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General Discussion about Racing History Vintage auto racing has a very special place in most race fans heart and mind. The cars, the drivers, the spills and thrills. Please share your auto racing memories. Feel free to start threads/topics in this forum that are non-specific to drivers, cars, or tracks.



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Old 10-15-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
Mitch G.
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Default A race fan's confession.

Since I went to my first auto race at about 2 month's old, I've seen auto races from coast to coast, mostly midget and sprint cars I'm now 55. I've seen Foyt, Andretti, Gurney, all the legends, race Indy cars on the road course at Continental Divide Raceway in 1969. I've seen Silver Crown dirt champ cars on the legendary Del Mar horse track in California, I've seen Bruce Jenner race her go kart at Saugus in California. From Imperial (El Centro)CA to Daytona FL. Midgets, Sprints, Dirt Champ, supemodifieds, dirt modified, late models, Formula Fords, and NHRA drag races, etc. etc. I have to confess, I have not been to a speedway in 4 years. Maybe it's my artistic nature, but I realize....I can't stand the way the cars look, boring, ugly, identical in most cases. I understand they are safe, and technologically advanced, blah, blah. Some would say..."well it's the on track action that matters" o.k. in that case there should only be one division of race car. I tend to like open wheel, open cockpit cars the most, I grew up watching midgets at Lakeside and Englewood Speedway, before roll cages. The cars were glorious, the coupes at Lakeside were wonderful, the late models with the huge tires sticking out of the cut out wheel wells, man they were cool. Then, wings came along, a beautiful race car with a huge ugly wing stuck on top of the car? I realize there is no going back, and I realize I may not go to a race anytime soon, except a vintage show of some kind. Younger fans will never understand this, if you grew up with winged race cars, wedged shaped body panels, etc. it's what you know to be a race car. I write this for the simple purpose of starting a conversation, bench racing if you will...do I miss the races? a little, until I start looking at pictures of beautiful race cars from the past....then it passes.
These are midgets, 1974 to 2015.
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Last edited by Mitch G.; 10-15-2015 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Sprint cars over the years, wings, body panels, so much for "open cockpit" race cars.

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Old 10-17-2015, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Yeah.... there is no going back that's for sure.

I also miss those days.

I guess we are just old and grumpy.
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Hey Mitch in your opinion what division or divisions have been hurt the most with the passing or time and what divisions have been effected the least?
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Oooohhh, good question, but it's subjective, in my opinion visually, Formula One. I don't know about the on track action, as F1 has never been about passing, or wheel to wheel action. But at one time the cars were glorious looking. Here's about a 50 year difference in Ferrari F1 cars.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

As for the U.S., and oval track....Midgets are the ugliest, maybe it's the short wheel base, and tiny wheels...and hideous side panels, ugly tail tanks, but they are not fun to look at.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch G. View Post
Since I went to my first auto race at about 2 month's old, I've seen auto races from coast to coast, mostly midget and sprint cars I'm now 55. I've seen Foyt, Andretti, Gurney, all the legends, race Indy cars on the road course at Continental Divide Raceway in 1969. I've seen Silver Crown dirt champ cars on the legendary Del Mar horse track in California, I've seen Bruce Jenner race her go kart at Saugus in California. From Imperial (El Centro)CA to Daytona FL. Midgets, Sprints, Dirt Champ, supemodifieds, dirt modified, late models, Formula Fords, and NHRA drag races, etc. etc. I have to confess, I have not been to a speedway in 4 years. Maybe it's my artistic nature, but I realize....I can't stand the way the cars look, boring, ugly, identical in most cases. I understand they are safe, and technologically advanced, blah, blah. Some would say..."well it's the on track action that matters" o.k. in that case there should only be one division of race car. I tend to like open wheel, open cockpit cars the most, I grew up watching midgets at Lakeside and Englewood Speedway, before roll cages. The cars were glorious, the coupes at Lakeside were wonderful, the late models with the huge tires sticking out of the cut out wheel wells, man they were cool. Then, wings came along, a beautiful race car with a huge ugly wing stuck on top of the car? I realize there is no going back, and I realize I may not go to a race anytime soon, except a vintage show of some kind. Younger fans will never understand this, if you grew up with winged race cars, wedged shaped body panels, etc. it's what you know to be a race car. I write this for the simple purpose of starting a conversation, bench racing if you will...do I miss the races? a little, until I start looking at pictures of beautiful race cars from the past....then it passes.
These are midgets, 1974 to 2015.
I'm 68 yrs old Mitch and have seen many races in my lifetime too. I have always been an open wheel fan especially sprint and Indy roadsters along with midgets. I share your thoughts and sentiments completely. I will talk racing with you anytime. People say change is good but not to me. Maybe I can't go back but I choose how far forward I want to go. There is no "soul" in racing any longer and that has always been the best part!
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Old 10-21-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Race folks get all worked up..."you want to see drivers burn to death, and get killed every week"....blah, blah. No. But in my humble opinion there is no reason race cars have to be so fricking ugly. Roy Caruthers has been racing a beautiful non down tube Osborn sprint car, with a full nose piece and grill, against full up modern sprint cars in Indiana. He's competitive, and the car is gorgeous, and safe. No reason it can't be this way.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

I can't agree more with you guys, about the state of the sport today. I think the 500 is affected most by the changes. Gone are the true Racing Wizards of race car builders, the mechanics that created their dream machines in converted gas station or small garages. Evan if the whole field were Watson Roadsters each chief worked his magic on the chassis or engine. There were always new ideas about ways of changing things that were already built into the car. I had my favorites just as every one else, but I always rooted for the little guy. I had never heard of Barney Navarro and his Nash 6 cyl engine. I then noticed his ad in Car magazines for his reworked heads. I remember seeing him and his cars, but cant remember who drove for him. The new rules took all the individuality out of the sport. People are afraid to try some new ideas, because they can't take the chance of it not working. The cost of racing being passed on to the paying fans is another big problem, if you are on a fixed income the price of admission is to high. The Novi cars, I didn't care who was driving, they became my favorite right then. My dream drivers were, Paul Russo, Tough Tony B, Jim "Herk" Hurtubise. Once you heard the scream of the Novi you never forgot it. Indy was a place that drivers and mechanics could still have dreams, and it was "OUR" race too. I was waited on by Eddie Sachs in the Speedway grill under the grandstands by Gasoline alley, this was before he was cleared to drive. Where else could that had happened or meant anything but at the speedway. My Dad took me to my first 500 in 1949, the last time I went was 1972. My first driver that I met was Jimmy Jackson he was driving a green car and I believe it was number 13. He was from down North Vernon way and so was all my family. Then I met Pat O'Conner one of the truly nice guys. Two of my saddest days at the speedway was in 1955 and 1958. Well I better quit before I bore you guys to death. Thanks for listening.

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Old 01-11-2016, 08:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: A race fan's confession.

Loved the way old cars looked....Like you said Mitch, and like our fathers before us and their fathers before them....things just are not quite the same, but I am glad that we were able to see what we have seen.




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