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Is vintage/historic racing dying?


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#1 David Birchall

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 21:15

Following on from comments made on the "Monterey Historics 2009" thread and others, I am wondering if we are seeing the death throws of vintage/historic racing? When I started racing in the mid/late seventies there were grids full of Lotus Elevens, there were sports racing Ferraris, Maseratis, Listers etc. Now all that stuff is too expensive and the average guy races a Porsche 911, BMW 2002 or similar. Just how long can interest be supported at this level? Is it a generational thing? ie, we are getting too old? Have you tried to sell historical auto magazines lately-nobody wants them! Should we baby boomers just slide off into the sunset and take our memories with us?

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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 22:14

Following on from comments made on the "Monterey Historics 2009" thread and others, I am wondering if we are seeing the death throws of vintage/historic racing? When I started racing in the mid/late seventies there were grids full of Lotus Elevens, there were sports racing Ferraris, Maseratis, Listers etc. Now all that stuff is too expensive and the average guy races a Porsche 911, BMW 2002 or similar. Just how long can interest be supported at this level? Is it a generational thing? ie, we are getting too old? Have you tried to sell historical auto magazines lately-nobody wants them! Should we baby boomers just slide off into the sunset and take our memories with us?

To me it is fairly obvious David in that the older cars have got too expensive to risk racing and the technical knowhow is being lost about the cars. The newer cars are cheaper to run, and faster too.

#3 Gary C

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 23:34

Don't forget the high entry fees etc (at least on this side of the pond).

#4 ZOOOM

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 23:56

Recently, I have pondered this several times, myself...

The vintage races at Road America have become thinner and thinner. This year , featuring the GT40, the numbers of original cars has dwindled and those that did show up, were on display only.

I checked with Tom (RA Historian) and found that the last of the stalwarts, Augie Pabst, didn't show up with the Scarab at the Brian Redman Vintage races at Road America for the first time any one of us can remember...
The reason?... Augie is getting older (arn't we all) and the physical effort to drive the car at representative speed, is no longer achievable. That and the undeniable fact that the Scarab is now worth many millions of dollars. I'm sure the cost of insuring these beasts is also out of perverbial sight too. Now, that is the reality over here in the US.... but I'm sure you can take the same scenario and apply it to the races on the Continent.

We are getting older.... the cars are getting older ( Augie told me that the cost to magniflux the parts and repair the car are becomming outrageous) the costs to insure the cars is incredable...
Now, I'm talking about historic american "specials" here... Transfer this thought to cars like the 250 Masaratis, D jaguars, even the Mercedes racers like "722" and the incredable W 196's and W 154's.... Bend those.... and historic racing is over...

Go see the remaining cars if you can.... there may not be another chance...

ZOOOM

#5 hatrat

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 01:13

It could well be that the diminishing interest is a combination of issues. The cars are definitely becoming more expensive to acquire and run. In addition, these were the cars of our youth and accordingly they were the cars we aspired to when we read the period magazines. As we get older the new generation of racers with a little money to spend aspire to the cars of their youth and "our" cars don't have the emotional attachment to them that they do with us.
I'm trying to get my sons interested in racing my 1950s and 1960s single seaters but they are more interested in their BMW 2002 and Ford Escort race cars to which they have more affinity.

#6 RA Historian

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 01:13

Yep, the times, they are a'changing..... As Zoom says, the game here in the States is rapidly changing indeed. One example: at the 1982 Road America Historics I counted 92 Ferraris present, the majority of which went on the track at one time or another. At this year's edition, not one Ferrari raced! There were far more Ferraris in the spectator parking area than in the paddock. There were no Lotus 11s, Maseratis, Coopers, D Jaguars, etc., present. One Lister. And on and on. I have said this before, and you are probably getting tired of my saying so, but historic racing in the States is but a shadow of what it was 10 and more years ago. Almost all the good cars are gone, now in collections or living in hermetically sealed garages., brought out rarely at best. I can understand an owner not wanting to risk his very expensive car on the track, but would appreciate the car being brought out for us to see. The Ford GT-40 featured marque at this year's Road America event had a very nice display tent of the LeMans winners and other significant GT-40s, but outside of one or two, all the GT-40s on the track for the GT-40 race were replicas. And of course, "period correct" is a term that is practically extinct here.

