Richard Seaman – Britain’s forgotten ace pilot

Richard John Beattie-Seaman was more than probably England’s best racing driver of the 1930s. Despite that, his name is relegated to footnotes in history books. This 47 minute-long video by the Discovery Channel tells his story. A little bit over-dramatic at parts, and also not 100% historically factual, however a thoroughly delightful film. I really enjoyed seeing actual Golden Era race footage, specially of the 1937 Avusrennen.

All in all a very interesting window to the Silberpfeile and the Golden Era of GP racing.

The 90s’ Dream Cars

McLaren F1, Porsche GT1 and Mercedes CLK-GTR. I doubt anyone will disagree that those three cars are all dream cars. I would go as far as saying that they were THE best supercars of the 1990s. Carfection made a very interesting piece about them, divided in three parts. The first part (McLaren F1) came out on May 17th, the second part (Porsche GT1) on May 19th and the third (CLK-GTR) yesterday. From the first video above you will see links to the subsequent parts.

What make these three cars so great in my eyes is one very pertinent characteristic – race legacy. All three raced at La Sarthe and all three were winners, though the CLK-GTR elsewhere. With that, the three videos sum up 41 minutes of pure gearhead bliss 🏁.

Chris Harris and the 962

I came upon this video and thought of sharing. The great Chris Harris interviews the legendary Norbert Singer, talking about what made the 962 so great. He even gets to take the 1987 Le Mans winner #17 out for a spin at the Weissach test track.

However, specially nice for me, was to hear Mr. Singer saying “Porsche was thinking with nearly all race cars about Le Mans”. And that my friends, is why I had to add a special section just for Porsche cars at the top of the page 😋.

The quintessential hot hatch

I’m a sedan type of car guy, through and through. And I hate SUVs with a passion. However, I do have a HUGE soft spot for hatchbacks, specially the so -called “hot hatches”. The Renault 5 Turbo is one of the best examples of a hot hatch. Weighing just 970 kg but with 160 hp on tap, the mid-engine homologation special was a driver’s dream. And the car was so good that instead of the minimum 400 units Renault needed for homologation, over 3100 cars were made.

I hate to look back and sound really old by saying those were the “good old days”. However, back then we had a Renault 5 Turbo. Nowadays, it looks like of every three cars on the road two are SUVs… 😣

Legendary Porsches

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.

The really first Silberpfeil

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. In this video was the first time 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.

Mazda 787B

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.

The coming of the disk brake

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.