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.
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.
Part III: When is a silver car a Silberpfeil?
Last week I briefly explained what are the Silver Arrows. Of course you can write a whole book on the subject but I think my text can give at least an idea about what were these silver cars. For me at least, another very interesting side to these cars is the name. Why are they called Silver Arrows? I find the story behind their name quite entertaining. Through the link below you can have a glimpse of how it came to be.
Part II: Where does the name come from?
My Silver Arrows are a BIG part of my collection, and therefore I’m really proud of them. Throughout my reviews I’ve written a lot about them, and I love all the history behind the machines and the men. A few days ago, thinking about my reviews (or lack of 😥) I reckoned it would be interesting to do a write-up on the history of the cars. Basically, about what they are, why are they called Silver Arrows and what cars are actual Silver Arrows. So with all-new photographs I compiled everything in a three-part series.
I’m still working on the pics and even polishing-up the text, but I believe I’ll publish the next parts in a couple of weeks.
Here is Part I: What are the Silberpfeile?
On September 15, 1938, John Cobb took his Railton Special up to 568.58 km/h, a new world land speed record. The car was a technological marvel, with many ingenious solutions that made it basically a rocket without wings. The Railton Special was the first ever car to breach the 560 km/h (350 mph) barrier. On August 23rd, 1939, Cobb drove the car again to a new record, 594.97 km/h. After the war Cobb tried once again, this time with Mobile Oil sponsorship. On September 16th, 1947, the Railton-Mobile Special averaged 634.39 km/h. That record lasted 25 years.
LSR cars are something I always liked, and most of the famous ones are available in 1:43. However they’re really big (= take up a LOT of shelf space) and invariably quite expensive. Therefor, my admiration for them will unfortunately be limited to just knowing their stories 😏.
I told this story here before, or at least mentioned it, but it’s nice to see some footage of the feat. Yes, in 1976 you had NASCAR cars racing at La Sarthe. Something that may sound utterly absurd, but as GT Rain explains in the video, at the time it wasn’t so out of the question.
Well, that was the one time NASCAR was interesting… 🤣😂🤣😂
Surfing around YouTube, I found this gem. It’s a feature about Derek Bell’s perspective of the 1982 race – which along with Jacky Ickx, he won by the way. You will see a delightful 26 minutes of original footage from the race and behind the scenes.
Not counting the actual footage, which was awesome, I loved to hear Bell’s thoughts throughout the race. Also, I learned that at the time, refueling stops became much longer, because of the restrictions on fuel flow.
So all in all a very nice film 👍
Back in October last year I wrote about Bentley making a brand new 1929 Bentley Blower. The plan was to produce 12 new cars that are exact replicas of the original model. For that, a specialized team at Crewe, in the UK, took apart the second car of the 1929 “Team Blower” and laser-scanned every single part of the car. Recently Bentley showed photos of some of the new parts already made for the prototype model.
From the images that Bentley released, the new “Continuation Series” car will look absolutely fantastic. The cars are expected to be available by 2021, and all 12 are already spoken for. As I said before, sometimes it’s really nice to be rich…
I’m probably correct to assume that everyone who has an interest in motorsports in general has seen the film “Rush”. I also believe that very possibly, the film was inspired by the convoluted 1976 F1 season. It’s a very colorful story and Aidan Millward very competently resumed it in his YouTube channel. Though actual events diverge some (a lot?) from what the film shows, in essence it’s a VERY good film. In fact, I l-o-v-e it, and kick myself for not getting a Blu-ray copy when it was easily available 😫.
If you enjoyed the film, check out Aidan Millward’s very nice resume of what happened during the 1976 season.