I could go on and on, but what's the point. The 'good old days' of vintage racing in the US are over. The real old racers are simply too valuable to run anymore, replicas, fakes, and way over prepared cars have driven the 'period correct' cars out, and what is left at times is not worth the effort to watch. I know I will catch flak on this, but it is the way I feel. As Col Capps said a number of months before, vintage racing has been replaced by vanity racing. :cry:

Tom

#7 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 03:00

vintage racing has been replaced by vanity racing. :cry:

Tom


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#8 buckaluck

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 03:54

Following on from comments made on the "Monterey Historics 2009" thread and others, I am wondering if we are seeing the death throws of vintage/historic racing? When I started racing in the mid/late seventies there were grids full of Lotus Elevens, there were sports racing Ferraris, Maseratis, Listers etc. Now all that stuff is too expensive and the average guy races a Porsche 911, BMW 2002 or similar. Just how long can interest be supported at this level? Is it a generational thing? ie, we are getting too old? Have you tried to sell historical auto magazines lately-nobody wants them! Should we baby boomers just slide off into the sunset and take our memories with us?



Yes one side of it is that the 40' / 50's crowd grew up on trans am and can am plus F5000 on this side of the pond and most of the cars are the price of a nice house in even the best of cities at the high end and a mobile home at the low end.
The cost of running one of these cars for a race weekend (with no incident on track or under the hood) is more than most of spend for a years worth of gas. So how many of us in the 40's / 50's mind you that enjoy and would be interested in racing on track have made enough money to have the DISPOSABLE income to achieve that goal? It's the economics of this year
for sure and it may last awhile but David Love still races his 1958 Testarossa which is worth 4+ million so there are people willing to race them IF they have them, it's just that the ones who are willing are not the ones with the money to be able to do it!!!

For the Monterey Historics they chose who can play and who can not yet it is one of the most expensive vintage races to attend it was going to be 110.00 just for gas and a ticket let alone food or drink or program (which is another 10.00) so if they charge an entry fee as well they are making it from both ends.

Even though Porsche was the main Marque I was not impressed with the line up of cars in Can Am and several other higher end race groups, the low groups seemed to have a good field of cars, but this is the Historics. So if vintage racing is dying it most likely will be the bigger events.

Buck

#9 lowdrag

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 05:44

My 2 cents from here at Le Mans. Classic racing, as evidenced by the flagship events such as the Le Mans Classic is on the up and up. The first edition in 2002 saw 30,000 spectators and very poor grids. For 2008 there were over 80,000 and some great car including the Ferrari breadvan, numerous D types and so on. Not one GTO though. Next year the criteria for getting an entry seem, from what I've heard, even tougher to weed out the entries.

By contrast, each alternative year we have Le Mans story which this year was a shocking affair. Formula 500 racers came from the UK but only at the last minute when they chopped 2/3rds off the entry fee and for the rest - well, I've never taken so few photos.

The Silverstone Classic, management apart, seems to be re-establishing itself well with full grids and good racing. The Goodwood Revival? No need to ask; no possibility of entering, by invite only but for the first time a polite request to "donate" £1,000 to the cause if invited.

At grass roots level racing does seem to be dying because of the costs charged by circuits and I guess insurance too. However, track days are booming and wherever you look it is getting difficult to find a circuit to rent at a reasonable time of the year, as witnessed by the ferraris on the Bugatti circuit last year; the only available slot was in November.

But, wistfully, I remember the first Goodwood revival in 1998 and if my memory serves there were about four or five GTO's battling it out on the track. Now we have Nick Mason and that's that. At the very top these cars are for showing wealth only it seems, works of art not machinery designed to be used in anger. The biggest threat though to our beloved ones seems to be the decibel meter. Even here in France they are starting to impose restrictions.

