Earlier this morning I received some very sad news. My great friend Gary Blythe passed away last night 😥
I knew Gary since around 2001 or 2002. An avid diecast collector, we met through DiecastXchange, at the time the biggest diecast forum on the web, when I started to collect 1:18s. Since we were both pretty active in the community, in about one year we both became moderators on the forum. And by then we had become good friends, even though we had an ocean between us. Around 2007 or 2008 I had to stop collecting, and a little later so did he. Unfortunately I drifted away from the diecast community and we lost touch. But in mid 2017 I was back, but this time collecting 1:43s. Coincidentally, he also shifted to 1:43 some time earlier. Through S143 we got back in touch, and instantly rekindled our friendship.
Gary had a lot of health issues, but had a heart of gold. Despite the distance between us I’m privileged to consider him a friend. The Oaf (Earl of Northumberland, His Smeliness or Mr. Ugly) will be truly missed.
Welt just released the full version (in HD!) of their “Legendary Porsches” documentary. It’s a full hour about many of Stuttgart’s most iconic cars, with interviews and vintage race footage. With all that, I would say it’s a VERY well spent hour in front of the computer. In fact, it’s so good that I’m downloading it to have it in my video library.
In January last year Jay Leno released a very interesting episode in his “Jay Leno’s Garage”. I talked about this car in the second part of my Silver Arrows series last month. This is the replica of the original 1932 Silberpfeil that Mercedes Benz built in 2019, and Jay Leno made a fantastic 28 minutes video about it. The video was the first I heard Mercedes admit that it wasn’t Alfred Neubauer who originally coined the term.
Historical origins aside, as usual, Leno produced a fantastic video that’s really worth the watch.
This morning I came upon this video, about the great Mazda 787B. The 787B was the first Japanese car to win at La Sarthe. Additionally, and just as important, it was also the first car powered by a Wankel engine to do that. Rotary engines are basically a thing of the past, and do to emission concerns it’s unlikely that we’ll see them on the streets again. Therefore, the 787B will certainly be the one and only Wankel-powered car to ever win at Le Mans.
I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Gordon Murray’s cars – or in other words, the Mac F1 is not on my dream garage list. However, the new T.50s Niki Lauda is another story. Revealed yesterday and produced by Gordon Murray Automotive, the car is sex on wheels. Top speed of 330 km/h, up to 1500 kg of downforce and powered by an atmospheric V12 that delivers 711 hp (or 725 hp when the ram air induction system kicks in). AND, gorgeous. You can easily see the F1 in those lines, and it looks stunning.
GMA will produce only 25 models, at US$ 4.5 millions a pop, plus taxes. So I probably will never even see one in the metal, but I can wish Spark will make one in 1:43rd 🤯.
Just a few minutes ago, going through my YouTube page I found this gem, and had to share it. From what I understood, this short film was filmed in 2012, but released in late 2020. Just 32 minutes, but to hear Stirling Moss reminiscing about those “poetic times” was absolutely fantastic. And it’s not just Stirling Moss, but Norman Dewis as well. A true legend when it comes to Jaguar, he talks about how he got involved with the Jaguar C-Type and his almost victory (together with Moss) at the 1952 Mille Miglia.
The film doesn’t show much technical details about the project’s development, however the participation of Jackie Stewart, Martin Brundle and Derek Bell make these 32 minutes totally delightful.
And finally we arrive at the last part of the series. After explaining what is a Silberpfeil and how they came to be called that, now it’s time to define which cars are Silver Arrows. Even though Mercedes-Benz uses the term very broadly, not every silver car is a Silberpfeil. Historically speaking you can count them on your fingers. Even if you add the variations (like hill climbers and record cars), the actual number is very low. How low? Click below.