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Nostalgic youngsters and their favourite eras


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#1 Dunc

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 15:30

On the Sky coverage thread (http://forums.autosp...howtopic=162980) someone posted a comment that younger F1 fans weren't interested in the history of F1 and think it all began with Schumacher.

I'm young (well, younger than Jenson Button but older than Lewis Hamilton) and do have an interest in the sport's history, as do many of my F1 fan friends. I thought I'd start a thread to see how many people in their teens, 20s and 30s are interested in the sport's history and what periods are of particular interest to them.

Having spent a lot of my life in southern Scotland and Cumbria, I've got a great interest in Jim Clark and the racing from his era. I'm also very interested in F1 from around the time I was born (early 80s) purely because, from what I've seen, the races then always seemed to throw something interesting up.

Edited by Dunc, 14 March 2012 - 12:05.


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#2 cpbell

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 16:15

I'm 31 and most eras interest or fascinate me. Particular interest in the pre-WWI Grands Prix de l'ACF, 1934-39, 1950s-60s and the era I remember most as a kid (late-80s to mid-90s. I'm also fascinated by the huge advances in safety from the late 1960s onwards and how those changes affected the character of the sport.

#3 snettertonesses

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 16:26

My daughter - age 28 - has blossomed into a F-1 Fanatic. i force feed her bits of history when i find them relevant. i started her off with a discussion of Froilan Gonzales - The Pampas Bull. She was most impressed with his physique, but could appreciate that a GP back in the 50s was a bit more of a test of physical strength and stamina than today's races that require dealing with monstrous G-loads and physical stamina.
i love to find pics from silverstone back in the 60s with only rudimentry crowd control, beauteeeful cars, few fences and you could almost reach out and touch them!

#4 WillHenderson

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 17:09

Having spent a lot of my life in southern Scotland and Cumbria, I've got a great interest in Jim Clark and the racing from his era.



Hi Dunc, If you are interested in this era I'm setting up a website of my fathers motor racing photos from this era mainly taken in Scotland www.thebillhendersoncollection.co.uk

William

#5 Rob

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 17:27

I'm 27. Started watching F1 in the mid 90s and was well aware of the history even then. I found these romantic tales from yesteryear highly fascinating and I still do.

I have a particular interest in the 1930s, but enjoy most eras. I'm finding it harder than ever to watch modern F1 though. It's lost most of its appeal.

#6 kayemod

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 18:38

This is a good thread topic, especially coming as it does from someone of relatively tender (by TNF standards) years. I bet it's a long time since we had a thread on here where the average of contributors was possibly something under 30, I'm not including myself here. Get to it kids!

#7 E.B.

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 19:08

Still just about in my 30s, so I guess I qualify.

I follow many sports avidly, and am a keen student of the history of all those sports. I can’t see how any true fan could fail to be interested – think of all those great races / games / matches from the past that you’d have missed out on if you hadn’t read up on them!

In motorsport this feeling is especially strong – having started watching in the early 80s, my interest began to wane in the mid 90s (once all my original favourites had departed from the scene perhaps), and now I watch F1 more out of habit than anything else.

Even from the beginning (1982 ish) I was keen to learn about the past – my first two literary aides were Mike Kettlewell’s book of facts and figures which gave all the stats, and the Nigel Roebuck/Michael Turner book which vividly brought them to life.

From the late 80s though I’ve developed a passion for the history of top flight US open wheel racing, with a particular fascination for the 50s and 60s, although I happily devour all the available literature (which isn’t much) on the pre WW2 eras as well.


#8 mscheeres

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 19:18

Saw my first F1 race in 1995 at the age of 5 (altough I've been at Zandvoort several times before and watched WRC, ice racing, Dakar etc at the age of 3-4) and watched what I could from 1996 onwards. I could only choose the tv channel on monday evenings and sometimes during lunch break so it really had to be shown in that space or else I wasn't able to watch it! Obviously I did watch F1 on sundays (and qualification when I was at home). Got my hands on every magazine I could as a kid until my interest in motorsport got away around 2000. Did watch F1 but more because of a habit.

Things really changed when I got my own TV in 2003 and when I got the hardware to record off TV. Have been watching and recording motorsport non stop ever since. When I found out I wasn't the only guy recording motorsport I found many people with old TV recordings. Now the proud owner of around 2000 DVDs (altough I've saved them as data so hard to guess the correct amount) of races and related clips :wave:

Main interest is anything from the 60s to 80s - great cars, great tracks, great drivers and I've (sadly :cry:) never been able to see all of that with my own eyes at the track.