#10 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 06:06

Gary C.
The cost of entries etc is getting greater all the time in New Zealand to race on the tar seal tracks as well.
I sometimes give my "vintage racer" a run at the local speedway were there is no entry fee etc. [ only NZ$25 for a season CTRA Historic Licence]. They are pleased to have the cars on show

#11 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 06:39

Gary C.
The cost of entries etc is getting greater all the time in New Zealand to race on the tar seal tracks as well.
I sometimes give my "vintage racer" a run at the local speedway were there is no entry fee etc. [ only NZ$25 for a season CTRA Historic Licence]. They are pleased to have the cars on show

Your lucky Peter, in Oz NASR are now taking around $100 for a liscence plus ever increasing club subs and we are getting less runs. Or are programmed, have a decent field and get turfed a few days before becouse the meeting may run overtime. And that one finished at 10.30 with an 11 pm curfew and they still had all 3 'late models' doing a demonstration that was not calendered.


#12 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 06:42

Though CAMS are not to be out done, above cpi increases every year then they now charge around $600 for a certificate of description and i guess extra for a new historic log book too

#13 Gary C

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 06:56

........with the HSCC here in the UK, we average a 20 minute practice session with a 15 minute race. Along for something like £230 ! Now, what's that in US$??

#14 Alan Cox

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:14

........with the HSCC here in the UK, we average a 20 minute practice session with a 15 minute race. Along for something like £230 ! Now, what's that in US$??

About $380

#15 Gary C

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:44

So....................that's quite expensive, isn't it?

#16 Allan Lupton

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:11

For comparison, the VSCC Donington entry fees (5/6 September) are:

Vintage Seaman Trophy (Set 1) £215
Historic Seaman and Flockhart Trophies (Set 2) £225
Standard and Modified Sports-Cars (Set 3) £145
Special Sports-Cars (Set 4) £145
Short Scratch Race (Set 5) £109
Short Handicap Race (Set 6) £109
1950s Sports Racing Cars £225
VSCC Ladies Race £109
FN/GN Racing Cars £145
Williams Trophy Race £190

(Set 1, etc refer to eligibility criteria)

#17 2Bob

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:30

Please guys,

All migrate to OZ (with your cars) if you want reasonably priced racing. Actually you don't need to migrate just bring the cars over here and leave them and then come over 6 or 7 times a year to race. Good for our engineers too!

Admittedly Sandown entry fees are $700 I believe but come to Mallala and get 4 or 5, 5 or 8 lap races, plus 20 minutes practice, over 2 days for about $200 entry fee. (Half that in pounds sterling).

I run a 1974 'clubman' (as in Lotus 7 style) in historic because a) I have had it for 24 years and b) best bang for the buck. Car is worth maybe $25,000 (if I can find a buyer which I am not looking for) and I usually get a dice with another similar car or two. Four 'normal' club meetings a year plus Easter which is only historics is enough for me budget wise. I hope to get away with a budget of less than $5000 for a year (I better according to my wife) including engine rebuild, tyres and entry fees and maybe a minor prang.

OK so I'm not talking particularly interesting cars (from a UK or US point of view) but certainly 'historics' are going OK at this level.

Which brings up, if I can race a car with, say, an annual budget of 20% of its value, then if you can afford a 'whatever' for $10,000,000 you should be able to spend 1 or 2 million on the racing budget which should allow for a few minor prangs!!!!!!! And if you don't race it, or allow someone else to, you are a wanker. Only my opinion of course.

#18 Stephen W

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:46

It isn't just Historic Racing that is undergoing a fall-off in entries it is hitting all levels of the sport even the grass-roots disciplines of hillclimbing and sprinting.

Most of this is a combination of (a) increasing entry fees, (b) increasing fuel prices (for tow cars mainly), © the recession and finally (d) the family growing up and having other interests.

I suspect 2010 will be just as bad or even worse but then I expect that in 2011 we will start to see a bounce back as we all start to climb out of recession.

:wave:

#19 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:54

One's age probably has a lot to do with this. Compared to the three days of Heaven that used to be the old Silverstone Coys Festival, the current Classic weekend is, to me, very much a 'modern' affair with little to attract those who appreciate pre-1957 front engined racing cars. For many of us, things were never the same once the small lightweight rear engined cars began to dominate motor racing in the late fifties and now we find that things have turned full circle and those dratted cars are now ruling historic racing!. of course , as time passes by, history becomes more and more recent and I now find it quite possible to attend an 'historic' race meeting and not see anything that I consider to be historic!. Why for example does the Historic Sports Car Club not feature races for historic sports cars?!.

