VINTAGE RACING AT PENDINE SANDS | PHOTOGRAPHY OF BASTIAN GLAESSNER

Photographer Bastian Glaessner shot these incredibly cool pics of vintage hot rod racing at the legendary Pendine Sands. His eye and unique style has created a strong signature that feels rich and nostalgic. The images are so stunning, I could stare at these all day…

BastianGlaessner_PendineSands2015_09The Selvedge Yard

“I was super chuffed when Neil Fretwell of the VHRA recently invited me up to the rugged Welsh headland that holds the infamous ‘Pendine Sands’ for a weekend of vintage racing. Since the early 1920s cars have pelted down this 7-mile stretch of fine golden grains to chase automotive speed records. On this early July weekend a mad crowd of hot rod racers from all over Europe had assembled their beasts at this historic spot. By the time I got there Friday after dark, the field around the Museum of Speed was brimming with glorious pre-1949 rods, glistening in the moonlight, begging to be let loose on the endless stretch of tidal sands below.” ~Bastian Glaessner

BastianGlaessner_PendineSands2015_22The Selvedge Yard

“Come Saturday morning and first the Welsh weather gods got their own. Heavy winds and some blistering downpours overnight meant racers had to be patient a little while longer whilst the team of helping hands were busy getting the course up and running. Once the fences were up, the 110 yard timing section established and the mile long track cleared of stranded giant jellyfish, the show got underway. As if on cue the sun popped out from behind the clouds, crowds gathered on the beach and with a mighty “ROOOAR…” our cars rolled out onto the sands to line up in the pits. What an exciting display of vintage sheet metal that was!” ~Bastian Glaessner

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DOES ‘RUSH’ REFERENCE THE BLACK SPIDER THAT FATALLY STRUCK SEBRING BACK IN 1957?

Formula One World Championship
“Niki Lauda had raised concerns about the safety of the track at the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring, but couldn’t convince other drivers to join him in protest. Due to a reported rear suspension failure, coupled with a wet track, his car swerved off course, hit an embankment, and burst into flames. Trapped inside the car, Lauda inhaled toxic gases and suffered severe burns to his entire head, including his scalp and eyelids. Lauda lapsed into a coma and nearly died. Yet just six weeks later, he was back on the track—and on James Hunt’s tail.” via
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This past week, Lee Raskin (motorsports historian, author, and vintage racer) wrote and said he’d recently gotten some racing friends together for a Rush viewing night in Baltimore. He shared his educated theory on a deeply intriguing scene that seems to nod to an old school racing superstition. So with all due respect, esteemed Director Ron Howard, there’s a question that begs to be asked here…
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PHOTO TIM’S EARLY DAYS | I WAS A KID ENTHRALLED WITH MOTORSPORTS…

Early Days — image by Photo Tim

“I was a kid that was enthralled with motorsports.  When I was 11 yrs old or so, a friend from schools parents took me to Ascot Park.  I started sneaking into the pits to be closer to the racers by going around the back where they had a 20m pile of gravel to shield it from the passing cars on the freeway.”

“One issue with sneaking in to the pits is you don’t have anything to do, so I would stand around and talk to one of the guys taking photographs, Dan Mahoney.  One night he handed me a camera and placed a little white pebble on the track.  He said, ‘when the bikes get there push this button.’  I did and the result is the photo below.  I was 12 yrs old at the time.  The next week Dan said I had a natural talent and would I like a job shooting the races.  I was a part of racing!!!  Ok, not on the track, but still…”

–Photo Tim

Early Days — image by Photo Tim

Early Days — image by Photo Tim

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SCUDERIA FERRARI FROM SILVERSTONE TO MONACO | LIFE MAGAZINE, MAY 1956

The 1956 Formula One Ferrari’s were truly modified Lancia D50’s.  The D50 debuted at the tail-end of the ’54 Formula One season, placed in the capable hands of Italy’s two-time and reigning World Champion, Alberto Ascari. He took both pole position in qualifying and fastest race lap in the D50’s very first event. On May 26th, 1955, Alberto Ascari was in Monza to watch friend and fellow driver Eugenio Castellotti test out the Ferrari 750 Monza, which they were to race together in the Supercortemaggiore 1000. About to go home for lunch with his wife, and dressed only in a simple shirt and trousers, Ascari decided to throw on Castellotti’s helmet and try out the new Ferrari. While coming out of a curve on the third lap he lost control– the Monza violently skidded, turned on its nose and somersaulted into the air. Ascari was ejected and thrown onto the track and died on the scene. After the death of their star driver, Lancia fell on hard times and sold to Scuderia Ferrari. Ferrari modified the D50, removing many of designer Vittorio Jano’s innovations. It was rebadged as the Lancia-Ferrari D50, and then simply the Ferrari D50. Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1956 World Championship of Drivers with the Ferrari modified D50. During its competitive run, the D50 raced in 14 Formula One Grands Prix, winning five of them.