#9 midgrid

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 22:54

I'm 23, have been watching Formula 1 since 1996, and am gradually increasing my knowledge of the sport's history since then. One of my earliest memories on the subject was using the first F1 book I owned (a 1996 preview by Bruce Jones) to attempt to compile a list of who had driven for which team in the 1995 season, an goal which eluded me for several years until I acquired some more books and learned how to use the internet. One of these big "breakthroughs" was when I received the 2001 Formula One Annual for Christmas that year; the first time I had access to full race results all the way back to 1950.

Now I have a decent library of F1 and motorsport books, and a much greater knowledge of the sport's history, but I feel somewhat humbled every time I venture into this forum! My favourite season from before I started watching is 1995, and my level of knowledge gradually declines as the years get more distant. I agree with Rob above that contemporary F1 has lost some of its appeal compared to when I started watching (or is it just part of my own transition from child to adult?), but I'm still interested enough. Perhaps in a few decades I'll be firmly in TNF or its future equivalent, grumbling about how the 1990s and 2000s were much better than the current state of affairs - no doubt a strange thought for most of the current regulars!

Edited by midgrid, 14 March 2012 - 13:08.


#10 Stephen W

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:14

This is a good thread topic, especially coming as it does from someone of relatively tender (by TNF standards) years. I bet it's a long time since we had a thread on here where the average of contributors was possibly something under 30, I'm not including myself here. Get to it kids!


Just like 'Kayemod' I'm slightly over 30! My interest in motor sport was created by my father and a school chum. I was really into the racing but family circumstances meant that we could only manage one or two trips a year to a race meeting (my father worked on Saturdays).

I am glad that the younger element have started this thread and look forward to browsing the posts.

:up:

#11 Rob

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:28

One of this big "breakthroughs" was when I received the 2001 Formula One Annual for Christmas that year; the first time I had access to full race results all the way back to 1950.


This leads to another of my interests - researching to try and compile a full set of results for Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Unlike Formula One, we do not have the luxury of a complete set of results! In particular, the retirements are very difficult as most were glossed over in the text and retirements were barely ever included in results tables. I've now got a nearly complete set of the Motor Cycling yearbooks from the 1950s, which helps a lot.

#12 Dunc

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:03

Hi Dunc, If you are interested in this era I'm setting up a website of my fathers motor racing photos from this era mainly taken in Scotland www.thebillhendersoncollection.co.uk

William


Amazing photos William, thank you.


This is a good thread topic, especially coming as it does from someone of relatively tender (by TNF standards) years. I bet it's a long time since we had a thread on here where the average of contributors was possibly something under 30, I'm not including myself here. Get to it kids!


Thanks.

Are there any other folk interested in the old aesthtics of F1? I happen to think the sport, for some reason, looked better the period from about 1962-82 and I'm sure this is one of the reasons I love this era. The cars and drivers just had so much more style than they do today.

#13 Dunc

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:07

My daughter - age 28 - has blossomed into a F-1 Fanatic.


My ex hated F1 and always moaned about my interest in it. Is your daughter single :p ?

#14 SJ Lambert

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:42


I named my cat Michele Alboreto as a kid, I did like the "turbo era" as a period that I can remember. Reading about the mid sixties does it for me these days!

#15 rallen

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 13:08

Good thread topic!

Early 30's here - got into F1 aroung 91/92 playing the amazing Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix! The first season I watched was 1993 - was very lucky with this as there was lots of overtaking, drama and it was the last season of the Prost/Senna years and indeed, the last year before the classic circutes were altered or removed from the calander. Getting into it a year later I would have missed this and may never have had the passions I do now.

As for favourite eras. Has to be the 1960's right up to 1993. To be honest I started loosing interest in modern f1 in the late 90's - even then it had started to get dull and seemed to lack actual racing, I occasionaly watch a modern GP but I have no passion for it. Instead I spend my time reading about the history, the drivers the old races - I am obsessed with it. I am here every day just reading old threads and views. It is brilliant but the downside is that most things have been discussed before we came here and if we wern't around at the time, we have very little we can add to the thread. Unless we ask a specific question of course (and then get told off for not using the search facillity!) it can be difficult to feel involved and part of TNF. I suspect we have a lot more 'lurkers' especially younger fans on the site than we realise.

I find it very furstrating being younger in the fact that I do adore the nostalga and the older seasons and I know I missed it and it's gone forever. I do feel cheated. It's a bit like modern music and being a fan of the Beatles - though you can still listen to the Beatles easily, it's very difficult to watch old footage and even if you can you don't get the atmosphere. It must have been so excting and unpredictable, with far more drama and human interest.