The big exception to all of this is The Goodwood Revival which I have attended in the past and thought truly wonderful, though not having kept my National Service Corporals uniform I felt a little out of place amongs all of the 'top brass' surrounding me. So its thanks to the VSCC whose meetings provide that rare opportunity to go the whole day without seeing a slick tyre (apart from the historically bald ones of course). Maybe I am just too old for historic racing.

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#20 Cirrus

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 09:12

Despite the high entry fees, club-level historic racing does still attract good entries in the UK - 430+ for the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting.

http://www.hscc.org......0Gold Cup.pdf

#21 simon drabble

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 09:38

The headline events in Europe (Silverstone Classic, Goodwood, Spa 6 Hour, HSCC Super Prix etc) are still full with reserves and top cars showing and racing hard .... I cant comment on the States but from what I understand the racing over there has always been less competitive than Europe. I think you will find true enthusiasts are not so wrapped up in the values.....
As for costs? A weekend's racing costs the same as a weekend playing golf, shooting or indeed any other similar hobby. Yes Goodwood have asked for donations but there is no minimum or black list for those that dont. Personally I have had the good fortune to have been invited for free on several occassions in the past so making a donation to show my appreciation for being invited to the top historic event in the world was really not very difficult to justify!!

#22 Chezrome

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:15


I think historic racing first and foremost needs another way of raising the money for the races. An entryfee of 1000 euro's is ridiculous... because I estimate that is about the cost of a weekend racing with a classic F1 car!

What one could do is get a core of say ten carowners. They raise the initial money for the race. Let's say 10.000 euro's. And then the money every new entry that is enlisted after that, will be partly paid back to the first 'investors'. That way the first ten entrants have a stake in trying to get as many entries as they can. Because that would mean, for them, cheaper racing. One could also give the first ten entrants a percentage of the profit.



#23 RTH

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:23

Watching the British Touring Car races last Sunday , Britain's premier and most prestigious saloon car racing series there were just 14 entries ( which surely is just half a grid) and the 3 car works Vauxhall team are pulling out for next year as well.

It can only be that competitor costs are far too high all round.
I would have thought that £150 as an entry fee for the most minor of club races ought to be plenty. However they are typically £200-350 , at Silverstone for the Historic weekend they were £600-800 and I understand the Goodwood Revival expect donations of £1000 per race I am told by a long term competitor.

If entries are not in a decline yet, then I would expect them to go in to one over the next few years, because of the costs.

#24 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:14

Once the driver/car owners got paid [ who need money to run there cars ] and the officials were volunteers, now the officials get the money and the drivers are the volunteers :confused:

Edited by Peter Leversedge, 20 August 2009 - 12:15.


#25 simon drabble

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:32

Richard normally you and I sing from the same doom and gloom hymn sheet but here I disagree....

I am cherry picking my meetings and I am sure others are doing the same. So on that basis I will only do the better ones which ineviteably cost more. Having said that when you take into consideration all the other costs the entry fee, sadly, is actually a small factor....

#26 RA Historian

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 14:17

It appears evident that the state of 'vintage' racing differs considerably in Europe, Down Under, and the States. My earlier comments pertain to what I perceive to be a declining level of quality here in the US.

I found this quote by the esteemed Michael T. Lynch on the 'Veloce Today' weekly e mail, posted concerning the upcoming big changeover at the Monterey Historics. But it is a sentence that I believe very concisely states the status of vintage racing in the US and what is the cause of its decline:

"Other vintage racing organizations with less rigorous standards have seen the participation of the most significant historic cars dwindle as racing against highly modified cars and their unrealistically enhanced performance became less and less attractive to the owners of the most important unmodified cars. " --Michael T. Lynch.

Bravo, Mr. Lynch, that says it all! :up:

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 20 August 2009 - 14:18.


#27 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 14:40

"Other vintage racing organizations with less rigorous standards have seen the participation of the most significant historic cars dwindle as racing against highly modified cars and their unrealistically enhanced performance became less and less attractive to the owners of the most important unmodified cars. "


...not to mention the insidious acceptance of replicas by even some of the most ostensibly strict organizers and governing bodies.

Jack.


#28 Stephen W

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 14:48

...not to mention the insidious acceptance of replicas by even some of the most ostensibly strict organizers and governing bodies.

Jack.


