MID-ENGINE DUEL THAT NEVER WAS | THE 390 AMX/3 VS. THE 351 PANTERA

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AMX/3

The AMC AMX/3

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The Italians may have perfected the mid-engine super car, but it was British racing innovation that got us there.  The 1959 Formula One championship  marked the first time a mid-engine race car had ever claimed the ultimate victory.  Jack Brabham made racing history behind the wheel of a mid-engine Cooper T-51 race car, and the course of car design was forever altered, as mid-engined race cars began to dominate on the world’s racing circuits.

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1963 Ferrari 250P Racing

The 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans -- won by the mid-engine Ferrari 250P.

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By 1961 the Italians, who were at first slow to adapt to the mid-engine design were fully in the game, and all regular competitors in Formula One were driving mid-engined race cars. Other milestone victories for the mid-engine soon followed — the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans won by Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini in a Ferrari 250P; and the 1965 Indianapolis 500 won by Jim Clark driving a Lotus 38.

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De Tomaso Pantera

The De Tomaso Pantera

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AUTO UNDERDOG AMC | WALLY BOOTH’S GROWLIN’ GREMLIN STREET CRED

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Wally Booth Press

AMC Pro Stock press for Wally Booth & his Gremlin X

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That’s right, it’s a Gremlin– without a doubt one, of the ugliest, least respected, aerodynamically-challenged cars ever produced on American soil.  Wisconsin-based AMC had never been known for beautiful design or muscle, and so their entry into the muscle car market in the 1970s was seen as a classic tale of– a day late & a  dollar short.  When AMC signed Wally Booth to head the AMC Pro Stock effort, despite that there were virtually no aftermarket components for AMG engines, he and engine-building partner Dick Arons transformed the brand’s staid grocery-getter reputation from the ground up into that of a genuine performance powerhouse– all from scratch.  Needless to say, everyone on the racing scene quickly took notice, as the red-headed stepchild to America’s “Big Three” automakers worked tirelessly with the little they had, and started to kick some serious tail.

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Wally Booth's Gremlin X

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Maddict in waiting.

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I love Mad Men for all the obvious reasons- so I’m waiting (not-so-patiently) and wondering what’s in store for season III.  Visually, it’s eye candy, right?  The wardrobe, styling, scenery, furniture, props- even the much-blogged-about fonts used in the show are all a feast for the eyes.  Mad Men also wonderfully reflects the attitudes and flavor of an era that I just missed out on, but saw my parents and family in– through old photographs, slides and stories.  It’s personal too– in the way that we all probably know someone who’s just like each of the characters- even see a little of ourselves in them.  I know I do, especially with Don.  No, I don’t look like him unfortunately.  It’s more about his outlook.  And that’s not something to brag about– that’s something to work on.

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