, and third. A failed oil pump collected the works Jaguar of Clemente Biondetti and Leslie Johnson on lap 51, and in the late-night hours of the first day, Moss and Fairman snapped a connecting rod when their XK 120 C lost oil pressure, retiring on lap 93.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

As morning broke, the XK 120 C driven by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead was eight laps up on the field, and after 24 hours and 267 laps, the Jaguar took the checkered flag nine laps ahead of the second-place Talbot-Lago T26. The XK 120 C had gone from untested contender to Le Mans winner, and despite 2/3 of the race being run under wet conditions, had even managed to set a new record for race distance, covering more than 3,611 kilometers.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

Deliveries of C-Types to privateer racers began in May 1952, and the first three cars were shipped to buyers in England and Scotland. Chassis XKC 007 became the first sent abroad, and it was shipped from the factory to Hornberg’s California offices in August 1952. Knowing that racetrack victories drive sales, Hornberg contracted with Hill to race the car during the remainder of the season, and the results were impressive. Eliminating the Watkins Glen Grand Prix, halted mid-race due to an accident, Hill delivered wins, class wins or podium finishes in the other four events contested.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

Though the car wasn’t raced in 1953 or 1954, Hornberg retained it for promotional purposes, selling it to Carlyle Blackwell Jr. in 1955. The son of a silent film star, Blackwell entered the car in 18 races over three seasons, finishing in the top-10 in nine of them, including a second-place finish at Santa Barbara in September 1957.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

Blackwell sold the car to Paramount Pictures employee Robert Lane in late 1957. Its new owner wasted no time in making the car faster, bolting on a D-Type cylinder head and Weber 45DCOE carburetors for a run at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where XKC 007 was reportedly clocked at an impressive 157 mph.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

The car passed through a series of owners—including Phoenix Symphony Orchestra clarinet player Jack Ratteree—before ending up with Richmond Johnson circa 1972. Johnson club raced the Jaguar, and once reportedly spun the C-Type backwards into a cactus, an uncomfortable way to achieve notoriety. Despite this odd mishap, Johnson kept the Jaguar for 16 years, selling it to marque specialist Terry Larson, who brokered a deal with U.K. buyer Jeffrey Pattinson. Prior to delivery, Larson carried out a comprehensive restoration on the C-Type, documenting the impressive overall condition of the car during its disassembly.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

Chassis XKC 007 returned to the United States in 1993, purchased by Palm Desert resident Gerald Nell, who commissioned Larson to refresh his earlier restorative work. Nell entered the car in Jaguar Clubs of North America (JCNA) competition, earning a national class win and a Challenge Cup win. At the 1997 Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance, the Jaguar earned a Best Sportscar award, and at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, XKC 007 captured a class win.

Nell owned XKC 007 until his death in July 2008, and the following year the car was sold to Indiana collector Gary Bartlett, who contracted with Chris Keith-Lucas to mechanically refresh the car and certify it for vintage competition events. Bartlett entered the C-Type in the 2010 Mille Miglia Storico, and displayed the car at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance before selling the Jaguar to the consignor.

1952 Jaguar C-Type

As the first C-Type imported into the United States and the first to win a race on these shores, XKC 007 is already a desirable car among Jaguar collectors. Its success in concours competition and its period racing history with driver Phil Hill—the only American-born racer to win a Formula One Driver’s Championship—further add to its appeal, and RM Sotheby’s is predicting a selling price between $5.5 million and $7 million when XKC 007 crosses the auction stage in New York.

For additional details on the ICONS 2017 sale, visit


Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame Inducts the Class of 2017

Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame Inducts the Class of 2017

Back, L to R: Brad Francis, Greg Ozubko, Simon Menzies, Alan Kenny, Kevin Power, Rob Flynn, Gary Beck, Bob Papirnick, Eddy Bryck, Ray Peets, Don MacCallum and Robert Slater. Front, L to R: Greg Nickerson, Al Billes, Jim Wildgoose, Suzanne Poirier (Gérard Milette’s crew chief and partner), John Scotti (CDRHoF founder, kneeling), Gérard Milette, Robert Bannon, and Bob Aubertin. Images courtesy of RBPhotographie.

Drag racing has its fans—and legends—from all across North America. In 2015, noted Montreal car dealer, well-known classic-car collector and holder of an 8.08-second time slip, John Scotti, established the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame with an initial class of 38 inductees, giving the drag racers from the Great White North their own place of permanence. In 2016, an additional 23 legends were added to the hall and with 2017’s recent class of 22 honorees, the Hall of Fame now boasts of 83 greats.

Held at the Sheraton Hotel in Laval, Quebec, on November 18, the induction ceremony honored plenty of people whose names will be familiar to American racing fans, as well as a few names of some folks who just got things done behind the scenes. In a statement released by the Hall of Fame, John Scotti said, “Each individual inducted into the Hall of Fame, strengthens the legacy of the sport of drag racing. It’s an honour to welcome these legends and pay tribute to their outstanding accomplishments.”

The Hall of Fame honored a vast variety of professions in the industry beyond just the wheelmen, including crew chiefs, engine builders, chassis builders, mechanics, track owners, announcers, and even a graphic artist. The full list is below.

Bob Aubertin, Montreal

A track announcer for four decades at Napierville, Quebec, and Sanair drag ways, Aubertin is now the director of the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Robert Bannon, Pincourt, Quebec

Bannon was the first Quebecer to win a national event in the U.S. as the 1972 NHRA World Series Champion. His trophy case includes about 10 NHRA and IHRA events along with an IHRA national record in GSA class.