Don't get me started! :mad:

#29 molestrangler

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 15:13

One of the problems with historic racing is that it`s too democratic. In most situations, the guy with a fine front engined GP
car pays the same entry as one with a barely eligible and cheap to run makeweight. Owners of good cars are not made to feel valued and rarely bring out their cars.
Another thing that irritates somewhat is the new trend of series organisers such as Masters and Motor Racing Legends who are
in it to make money and escalate the cost yet further. Another problem with these organisations is that when short of entries
they tend to throw eligibility out of the window.

#30 Simon Hadfield

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 16:19

To reply to the thread title, no, its evolving. Just as the original dinosaurs may have got a little brassed off with their lot the first time round so will the "dinosaurs" this time round. In our workshops we have (amongst others) a Ferrari 312PB, a Maserati 250F, a real ex-Jimmy Lotus 21 (and a 48) the ex- Ashdown works Lotus 11 and all get raced as and when the owners feel like it - the cars are used as racing cars, not showroom queens. As to the question of the probity or otherwise of the two organisations mentioned above I have found them to be at the forefront of sorting the wheat from the chaff, when a fairly major anomaly was found at the Silverstone Classic the issue was addressed the following week and all concerned informed of the actions taken.

#31 RTH

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 16:54

Richard normally you and I sing from the same doom and gloom hymn sheet but here I disagree....

I am cherry picking my meetings and I am sure others are doing the same. So on that basis I will only do the better ones which inevitably cost more. Having said that when you take into consideration all the other costs the entry fee, sadly, is actually a small factor....


I can understand and agree with that Simon.

My point goes much further than just entry fees.
However over the last 25 years progressively organisations have become bloated with staff and greed - far too many people wanting and expecting to make big money out of low level motor sport.
Just one small example , when as a spectator you arrive by car you pass through the hands of perhaps 10 paid staff whose only function for the day is to point the direction you are to drive. A function 20 years ago that was carried out by 10 paper arrows on sticks ! Circuit owners have become greedy , selling promotion rights to other commercial promoters who then rent the fixtures to clubs who in turn are now run by full time paid staff with company cars pension funds etc etc . Massive unnecessary costs all down the line

Long term all of this is unsustainable. Clubs like the BRSCC used to be run after hours by unpaid volunteer enthusiasts, I knew several of them , who did it for the joy of being involved in running UK motor racing after their full time daytime job.

Motor racing at the grass roots amateur level ( I don't necessarily mean just historics here ), in real terms is far less affordable than it was in 60s/70s/80s. In real terms entry fees have at least doubled. 2 day meetings, for no good reason put everyone's costs up vastly. Regulation both technical car regs and over zealous perceived safety equipment replacement intervals have gone beyond common sense. Sluggish organisation on the day , dead track time bad for spectators double costs for competitors. When did you last see 12 practice sessions and 12 races in a day which was typical at Lydden in the early 70s ! Brilliantly slick military style organisation by TEAC.

No consideration whatsoever in recent times has been given to the affordability of their customers - the competitors.

Simon , I know you are able to operate at a higher level than many who are down at entry level car racing, yet even you say you have to cherry pick meetings because of the costs now. Had you been racing in the 70s I cannot imagine you having cost restraints like they are now and would have had the freedom to race as where and when and as frequently you wished , - as many of us did.

All this just progressively reduces the quality and as a result the spectacle of motor racing today.......and I truly believe it does not have to be like this. It needs a top to bottom financial review, and a massive slim down.
Economic pull back is not some temporary glitch , it is a new reality which has much further to slide yet and will be with us for the foreseeable future.
So circuit owners, clubs, MSA etc - either change or over time gradually you will become extinct.

Edited by RTH, 20 August 2009 - 17:03.


#32 Paul Taylor

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 17:11

No consideration whatsoever in recent times has been given to the affordability of their customers - the competitors.


But it's been proved that people can and are willing to pay the entry fees. I wouldn't be surprised if the people right up the top keep pushing the price up until they see grids reducing in size and that's when they'll cap it.