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POWER OF CONTEXT AND EXCLUSION | THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF HOLLIS BENNETT

“The only things that I would say about the week were that no matter who you are, you need to experience it at least once.  There is something surreal about having all your senses that you normally rely on shattered from not being able to gauge distance on the salt flats or hearing a car that is not where it should be because it is going so fast or watching a little black streak pass you and not being able to fathom that a car could go that fast.  All in all an amazing place and an amazing time.”

–Hollis Bennett, on Bonneville Speed Week

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Bonneville Speed Week — Photograph by © Hollis Bennett

Bonneville Speed Week — Photograph by © Hollis Bennett

Bonneville Speed Week — Photograph by © Hollis Bennett

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“BIG JOHN” SURTEES | THE LONE RACER MOTORCYCLE & F1 WORLD CHAMPION

In all of history it has happened only once. Only one man has ever won the World Championship in both motorcycle and auto racing– John Surtees. In 1956, at the wee age of 22 yrs old, he became the 500cc motorcycle World Champion. Then in 1960, he switched full-time to auto racing, and was crowned Formula One World Champion in 1964. At 26 yrs of age, he’d become the only man ever to win a World Championship on two wheels and four. There has been no one since, and perhaps nevermore.

Grand Prix motorcycle racing career
Active years 1952 – 1960
Teams Norton, MV Agusta
Grands Prix 49
Championships 350cc – 1958, 1959, 1960
500cc- 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960
Wins 38
Podium finishes 45
Pole positions N/A
Fastest laps 34
First Grand Prix 1952 500cc Ulster Grand Prix
First win 1955 250cc Ulster Grand Prix
Last win 1960 500cc Nations Grand Prix
Last Grand Prix 1960 500cc Nations Grand Prix

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May 10, 1964 — Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri (ITA) manages a yawn as driver John Surtees (GBR) prepares for practice to begin in the pits. Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo — Image by © Phipps/Sutton Images/Corbis

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Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1960 – 1972
Teams Lotus, Cooper, Lola, Ferrari,Honda, BRM, McLaren, Surtees
Races 113 (111 starts)
Championships 1 (1964)
Wins 6
Podiums 24
Career points 180
Pole positions 8
Fastest laps 10
First race 1960 Monaco Grand Prix
First win 1963 German Grand Prix
Last win 1967 Italian Grand Prix
Last race 1972 Italian Grand Prix

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A BOXER’S UNFORGIVABLE BRASHNESS | THE CHAMP WHO DARED TO BE BLACK

Jack Johnson. The American boxing great still awaiting a pardon, on long ago trumped-up charges, that he’s more than due to receive.  Obama, for some reason, is dragging his heels– causing many to speculate that it’s because his old foe John McCain is the one strongly behind the effort to bring exoneration to the Black champ’s legacy. Democrats or Republicans– it’s always the same circus, just different clowns.

Arthur John “Jack” Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas on March 31, 1878– the first son in a family of six children born to Henry (a former slave) and Tiny Johnson.  Jack Johnson grew up poor– dropping put of school in the fifth grade so he could work on the Galveston docks to help support the family.  As a teen he began boxing in Negro matches organized to entertain proper white folk.  The winner of the match would collect whatever money was thrown in the ring by the appreciative spectators.

Johnson soon rose to the rank of Negro boxing’s heavyweight champion, and was called the “Galveston Giant.” Johnson wanted a shot a Jim Jeffries, the current White heavyweight champ, who refused to fight a black man. In 1910, they finally squared off, with Jeffries coming out of retirement to challenge Johnson– who had become the “unrecognized” heavyweight champion by knocking out Tommy Burns in 1908. Jeffries was hailed as the “Great White Hope” —a rallying cry started by none other than famed author, Jack London. He, and scores of Whites like him, wanted to see the boastful Black boxer beaten in the ring by a White man, in order to erase that “golden smile” from Jack’s face, and restore White America’s pride and position in what was being billed as– “The Fight of the Century.”

Jack Johnson

“If the black man wins, thousands and thousands of his ignorant brothers will misinterpret his victory as justifying claims to much more than mere physical equality with their white neighbours.” –The New York Times

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JAMES “HUNT THE SHUNT” | THE 1970’s HIGH-FLYIN’ LOTHARIO RUSH OF FORMULA 1

May 11, 1975– James Hunt, driver for Hesketh-Ford (and Suzy Miller, who was his wife for a short time), at the Monaco Grand Prix. –Image by © Schlegelmilch/Corbis.  Love the patch– “Sex is a high performance thing.”  While many athletes abstain from sex before competing, Hunt was physically insatiable– often having, eh-hem, relations just minutes before hopping behind the wheel to race.