I would like to know more about prewar motor racing as I have a serious lack of knowlege - Keymode kindly sent me a pm a while ago recomending some books. I feel I have a very good knowlege of motor racing from the 60's to the 90's and all the characters, well as good as you can from reading books! My ambiton is to collect all the old motor sport magazine and autocourse annuals to immerse myself in my passion but that will be when I win the lottery!

I love most sports but I have never had the passion or excitment for any to the extent of motor racing. Seeing my first F1 race was one of the most exciting moments of my life.

Edited by rallen, 14 March 2012 - 14:39.


#16 Rob

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 13:18

I would like to know more about prewar motor racing as I have a serious lack of knowlege - Keymode kindly sent me a pm a while ago recomending some books. I feel I have a very good knowlege of motor racing from the 60's to the 90's and all the characters, well as good as you can from reading books! My ambiton is to collect all the old motor sport magazine and autocourse annuals to immerse myself in my passion but that will be when I win the lottery!


Leif Snellman's website is required reading. :)

http://www.kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman/

#17 nicanary

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 13:55

This thread has really knocked me for six - as an oldie I have assumed (incorrectly as it turns out) that young enthusiasts for F1 today have been influenced by computer games and the whole glamour/glitz/razzmatazz into thinking that what they presently see on the TV is what racing has always been like.

The slot-car antics of today's cars corrolate to those on their games-screens ; if you turn right, the car goes right. You make a mistake, you just press reset. Nobody dies.

The more these youngsters get the chance to see old re-runs, the more they will get to understand the background of the sport and understand how it got to where it is today. When the driver of a 250F is seen wildly sawing at the wheel and sliding around the road in a corner, it's not because he dosn't know what he's doing, it's because the narrow tyres and surfeit of power requires him to do that in order to a) get round the corner and b) stay alive. (Only using the 250F as an example - I know they were a lovely balanced car and very forgiving).

I really DO wish we could see the drivers "at work" today, but I realise that safety has to come first. Sigh!

If you don't already know about them, try watching the "Gentleman's Diary" dvds. Totally enthralling, reflecting society of the time, and dirt cheap.

#18 Rob

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 14:37

The slot-car antics of today's cars corrolate to those on their games-screens ; if you turn right, the car goes right. You make a mistake, you just press reset. Nobody dies.

The more these youngsters get the chance to see old re-runs, the more they will get to understand the background of the sport and understand how it got to where it is today. When the driver of a 250F is seen wildly sawing at the wheel and sliding around the road in a corner, it's not because he dosn't know what he's doing, it's because the narrow tyres and surfeit of power requires him to do that in order to a) get round the corner and b) stay alive. (Only using the 250F as an example - I know they were a lovely balanced car and very forgiving).


These computer games are actually getting awfully sophisticated with their physics. Well, the games that take physics seriously of course. There are still a lot of arcade games out there. When I first played Grand Prix Legends I was astonished at how little grip there was. After a while I started to prefer driving the older cars as putting a Lotus 49 in a four wheel drift around a corner is infinitely more fun than driving a car that's on rails. You can learn a lot about driving by playing these games. Obviously there are limits, but you can learn what being on the limit is like without putting your life in jeopardy.

#19 Dunc

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 14:46

Just a thought, as this thread seems to be getting a fair bit of attention should it perhaps become a sticky? Perhaps one of the mods could decide if it's worthy.

Edited by Dunc, 14 March 2012 - 14:49.


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#20 David McKinney

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 16:27

If it's getting a lot of attention, it doesn't need to be a sticky :)

#21 ryan86

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 18:51

I think, rather morbidly, that it was the increased attention given to the sport around the time of Senna's death that got me interested. I can also remember John Smith's death from the same time though Cobain's passed me by. It was at least some point in 1994 anyway, because I remember going to Edinburgh airport to pick my mum up on the morning of the Adelaide race and then returning home to watch it. The start of the 1995 may have passed me by, but by 1996 I was interested in it enough for some of my Christmas gifts to include books that I still have to this day and the 1996 Duke Season Review. It was the mid 90's that caught my interest and it always feels to me a slightly golden era of F1. On reflection whilst their were things that were good, you also notice that they were major weaknesses as well. Don't they say there's no love like your first love and I think once the things that get you hooked start disappearing being it cars, tracks or drivers, one can start watching out of habit.

I do have an interest in reading, though it's fair to say the further back you go and probably further from what I first initially knew you get, the lest intense the interest.

As an aside to, I'm not particularly interested in cars per se, it's more the competition aspect I'm drawn towards.

Edited by ryan86, 14 March 2012 - 19:02.