#33 Voodoo Bob

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 18:22

Well, I'm just glad that I was able to attend the Monterey Historics in its early "glory days." I first went in 1976, the first Jaguar year, and it was wonderful. Tons of truly interesting cars, small crowd, and a laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of my weekend at Lime Rock in 1961 for the regionals. The next year, Alfa's, all three BATs and a Disco Volante or two were there. In the mid-to-late '70s, there were usually up to a half-dozen GTOs racing, and a ticket to the races on Saturday AND the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday was 12 to 15 US dollars. You could get to the concours as late as 7:30 or 8:00 and park in the angled parking 100 feet from the front of the lodge. And you could even see the cars on the greens through the crowd! The Motel 6 on Fremont Street was still in the neighborhood of its namesake six bucks a night. If I remember correctly, my whole Historics weekend in 1976 cost me less that $100 for gas, hotel room, tickets, and food. What a great ROI that was!

These days, that same Motel 6 is over $100 a night for the Historics weekend and you need to be on their list of perpetual lodgers to stay there at all; the hotel my wife and I stayed at the last several times we attended is now $500/night, and you had better make your reservation no later than February. Tickets to the races for all three days are still fairly reasonable, I think, at just over $100, but tickets to concours events like Pebble, the Quail, and even Concorso Italiano have gone ballistic. If you're going to Pebble and planning to take pictures, you'd better get there at dawn and be prepared to walk a LONG way from where you parked. I realize that in 1976 $100 was a large portion of a week's pay for ordinary people like me, but at today's prices I can no longer do the weekend, even without any concours events, for anything like a week's pay. And as everyone has pointed out, the grids are not as special these days as they once were.

Oh, well, everything has its day, I guess, and I've had some fine times and seen some great cars at The Historics as a spectator and occasional photographer, but I'm sorry that I probably won't be seeing or shooting that 5th Ferrari year in 2014.

Edited by Voodoo Bob, 21 August 2009 - 06:29.


#34 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 23:58

RTH - you are on the right track and that is keeping a lot of cars off the race track

#35 Lola5000

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:20

i did it for over 20 years,lost interest as to the stand over tactics of CAMS.

#36 Lotus11Register

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 02:07

Like the sleeping worm who awakes and raises his head beneath the lawnmower, I say, "What?"

Vintage racing in the 1970s saved countless cars from oblivion, and many a Lotus Eleven was pulled out from under a tarp and made to run again to provide someone with a cheap way to get involved in a fantastic sport. For less than half the price of new Formula Ford a guy could get an Eleven, extra engines and spares, probably several volunteers, and go racing. It was a blast. But there are inherent problems here for people who "love to see and hear the cars do what they were made for." Race by race and piece by piece the cars get chewed up, sometimes with sudden violence. Little by little the car becomes less of a 1957 whatever and more of a reproduction. There are more issues: How many spectators can really hear the difference between a Climax at 8000 RPM and a Miata, or is it just knowing that one is a half century old and the other nearly new? How many actual racers prefer to plant their ass in an antique at high speed and leave the safe, modern racecar at home? It is really the love for old cars that fuels this? Sorry for rambling. The rest of you have already answered better than I can.

A few years ago Vic Thomas and I were meandering through the Silverstone paddock during the July vintage race weekend when we stopped to examine a very highly prepped S-2 Eleven. The car had a modern scoop on the bonnet to ram air into the carbs. Vic pointed out to the crew that the original design did that without the drawbacks they had created. The crew chief then said something profound with a direct bearing on this thread:
"You don't understand. That was the past. We have to do things differently now."

To me, that is a shame.






#37 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:59

A few years ago Vic Thomas and I were meandering through the Silverstone paddock during the July vintage race weekend when we stopped to examine a very highly prepped S-2 Eleven. The car had a modern scoop on the bonnet to ram air into the carbs. Vic pointed out to the crew that the original design did that without the drawbacks they had created. The crew chief then said something profound with a direct bearing on this thread:
"You don't understand. That was the past. We have to do things differently now."

To me, that is a shame.