The tales of James Hunt are the stuff of legends– on and off the track.  “Hunt the Shunt” was widely known for his wild indulgence in sex, drugs, booze, women– which redlined in Tokyo the two weeks leading up to his famous battle with Niki Lauda for the 1976 Formula One championship.  Hunt’s favorite hedonistic haunt in those days was the Tokyo Hilton, where he and buddy Barry Sheene (world motorcycle champion that year), settled in to party.  Like clockwork, every morning British Airways stewardesses were delivered to the hotel’s door for a 24-hour stopover.  Hunt would charm them as they checked in, and invited them up to his suite for a party — they always said yes.  Allegedly, James Hunt went on quite a run during this two week binge (33 BA stewardesses).  But, as Stirling Moss, who used to carouse with Hunt in Monte Carlo before he was married, said: “If you looked like James Hunt, what would you have done?”  via

1975, Nurburg, Germany– Hesketh-Ford Formula One racecar driver James Hunt flies during the European Grand Prix. –Image by © Schlegelmilch/Corbis.  Many of Hunt’s early races ended in disaster. Once his Formula Ford crashed and sank in the middle of a lake. He would have drowned– had he been able to afford seat belts.  His skills improved, but he never conquered his fears. In the garage before a race, it often caused him to vomit– and on the grid he’d shake so violently that his car vibrated. This potent cocktail of adrenaline and testosterone made him a fierce competitor on the track. via

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CARROLL SHELBY & THE FORD GT40 | FOUR YRS OF DOMINATION AT LE MANS

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When Henry Ford II’s quest to buy Ferrari back in 1963 was spitefully squelched by Enzo, the mandate was given to, “Kick Ferrari’s ass.” And not just anywhere– at Le Mans, the world stage of auto racing.  The ass-kicking would finally come in the beautiful & brutish form of the iconic Ford GT40–America’s most incredible racecar ever.

Originally developed in England by Ford Advanced Vehicles Ltd under the direction of Aston Martin’s former team manager, John Wyer, the GT40 failed at Le Mans in ’64 & ’65, as Ferrari finished 1-2-3 both years. With failure no longer an option for anyone who wished to remain employed by Ford, Carroll Shelby was tapped to give the GT40 the necessary bite to beat the Italians.  Shelby’s success at Le Mans in his own Cobras, and again with the GT40, was not about technology, but by being crafty.  He replaced the 289 c.i. GT40 engine with the same powerful, big block 427 c.i. V-8 that powered his Cobras.  The lower revving, larger displacement V-8’s were more able to take the stress of long endurance races than the higher-revving, small displacement engines used by Ferrari.

Shelby not only ended Ferrari’s racing dominance, he exacted sweet revenge for Enzo’s snub– and garnered Ford a remarkable four-year winning streak from 1966 – 1969.

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Two massive American automotive legends — Carroll Shelby and the iconic Ford GT40. Originally labeled GT, ’40’ was added due to its incredibly low 40-inch stance.

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West Sussez, England — A Carroll Shelby masterpiece, 1960s JW Automotive/American Gulf Oil-sponsored Ford GT40  racecar at the Goodwood race track — Image by © Martyn Goddard/Corbis

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1969 Carroll Shelby / Ford GT40 MK 1 racecar (JW Automotive/American Gulf Oil-sponsored) with body panels removed.  This Ford GT P/1075 is one of the few racecars to ever win the 24 Hours of Le Mans back to back– here pictured as #6. — Image by © Martyn Goddard/Corbis

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CARROLL SHELBY GOES MID-ENGINE | THE COOPER “KING COBRA” YEARS

Although Carroll Shelby’s Cobra was handily beating all comers in SCCA A/Production competition, he knew that it was not equipped to matchup with the advanced, lightweight mid-engined race cars that were set to dominate in the new upcoming ’63 Fall Series.  With little time, his answer was to try and repeat history by bolting proven American horsepower into a willing and able European mid-engined sportscar.

So he headed off to Europe and came back with two engine-less Cooper Monacos– and set out to retrofit the very capable racers with his signature formula of good ol’ fashioned Texas testosterone.  His crew had just one month, a welder, and a pile of old Cobra parts to turn the Coopers into Shelby’s new lean & mean King Cobra. Get ‘er done.

There are two stories here, intertwined.  There’s the story of Shelby and his attempt to dominate racing through sheer power and will with the King Cobra— and the story of his driver, Dave MacDonald, who through his love of the sport became a legend, and how his fate was forever changed when he made the difficult decision to leave Shelby and race for Mickey Thompson and Chevy at the ’64 Indy 500.

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Carroll Shelby (left in his signature striped coveralls) and Phil Hill at the 12 Hours of Sebring, 1963. Shelby entered four Cobras, driven by Dan Gurney and Phil Hill, two of which have new rack-and-pinion steering.  Hill succeeds in setting the fastest GT lap, but Shelby-American ultimately came up short, and Ferrari took the win.

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