#22 werks prototype

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 20:21

Posted Image

Apologies for the quality of the photography, (I know this isn't really what you are after) but this was my first experience of Grand Prix. And rather predictably, it was the British Grand Prix, 2001.(Saturday admission).

And as much as it is a cliche, it really was the track side noise that got me. Despite the awful weather, imagine my surprise when it turned out that my bones were more than happy to oscillate at the precise frequency provided by each passing race car, be that McLaren, Ferrari, Sauber, Jaguar or Jordan. Who would have thought that such a thing could be transmitted so absolutely. It was incredible. And I remember thinking, What type of engineering is this, that could produce such phenomena? It was just another world to me.

Then trips to Goodwood, an experience which, in technological terms at least, supported the old adage that, 'there is rarely anything new under the sun'. Furthermore, the things that I saw and heard at Goodwood suggested also, that actually, in hindsight, those contemporary race cars, the cars that I first encountered at Silverstone in 2001, in comparison, had perhaps been representative of 'a bit of a lull in motorsport proceedings'.

And so from there on in, my interest has really been cultivated through books. It is the notion of invention that I enjoy the most. Individuals who came along with an idea and then actually made something with their hands. That sort of thing. And specials such as the 'Swandean Spitfire', the 'Flying Saucer' and the 'Flying Triangle'.

But I think the value of this particular forum, for younger generations, is that more often than not, here 'nostalgia' will actually be a thing derived from a persons real experience.
And so in that sense I suppose I indulge merely an interest, rather than a bona fide form of nostalgia.




#23 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 21:52

Although at 34, I fit in this age bracket, I've been on TNF for so long (12 years), that I think, and most days, feel, like I'm over 50! :lol:

Needless to say, I think it's well known here about my historical interest without expanding in depth, but I've always had a passion for 1950's racing and racers more than any other era. The late 80's come second, simply as that's when I started watching and enjoying the sport.

#24 D-Type

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 22:00

I'll be interested to see how many say their favourite period is when they were aged about 12 to 15, ie when they first became aware of what racing is all about.

#25 E1pix

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 22:00

Although at 34, I fit in this age bracket, I've been on TNF for so long (12 years), that I think, and most days, feel, like I'm over 50! :lol:

I feel exactly the same way... 'cause I'm 51! :)

Great thread. My first race was in 1963, and I have been rabid from Day One. To you younger folks, it gets much better with time and is one lovely sport. One day you realize, "I actually understand it now" and it's cool knowing that was 40 years ago.

Still can't get enough of it... 'it' not including NASCAR. :down:

#26 Les

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 22:29

I think I mentioned on the Sky thread too that I'm 31. I've been an avid fan almost non-stop since the early 90s although I zoned out a bit in the early 00s partly to do with the terminal boredom of the Schumacher era and partly to do with my wild ways at the time, although even then I used to watch all the races.

I started as a childhood fan of Senna (when he was alive). Motorsport events aren't exactly commonplace in the North-East of Scotland where I come from but as a teenager I managed to persuade my non-inerested dad to take me along to the Fintry Hillclimb on the outskirts of Aberdeen a few times. Since then I've been interested in a wide range of Motorsport and not just the 'Eff One' circus. I've always been interested in the history of the sport, a lot of people are completely ignorant of anything outside of Lewis Hamilton and that's an attitude I feel difficult to understand. Indeed I would love it if I could somehow travel back in time to catch Rosemyer on the Avus banking or Fangio at Rouen or the Nurburgring, perhaps Clark at Spa or perhaps a visit to the Osterrichring in the 70s! Maybe throw in a Le Mans visit in 67 too. Amazing!

I seem to have picked up a fascination with historic circuits too, I play GPL & read Motorsport so yeah history is important to me.

#27 dweller23

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 22:43

I'm in my 20s and I'm very much into Formula One history, certainly a lot more than into recent years of the sport.

#28 jj2728

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 23:25

I'll be interested to see how many say their favourite period is when they were aged about 12 to 15, ie when they first became aware of what racing is all about.


That's a good question. As for myself and this goes some ways back, in the early 60s when I was a member of the cub scouts, we had the annual soap box derby for model cars. IIRC, we were all given the same generic kit, a lump of balsa wood, 4 tires, metal rods for axles, and from there proceeded to assemble and paint them as we pleased. Anyone else remember that? Well, mine was made to resemble a 1930s Auto-Union, rear engined with the weight distributed as such, and of course spray painted in silver. Went to the competition with said car and all I can remember is the judges saying that the car was pointed the wrong way, all engines are in the front! Long story short, from the time I was a wee lad, those Auto Unions held sway over me and they were racing 20 years before I was born.