Gary Beck, Edmonton, Alberta

One of the NHRA’s Top 50 Drivers, the American-born Beck moved to Edmonton in 1969. A contender from almost the moment he first strapped into a Top Fuel car, Beck won 19 NHRA races as well as a pair of championships in IHRA. He was also the first driver to run in the 5.5s, 5.4s, and 5.3s back in the early Eighties.

Al Billes, Barrie, Ontario

Son of Canadian racing great Dave Billes, Al Billes has woven his own legendary work into the fabric of the sport, starting at age 15 in a Super Pro Camaro. With a host of NHRA and IHRA wins to his name, Billes now has also become a go-to engine builder and tuner.

Eddy Bryck, Whitby, Ontario

Owner of the NHRA record for the most perfect runs ever, Bryck got his start in 1961 racing street rods. Still competing with his son in Super Gas with a highly customized ’27 Ford Model T, Bryck also has built a solid reputation as the owner of The Chassis Shop, building cars for Canadians champs since 1975.

Guy Drouin, Quebec City (posthumous inductee)

Founding member of the Quebec 1/4 mile dragway in Pont-Rouge.

Rob Flynn, Edmonton, Alberta

Respected crew chief who has worked with several Top Fuel and Funny Car racers.

Brad Francis, Toronto

Though in recent decades Brad Francis has made his mark as an engineer in circle track and road racing series, working with such top teams as Roush Fenway, Richard Childress, and Andy Petree, Francis got his start behind the wheel of drag car, setting a record in NHRA K Gas class. As an engineer and team manager, Francis has earned titles in drag racing, IMSA, Trans-Am, Can-Am, Winston Cup, Nextel Cup, Busch Series, and Nationwide Series

Gordon Jenner, Calgary, Alberta

Gordon Jenner got his start in drag racing at age 15 when he borrowed his father’s car, earning a runner-up finish his first time out. He also became a crew chief for the prominent Hodgson-Bonin-Jenner team.

Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (L) with Alan Kenny.

Alan Kenny, Kingston, Ontario

World Champion car builder and racer, winner of seven NHRA national events, finished in the national points top 10 three times in three different classes

Don MacCallum, Vankleek Hill, Ontario

Well-known Hemi racer Don MacCallum has won a bunch of titles and shootouts at tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada. Racing a Hemi Barracuda in SS/AA, MacCallum has twice won the Hemi Shootout at the U.S. Nationals. On top of his stellar driving, MacCallum has also run Don MacCallum Machine since 1981, building high-performance engines of all makes.

Simon Menzies, Tottenham, Ontario

Winner of 14 nationals events and the 1978 AHRA Alcohol Funny Car championship, Simon Menzies later served as president of Simpson Safety and consulted as a safety advisor to the NHRA, AHRA, and CART and USAC, as well.

Gérard Milette, Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, Quebec

A long-time racer, Gérard Milette earned a Top Sportsman title at the NHRA Carolina Nationals in 2016 in a 1963 Corvette built and prepared by Milette and his wife, Suzanne Ghézabelle Poirier, his team manager and a welder by trade.

Greg Nickerson, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

A frequent competitor at Sanair, Redding, Englishtown, and New England Dragway, Greg Nickerson was the first person from the Maritime Provinces to win a Grand National. Starting out in the Seventies, racing a T-bucket with his brother Don, Greg Nickerson still races today, in a 1994 Firebird.

Greg Ozubko, Edmonton, Alberta

A graphic artist who got his start drawing the cars that first inspired him at Edmonton International Speedway, Greg Ozubko put his passion and his talent together to create GOS Motorsport Graphics, which has won a string of NHRA National Best Appearing Car awards since 1997.

Bob Papirnick, Edmonton, Alberta

A legendary crew chief, car builder and Funny Car racer, Bob Papirnick was the first Canadian driver to post a 200-mph run in a nitro-powered Funny car.  He continues to build winning race cars to this day.

Ray Peets, Edmonton, Alberta

A racer from a young age, Ray Peets became a world-class engine builder, operating out of his Reliable Engine Services shop that he opened in 1966. When Gary Beck with the 1974 NHRA Top Fuel World Championship, it was in front of a Ray Peets-built engine.

John Philipps, Toronto, Ontario

Driving force behind Ford of Canada’s involvement in the sport of professional drag racing.

Kevin Power, Mermaid, Prince Edward Island

A drag racer as a young man, Kevin Power bought the Raceway Park in Oyster Bed Ridge, Prince Edward Island, along with two partners, both of whom he has since bought out. Power continues to run the dragstrip at Raceway Park.

Herb Rodgers, London, Ontario (posthumous inductee)

A long-time Funny Car race, Herb Rodgers raced throughout the U.S. and Canada and even represented his home nation at an invitation only even in Japan in 1995 in a career that spanned four decades. Rodgers held the distinction of being the first driver to break into the five-second E.T. with an alcohol funny car on Canadian soil.

Robert Slater, Cambridge, Ontario

A precision machinist, Robert Slater raced for 30 years, winning track points championships at drag strips in Ontario and New York and Stock Eliminator title at the 1982 NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown.

Jim Wildgoose, Stoney Creek, Ontario

The founder of Wildgoose Performance, Jim Wildgoose has set 15 NHRA class records during a long career racing. He also also acted as the Canadian distributor for Mickey Thompson Tires.