Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Awesome quote of the day:

From Denise McCluggage, who was racing professionally while Shirley Muldowney was still in bobby socks:
Her favorite car is a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta in which she won the 1961 Sebring GTIII.

"It was not only my only car; it was my only thing. I had a Ferrari, and that was it," she said.
That's frickin' awesome; walking the Earth like Kane from Kung Fu, but with a Ferrari.


Anonymous said...

they are so true! No one makes a truely insperational car anymore. They all look like cookie cutter designs. Even the reborn classic cars don't have any pop to their style.


Alchemyst said...

Since you obviously have a feel for history you might enjoy reading this account of the the great Juan Manuel Fangio winning the 1957 Nurburgring in a Maserati 250F. The world's greatest F1 driver in the world's best F1 car. There's a photo of the car. Superb design that still today looks great. Enjoy!!!

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm a huge NASCAR supporter but there were women racing with them even in the early days, 1949 and into the 50s. Louise Thomas might have been the name. If you could ever find a 1930s movie called "The Blond Comet" the woman star was racing in Europe I believe. Came home to race Indy and unfortunately gave up the seat for her man. As a guy, I even resent that! Larry Weeks

Pathfinder said...


The name still gives me chills.

Jimmie Clark died there - practicing mind you - for a stupid F2 race he should not have even been involved with, except he gave his word he would drive there.

Turk Turon said...

Clark died at Hochenheim, also in Germany.

If you look at youtube, you can see newsreels of a grief-stricken Graham Hill picking up pieces of Clark's car from the crash-site, to foil souvenir hunters. Very sad. Clark was the best of his generation, no doubt about that, and maybe the best who ever lived.

I haven't heard the name Denise McCluggage in years! It's great that she's still with us. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Like no-name cowboys who live only so that this week's meager winnings will finance the drive and the pay-to-play entry fee at the next stop on the circuit, many drivers of that era did it for love, not fact many spent everything they had to stay in the game.

Not so much anymore; there are rifles that I could fire with the right trajectory and hit the Sebring track from my home, but I won't bother to go to the race this year, which is this Saturday, btw.

I've seen all the greats of their day race there (sadly not in '61, my first year was '63); plus some celebrities like McQueen and Newman who risked it all themselves and were damn serious about it.

But big boxes of computers with a TDI diesel engine buried somewhere inside, fielded by factory teams with unlimited resources and "operated" by whores who drive for the highest bidder ain't my idea of racing.

But when somebody asks Ms. McCluggage "Hey, you a real cowboy?" She can say with a tip o' the hat (helmet)..."Hell, yeah."


Dwight Brown said...

If you've got a Ferrari and you're WALKING the Earth, you're doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

I disremember her co-driver's name. Alan or Allen XXX. He had never before driven a race car; he had not driven that Ferrari before they drove down from NYC.

They beat Don Yenko's Corvette for the class win.

Sebring was fun. I conned my way into the track and into the pits, 1959-1962. Pit pass and all the fun that went with it. Went again in '66 when Ol' Shel's effort paid off for him--although Gurney had an attack of the terminal stupids and got himself disqualified for pushing his car over the finish line. The rules require "car's power", and Gurney had won the first FIA 3-hour at Daytona by using the starter and the slope of the track. (The Arciero Lotus 19.)



Scott said...

To see that doing it for love thing now one needs to hit up the local dirt track when the World of Outlaws are in town. Doesn't much matter if you see the Late Models or the Sprint Cars it's a bunch of madmen driving the wheels off their cars.
I grew up at dirt tracks and seeing guys like Doug Wolfgang, Steve Kinser and women like Sarah Fischer at the Knoxville Nationals. The smell of gear oil and race gas instantly makes me feel at home in ways I rarely am.
And for a cool story on a woman racer there's this:

Keads said...

The only redeeming moment of the Movie Max Payne was a statement: "All new cars look like electric shavers". Oh and the Taurus Judge wasn't too bad!

I concur. I have several older Mustangs, and they are simply works of art visually. Armrest on a '66 Mustang will tear your leg up, and don't even think of actually seeing out the back glass of a '71 Mach !, but hey, no big deal, right?

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I take a little umbrage to the hit on the '66 GT350. It *was* a modified 60's unibodied car... but Shelby and his team worked real magic on them comparatively. Didja know they actually cut and welded the lower control arm mount to get proper camber control? The GT350 is capable of decent handling but it is totally unforgiving... which may be Allen's beef.

Modern cars... ahh, the slaves of aerodynamics and safety. You can't expand the greenhouse with a sweeping dip towards the C pillar because you'd ruin your side impact score. Roof curves get decided in a wind tunnel. That sleek tumblehome gets tossed in favor of lower head injury risk. FWD cars have funny proportions because the engine's hung in front of the axle. RWD cars gain funny proportions because of crush zones. The big wheel craze has led to higher and higher fender lines. Low floors got tossed because it's a serious faux pas to have the gas tank anywhere near being behind the rear axle, leading to the death of the low sedan... meh.

I do kind of like the new Mustangs though. They're a little simplistic but I think they caught probably 80% of the... 'it' of the Shinoda designed fastbacks. If it weren't for pedestrian impact protections I think they could have been a little more aggressive on the hood overhang/grille inset.

Will said...

if you have a 429SCJ in that '71 Mach 1 Mustang, you don't have to see out the back window 8)

Dr Strangegun:
I've seen those tanks that sit under the rear seat floor get ripped open from road debris. Not a good location, IMO.

Tam said...

Dr. Strangegun,

"... which may be Allen's beef."

Based on an article in C&D, Allen's knowledge of automotive engineering could be written on a postage stamp in Sharpie. He's the worst kind of celebrity auto buff: A big car collection, a trip to Skip, and a bit of vintage racing and suddenly he's Ferdinand and Zora and Colin, all rolled into one, never mind that he probably hasn't so much as put air in a tire since Home Improvement got picked up for its second season.

Keads said...

2Will, The '71 has a 351 Cleveland with ram air and while not the 429SCJ, it "moves about smartly". Father bought it new, I have it now.

2Dr. Strangelove, I agree about the slamming of the Shelby, I guess he's bent that you actually have to drive the car!

Anonymous said...

Going back through the article, Allen has some good points. If you stick a really good 327 into an Austin-Healey, it becomes a Mongoose, for example.

I gotta agree with him about the '62 GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato); I watched Moss blow everybody's doors off at Daytona, that year. And he even spotted a Cutie in the stands at Turn 1, got her attention, wrote her a note (tossed out to and delivered by a security guard) and had a date with her that night.


Anonymous said...

Denise was not only a great driver, but a great writer, notably at the old "Autoweek", when it came out as a weekly newspaper. Today, with backing... And don't forget Janet Guthrie, who started in SCCA [You should have seen her in the rain at Lime Rock Park,CT, in a Celica beating the big boys. Until it dried out.]. Then NASCAR, and Indy cars - Google her name - she had a remarkable record.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I recall reading in an early 90's Mustang & Fast Fords mag about Guthrie's involvement in the Probe and Mustang IMSA car programs.

Amazing vehicles those were, even by today's mark. Ford Aerospace steps in and built a front engined IMSA GTP car with an ultra-stiff carbon fiber chassis and then provides a curved glass windshield that is half the thickness of a standard windshield but stronger... the aero package produced nearly as much downforce as the old full-skirted formula 1 cars, but only weighed 1880 pounds.

And that was in 1984. Too bad the engines were nothing to write home about.