#29 E1pix

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 23:41

I'll be interested to see how many say their favourite period is when they were aged about 12 to 15, ie when they first became aware of what racing is all about.

You're onto something here... that's my favorite 'memory' period for sure, 12 to 18 for me. :)

But I think it grows, deepens, and matures from there as the levels of understanding change.

#30 Twin Window

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 00:16

I'm delighted that this topic has been embraced by TNFers of many differing age groups, not least the 'younger' ones. Age, naturally, being a somewhat subjective term!

Whilst I also have an interest in earlier eras, the 'special time' for me is the 1970s, from when I was around thirteen or so. This fits in with Duncan's theory nicely; a philosophy to which I also subscribe. Having said that, several exceptions have already surfaced here!

It's all good stuff and I'm pleased something's finally happened along these lines. It's to be encouraged! Long may it continue.

#31 E1pix

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:09

It's all good stuff and I'm pleased something's finally happened along these lines. It's to be encouraged! Long may it continue.

:up: Agreed! We all love racing. I almost started a thread a month back called Why Do We Love Racing So Darned Much? but got mired in long weeks and months of endless work. :drunk:

Stuart, '70s for me as well. The '12 to 18' reference I made was 1972 through 1978. I often ponder whether my age was the strongest factor... or were those just the greatest racing years ever? Older blokes will correct me, and they're probably right. But I am ever so glad I saw those days, I really don't think the current times are nearly as downright cool, friendly, blindingly fast for the times, on tires of rope, where a missed apex could be It. But every era is still great compared to almost anything else I've found in life (mountaineering's right there).

So I'm glad to see this here...Way to go, Dunc! :clap:

Edited by E1pix, 15 March 2012 - 01:16.


#32 cs3tcr

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:35

I'm 31 and have been an F1 fan since i was probably 5 or 6. My dad was/is still a fan, and used to tape the races so we could watch them, being on the west coast of Canada most races are way too early on Sunday to watch live.

As for my favourite era, the late 50's and most of the 60's. Reading about the lifestyle, races, and the advances in technology is what does it for me. Plus the shape of the cars. Favourite driver would be Jim Clark, and Team Lotus is my fav team. I keep looking at my bookshelf and almost everybook has something to do with both Clark and Lotus.

Havent been to an F1 race yet, but have planned on going to the Goodwood Revival this year, even managed to convince the GF to come with me.

#33 midgrid

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 15:31

On a related note, I started this topic (and poll) in RC a while ago, which may be of interest.

When, how and why did you start following Formula 1?

#34 Dunc

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 15:49

I'll be interested to see how many say their favourite period is when they were aged about 12 to 15, ie when they first became aware of what racing is all about.


For me that was when Hill, Villeneuve and Mika were taking on Schumi for the WDC, and succeding. It was a good time but have to say I prefer F1 now, it just seems so much more exciting, though it would be good if someone other then the holy quintet of Sebby, Webby, Hammy, Nando and JB could challenge for a win sometime.

#35 jackal

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 18:54

Hello all

Very interesting thread. I am 43 and it all started for me in the Woodcote grandstands at about 5/6 years old. I can still remember some of it. I so wish that i could have experienced all those black and white years prior to my birth but I would be quite happy just to go back to all those wonderful meetings full of allcomers and scratch races. It was the sound and smell of it that got to me big time. It is some kind of drug and the addiction lasts like I still can't believe(was reminded yesterday with a whiff of burnt racing oil) and I have been to Le Mans every year from the early 80's until when the circuit changed too much, to Bathurst '92(borrowed a tuned Toyota and did 2 laps when the road was open...YES!!!) and '93, GP's in OZ, Le Touqet beach races, Bol D'or, all over the UK working and helping and now have a resto/repair/motorsport business.

My wife(9 years younger) has always been interested in cars and F1 and through our little business she has become quite fond of pre-war machinery. So much so that she chipped in for 2 Singer projects. One is a Le Mans Special Speed and the other is a Sports rolling chassis with engine and box and that is hopefully going to be a special of some kind. She loves it all to be honest and reads MotorSport and other mags that turn up and keeps on to me about trying to get an english wheel.

Personally; I think there are a great number 20-40 somethings who suffer from a mixture of fascination, amusement, envy, etc of the bygone years and are probably much the same as my wife and I and are busy constructing time machines. There are also a great number of girls/women/girlfriends and wives that are very interested and supportive. Most seem to be very much in the Autograss arena and, to be honest, I think alot of what we miss in modern motorsport(noise, thrill, clubby atmosphere, innovation) does exist in Autograss. The burgers and butties are ALOT cheaper too!