The man who posts as "Silkolene" would understand!
It is bound to be a problem in that in any racing the object is to do better than others, so even in historic/Vintage/etc. racing no unfair advantage is too small to ignore.
When 250F Maseratis first appeared in VSCC racing it wasn't long before a good amateur (Charles Lucas) could lap Silverstone faster than Fangio ever had - some of that was track surface, of course, and a lot of the rest must have been tyre rubber.
I remember when someone first introduced "Classic Saloon Car" racing I was told how cheap it would be because it would be for standard specification cars.
My reaction to that was that policing "standard" would be hard, if not impossible, but if it could be done well, it would make preparing a car to the limits of "standard" cost a fortune (think "blueprinting" the Group I saloon cars of the time). Brakes were "free" and tyres, so long as they were not racing tyres, were also "free" in the interests of safety. An early leader of the field drove a Lancia Aurelia which had been fitted with (IIRC) Porsche disc brakes and ran on tyres that probably cost more than the whole Ford Zephyr that someone else had.


#38 David Birchall

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 22:43

One of the problems with historic racing is that it`s too democratic. In most situations, the guy with a fine front engined GP
car pays the same entry as one with a barely eligible and cheap to run makeweight. Owners of good cars are not made to feel valued and rarely bring out their cars.
Another thing that irritates somewhat is the new trend of series organisers such as Masters and Motor Racing Legends who are
in it to make money and escalate the cost yet further. Another problem with these organisations is that when short of entries
they tend to throw eligibility out of the window.


It is the "throwing the eligibility out the window" that really ticks me off! At our local historics the president of the club that runs the track-not the organizing club- and another race official got to race their modern Porsche race cars in with the 'Vintage' cars. Obviously they just drove off into the distance--proving what....?

There have been some good points made by all the posters. I suppose it is a combination of things: Costs, aging drivers, lowering of standards, values of racing cars and of course, the celebrity aspect at such events as Goodwood etc.


#39 silicanza

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 13:05

Though CAMS are not to be out done, above cpi increases every year then they now charge around $600 for a certificate of description and i guess extra for a new historic log book too


A contrast to what MSNZ charges. NZ$85 for a Certificate of Description. Other costs, $85 for a log Book, $185 for an annual National Race Licence .
The VCCNZ here hand race licence's out in the Corny packets. No test and only $25 for 5 years, $5 for a log book.

Most circuit races seem to be around the $160 to $185 per event and depending on the club from three to five races plus practice. The McLaren Festival is $450, this covers the two events at Hampton Downs and Pukekohe, but they will be spectacular.

Some of the UK drivers who raced here last year for the 50th anniversary FJ said; As a group its cheaper to ship there cars from Europe to New Zealand to race than transport them and race at some of the events back in Europe. Obviously its the time taken to fly out and back that makes it difficult.

On the bright side, UK Dunlop racing rubber is cheap, relative to what we pay.

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#40 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 03:40

Just had one of those VCCNZ race licence's arrrive by mail today. Did not know you could find one in a Corny packet, could have gone around to the super market instead !!

#41 artracer

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 23:06

when the $$$$$$$ returns I think much of the grid will as well. Sure than Old FatherTime thing is working against us, but lets keep them running before some Green politician sticks it's nose in and tries to have them all banned...... Galleries of Rennsports II and III at the link below for those interested plus a couple of HSR's. I scanning old slides as we speak. Thank goodness for digital...

Edited by artracer, 29 August 2009 - 23:06.


#42 john ruston

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:19

The Monterey entry fee was half the cost of any at Silverstone Classic and a third of Goodwood.
This may change now Steve Earle has been replaced by an alternative organisation.
If you cherry pick events you can have a reasonable time and the entry fees are the minor costs these days with prep and transport being much more.
Simon Drabble is correct but more and more people want to race cars that were club racers in 60/70's.The fake /continuation/replica/re engineered things are screwing the whole thing but that was always going to to be the case despite the claptrap that the makers of these things use to justify their commercial position.We havn't touched on cheating that is a blight in the Historic World.
Bottom line is that grids are full at major meetings.There are to many other meetings .

#43 RTH

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:46

I suspect this will change over the next few years with the drying up of investment income and curtailment of the bonus culture, business profitability reduced only partially stemmed recently by short term cost cutting and the 'dead cat bounce' we are seeing in the stock market and property prices.
Underlying fundamentals remain poor, unemployment continues an upward spiral with all the lack of demand consequences for business that will follow in its wake.
Even in the medium term borrowing will not return to the reckless period of the past decade and there is a wave of particularly historic racing car owners who are reaching an age when they are packing up.

We will see, but I think for many reasons grids numbers will go in to decline over the next 5 years. Anything with less than 25 starters is insufficient either for spectators or organisers.