All the best

Carl

#36 kayemod

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 19:52

After welcoming this thread at the start, maybe I should contribute something, and I blame it all on Stirling Moss, something I'll come to in a moment. My dad was a big race fan in the early years, and he was responsible for my own interest in pre WW2 racing, Rosemeyer and Nuvolari especially, and I've read most of what's around on those two. Dad had been at several races in his youth, including seeing the mighty Mercedes and Auto Unions race at Donington in the late 30s, and coincidentally my mother was at the same race, though they hadn't met at the time, she was there because she fancied one of the English drivers. There was often car talk in our house, copies of MotorSport were always around as well as books. I'd have been five or six when I was taken to my first race, though car spotting in the car parks was usually more of an attraction than the racing. The real breakthrough came at Oulton Park in 1961 where Stirling won in the Ferguson, its only ever race win, I have a Geoff Goddard original of the win on the wall in front of me as I write this, and always fancy that I might be one of the blurred faces in the background. I'd started to take real interest in all aspects of motoring by then, occasionally being allowed to steer the family Standard Vanguard slowly under close supervision on private land, so I had some small appreciation of what driving was all about. Watching Stirling win in the Ferguson astonished me with the precision and accuracy of his driving, it was sheer artistry, he was visibly on a higher plane than anyone else out there, and by some margin. You could get close to the track in places back then, with only a rope bearing a small "motor racing is dangerous" sign between you and the track, I was only a few feet away from the cars,and from that point on I was at most of the bigger events at Oulton. I'd grown up with the slightly naïve conviction that Stirling was the greatest driver who'd ever lived, and seeing his performance that day convinced me of that fact beyond all doubt, as some on here will have realised, and I haven't wavered much from that belief in the years since then. When he almost died at Goodwood in 1962, I was so upset my parents were quite worried, they even kept me off school for a day or two. The high points for me were the 60s, 70s and 80s. After that it has tailed off considerably though, I've seen F1 at Silverstone a few times, and sit often mildly bored through all televised F1, my main involvements these days are limited to the events at Goodwood, as well as TNF of course.

#37 aportinga

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 21:00

I'm pushing 40 and I started watching in the 80's (ABC's Wide World of Sports).

I love the Auto Union days and onward - each generation is unique in many ways. However when drivers became specialized I think racing in general began to deteriorate.

That said I do not think I have seen (IMO) a generation of collective talent more stronger then 1993. That is to say that 1993 was the last great year of great drivers for me.


#38 ryan86

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 00:46

I remember reading once an article by Adam Cooper in a magazine where he states that he remembers when the drivers started becoming younger than him and that it occurred when JJ Lehto made his debut. This moment for me occurred when Sebastian Vettel made his debut in 2007. He' still younger than me, as are Hulkenburg, Perez, Ricciardo, Vergne and Pic. Kobayashi, di Resta and Grosjean were all born within a few months of me and it's almost as if I'm older than half the grid. They are my contemporaries as opposed in some ways to the guys I looked up as a child.

It would be interesting, because a lot of seem to have first caught motor racing at 10 and then state our favourite time as our teens if we were to have the same reactions if we first discovered it at 30 years old so to speak. I alluded to this in my early post, but in we all initially fall in love with a certain seasons motorsport I believe and as things change from that (drivers, tracks, teams), it becomes more difficult to relate to that first season. I've often found that when you watch longer running TV dramas, they never quite seem as good the longer you watch them and that's because they usually become different shows to the one you started watching.

#39 David McKinney

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:24

There were no 13-year-old drivers when I got the "bug", but obviously the older I got the more drivers were younger than me - not fair!

I gradually got used to old drivers' sons taking up racing, but what really hit me was when young Hobbs started racing. Not only could I clearly remember his father racing, but I remembered him as a promising young driver, not an established 'name'. That's when I realised 45 was old ):

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#40 Rob

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:07

I gradually got used to old drivers' sons taking up racing, but what really hit me was when young Hobbs started racing. Not only could I clearly remember his father racing, but I remembered him as a promising young driver, not an established 'name'. That's when I realised 45 was old ):


Jan Magnussen's son Kevin is now doing fairly well for himself in racing. I remember when Jan was a promising young driver and I'm 27...

#41 LittleChris

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:23

I remember reading once an article by Adam Cooper in a magazine where he states that he remembers when the drivers started becoming younger than him and that it occurred when JJ Lehto made his debut.



I thought it was Eddie Irvine ? If Adam is reading this thread, perhaps he could confirm ?

#42 ryan86

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:35

I thought it was Eddie Irvine ? If Adam is reading this thread, perhaps he could confirm ?


JJ Lehto is younger than Eddie and made his debut before Eddie as well. Indeed, JJ's F1 career was almost over before Eddie made his debut.

#43 LittleChris

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:46

That makes sense. My memory is definitely not what it was !

#44 midgrid

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 14:04

I remember reading once an article by Adam Cooper in a magazine where he states that he remembers when the drivers started becoming younger than him and that it occurred when JJ Lehto made his debut. This moment for me occurred when Sebastian Vettel made his debut in 2007. He' still younger than me, as are Hulkenburg, Perez, Ricciardo, Vergne and Pic. Kobayashi, di Resta and Grosjean were all born within a few months of me and it's almost as if I'm older than half the grid. They are my contemporaries as opposed in some ways to the guys I looked up as a child.


Absolutely! This happened to me in 2009 when Sébastien Buemi made his début. Another important milestone for me will be when all of the drivers who were competing when I started watching have retired; Schumacher is the only one left now.


#45 Rob

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 18:49

Absolutely! This happened to me in 2009 when Sébastien Buemi made his début. Another important milestone for me will be when all of the drivers who were competing when I started watching have retired; Schumacher is the only one left now.

Happened for me in 2006 when Nico Rosberg joined Williams.

#46 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:03

I was already 16 when I started attending race meetings...

By the time I was 18 I was on a serious path to being well known in the pits. Just about everywhere. I attended about 36 race meetings a year those days, which meant I did a number of interstate trips each year. I saw some pretty good stuff.

Formula 1, of course, was just something we read about, but the Tasman Cup races we did attend and usually three of the Australian rounds saw me present over several years - four in 1966. There we got close to the genuine Grand Prix drivers and saw them at work and play, I would haunt the garages and knew a great many of the mechanics as well as the top local drivers.

Of course, they were still older than me then. Even Timmy Mayer was five or six years older than me and he was a young driver when he ran here, drivers younger than me started happening with (I think) Emerson Fittipaldi.

Those far-off days are certainly magnetic to the mind and heart, the past twenty years has been almost unattractive, but there was a lot of good stuff in between. Seeing my first F1 cars race in 1980, seeing my first F1 race in 1981 (Le Mans, too...) and then seeing the Australian Grand Prix go to F1 in 1985, I was also there in 1986.

The decline in the sport generally coincided with my lack of ability to follow things closely for other reasons, it became so easy to simply be more interested in what was behind than what was happening now and what lay ahead. And I had all along been entranced by the pre-war stuff that happened in Europe, I'd read all the Stirling Moss books about the fifties and up to his retirement, I'd been to Historic meetings and seen some interesting old cars that attracted me greatly. Contemporary F1 now rates quite low in my sights.

The journey that has been putting together our new book on F5000 in Australia and New Zealand has brought back untold memories of very good times, put me in touch with people I used to talk to regularly, given me an opportunity to try to explain to youngsters what those days were like.

I think that's an important role to play now...

#47 Suzy

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:15

Hah! I'm a young motorsport fan (35 to be exact) and have loved historic racing for many years. I love the current stuff and the old stuff. I spend ages at Silverstone (and other racing circuits) photographing old racing cars, chatting to the drivers and learning about them. If I get to sit and play in them then that's even more fun. I nearly had a stand-off with Jackie Oliver at the Silverstone Classic Media Day last week when he came to take this stunning yellow Ferrari out for passenger laps. I had fallen in love with it, I was already sitting in the driver's seat, the keys were in the ignition and, given the highly undignified job I'd made of clambering into it, I sure as hell wasn't intending to get out again! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Yes I enjoy watching modern F1 (as I think that we do have an interesting season in prospect) but I'm just as happy toddling around historic paddocks with people who remember the cars and are able to tell me the history of each one and the technical details. I see these race meetings/races as education as much as enjoyment (and having a media permit gives me even more of a chance to learn) and I hope that's not considered a bad thing.

I will happily confess that here's a lot that I don't know and I hope I can use this forum to ask "stupid" questions without feeling patronised or told to "go and look it up".

As for "modern" motorsport I enjoy watching the young drivers who started out at the same time that I started watching racing events and so our "careers" have been about the same length of time. I still feel great pride in a way when they do well, sadness if they do badly and disappointment if the money dries up and they end up stopping racing or going abroad to race. Le Mans is a great event in some ways as I look at the entry list and think "THERE you are!" when I see some of the names. :D


#48 mfd

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:07

I'll be interested to see how many say their favourite period is when they were aged about 12 to 15, ie when they first became aware of what racing is all about.