#44 Andrew Fellowes

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 09:22

Simon Drabble is correct but more and more people want to race cars that were club racers in 60/70's.The fake /continuation/replica/re engineered things are screwing the whole thing but that was always going to to be the case despite the claptrap that the makers of these things use to justify their commercial position.We havn't touched on cheating that is a blight in the Historic World.

To understand today one my first understand yesterday, Historics has evolved and will continue, it isn't dying, its changing. One question I have is what does everyone want to see? Cars that are true to original or passable facsimiles? I stand firmly on the former but the UK and the USA administration does not and perhaps as I said its because that it the way it has evolved.
There will always be fakes, and the higher up the food chain that these originate from the cleverer they are, and they are still happening, and right from the top too.


#45 Red Socks

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 15:37

To understand today one my first understand yesterday, Historics has evolved and will continue, it isn't dying, its changing. One question I have is what does everyone want to see? Cars that are true to original or passable facsimiles? I stand firmly on the former but the UK and the USA administration does not and perhaps as I said its because that it the way it has evolved.
There will always be fakes, and the higher up the food chain that these originate from the cleverer they are, and they are still happening, and right from the top too.


On the USA the Vintage motor sport is run by a very large number of clubs all over the country. Mostly it is run for the benefit of its clubs members-remember that the ASN has no input at all into the sporting activities of Vintage Clubs either in safety terms or eligibility terms. Each club will allow whatever its memebers want -and some clubs are in fact private businesses .So to suggest that the USA administration has an over view is completely wrong.
In the UK at least the MSA lays down national rules for safety but that is all. The clubs can run whatever they want.
The CAMS model, not universally admired even in Australia ,is just about unique.

#46 HistoricMustang

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 21:16

Following on from comments made on the "Monterey Historics 2009" thread and others, I am wondering if we are seeing the death throws of vintage/historic racing? When I started racing in the mid/late seventies there were grids full of Lotus Elevens, there were sports racing Ferraris, Maseratis, Listers etc. Now all that stuff is too expensive and the average guy races a Porsche 911, BMW 2002 or similar. Just how long can interest be supported at this level? Is it a generational thing? ie, we are getting too old? Have you tried to sell historical auto magazines lately-nobody wants them! Should we baby boomers just slide off into the sunset and take our memories with us?


IMHO certain segments of the Historic/Vintage section of Motorsports are actually expanding.

Perhaps the on track events are a year or so off, but the base is being put in place for a very enjoyable ride.

And, I would reference this place as the phenomenon, beginning with stock cars. Approaching 5000 members in a very, very short time.

www.racersreunion.com

Henry :wave:

#47 Andrew Fellowes

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 21:17

Hi Red Socks, we've discussed this elsewhere haven't we? :wave:

I assumed the USA was fragmented to a degree but I hadn't appreciated to the extent that it is,
Originality, or lack off has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread with the following excuse by pit crew, "You don't understand. That was the past. We have to do things differently now." Is this really important? Is it a deterrent, a negative to spectator and competitor alike? The excuse trotted out is that we want to see cars out on the track and therefore the fact that its not running to original spec is of secondary consideration. I think this is b/s, it costs no more to prepare a car to original spec., but at what point safety takes precedent I'm not so sure about. In another place we have discussed cv's versus donuts, now the former may be safer but on a BT21? Is that really necessary? In this case sliding splines would be the obvious choice.

To wind back the clock in Europe and the USA would be a herculean task, but if one was to be allowed to re-write the rules then I for one would demand a much higher standard than today.



#48 onelung

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 08:10

"...In another place we have discussed cv's versus donuts, now the former may be safer but on a BT21? Is that really necessary? In this case sliding splines would be the obvious choice...."

Bravo! I'm into veteran motoring, not Historic racing, but in a sense the same rationale applies. There are anally retentive individuals who get their knickers in a right twist over a "non-period-correct" part having been utilised on a pre-1919 car. My feeling is, if it appears the same to Joe Public and it keeps the (veteran) car on the road for aforesaid Joe P. to see, what the hell! The important thing is to be transparent about what has been done to the car - yes, I know that doesn't always happen.. and if it involves undeclared internal "go faster" bits for the sake of winning events, then I do NOT agree with the alterations.