My four-penneth  ;) First recollection was hearing BBC radio reports of the progress of the 1966 Le Mans & this sparked my interest. One cousin had a friend who was a Silverstone commentator & I was given programmes & a poster or two. Another cousin took me to Oulton Park for the Gold Cup in 1968. I was 12 & didn't grasp the significance of free paddock access but I'll never forget 3 x works Ferrari parked on the grass & standing within inches of the nose of the Chris Amon car!
From there I was hooked & my weekly comic became Motoring News instead of the Beano. I guess for my age I was reasonably informed & today the same era from 66 until 72 still holds the same fascination. 1972 was when I got distracted by other teenage pursuits :D
I've done the more modern stuff as well, as from 1985 onwards, it fitted in with my work. Some interesting things happened then of course, but I'm not sure they had the same effect. Certainly what would be hard to match for someone getting hooked in the 90's & on, is the accessability, the opportunity to stand & gawp at one of our heroes going about their daily business at close quarters...

#49 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:51

Hah! I'm a young motorsport fan (35 to be exact) and have loved historic racing for many years. I love the current stuff and the old stuff. I spend ages at Silverstone (and other racing circuits) photographing old racing cars, chatting to the drivers and learning about them. If I get to sit and play in them then that's even more fun. I nearly had a stand-off with Jackie Oliver at the Silverstone Classic Media Day last week when he came to take this stunning yellow Ferrari out for passenger laps. I had fallen in love with it, I was already sitting in the driver's seat, the keys were in the ignition and, given the highly undignified job I'd made of clambering into it, I sure as hell wasn't intending to get out again! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Yes I enjoy watching modern F1 (as I think that we do have an interesting season in prospect) but I'm just as happy toddling around historic paddocks with people who remember the cars and are able to tell me the history of each one and the technical details. I see these race meetings/races as education as much as enjoyment (and having a media permit gives me even more of a chance to learn) and I hope that's not considered a bad thing.

I will happily confess that here's a lot that I don't know and I hope I can use this forum to ask "stupid" questions without feeling patronised or told to "go and look it up".

As for "modern" motorsport I enjoy watching the young drivers who started out at the same time that I started watching racing events and so our "careers" have been about the same length of time. I still feel great pride in a way when they do well, sadness if they do badly and disappointment if the money dries up and they end up stopping racing or going abroad to race. Le Mans is a great event in some ways as I look at the entry list and think "THERE you are!" when I see some of the names. :D

Excellent outlook...The way to be. :up:

#50 Geoff Smedley

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:03

Grand Prix racing was an exciting sport that was carried out in lands far away when I first became aware of the great cars in combat pre. WW2. and it was some 6 years before the sport really began to feed back into the spotlight with perhaps the appearance of the formula 500 with the appearance the young lads such as Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and others in these very quick little M/C engined cars that at that time were leading Motor Racing back into vogue after that dark period of war. I had been messing about firstly in a Morgan then the MG TC which most had a go at at some time, then by the 50's the TR2 Triumph and Healey era was the scene to be in but I had the pang to compete in something I believed to be closer to the real thrill of the sport and that was those little Cooper, Kieft, Emereson, and the many other cars that were dominating while creating the new history of world motor racing. I built a replica of the Mk.5 Cooper and powered it with a supercharged Vincent 1000cc engine and experienced personal help from the now icon Phil Irving and I think this bit of gear first put the notion in my head that perhaps if you can't beat them, join them! so by 1962 I found myself in charge of a brand new T51 Cooper Climax owned by John Youl and from that time on I witnessed in house a period of motor racing in Australia that to my mind has no equal in the past or since. a time when you have yet another icon, Jack Brabham (now Sir) sitting on your workshop bench at Symmons Plains giving you the low down of what's happening in Europe and the factory in England. There is little to compare with the glory days of true racing cars in a time when flaunting sponsors money was not part of the scene, titans of the track were men who drove their own vehicles and the more affluent ones could perhaps employ a mechanic to maintain his vehicle and present it at meetings in a race-worthy state able to match his drivers ability and while advertising on vehicles was not allowed in some cases the oil and rubber companies may help with product unlike today's Hollywood style performance even to promote what once would be considered taxi racing, the sport is only recognised in name only. I can even recall these young blokes like Ray Bell (pit-pests) which played such an important part in getting the stories to the public as unlike the today's grand productions on the big screen. There was no TV spectaculars but instead a bunch of motor magazines that were in those days feverishly sought after by the enthusiasts to satisfy their interests It is true that the most enjoyable parts of life become an indelible fixture, and so today it is feasible that today's grand Hollywood productions we witness today may become affixed to minds of today an become glory days in another 60 years time