The 2022 Vintage Racing season is already off and running in parts of the country with more temperate winter climates. While I was out of town recently, I took with me a well-worn, 22-year-old Vintage Motorsport issue celebrating the joy of another fresh new season underway.
Issue 2000/4, the July/August 2000 issue arrived just as “Y2K Fears” subsided (we Masters- and Fossils-class racers well-remember the end-of-the-world terror posited by the alarmist media—armageddon as computer systems all crashed in the advance from “1999” to “2000”) bearing text and photos to prove the world had not ended.
On the cover, a pair of sports racers battling at Sonoma Raceway (then and always known as Sears Point) in a combined CSRG/HSR West race weekend—a partnership that allowed HSRW 2.0 Liter Sports Racer Challenge competitors with post-‘67 machinery then not eligible for CSRG events to compete, boosting entries to more than 180.
That was just one of many season-opening races covered in this enjoyable issue which featured, prominently, a red Italian race car (the marker for me between “great issues” and “forever keepers” in my Vintage Motorsport back issue stack): the 1948 OSCA #1101 which, writer Harry Newton observed, “not only launched a car company, it helped establish the very definition of a sports car.”
As valuable a resource today was when the late Art Eastman wrote and photographed it was a three-page story on the Collier Automotive Museum’s four-day “Connoisseurship of the Sporting Car” symposium—a primer on and article titled, “Learning How To Collect”.
Perhaps the highlight for me was L. Spencer Riggs’ cover feature on the brilliant post-war Maserati and, later, Lancia star Luigi “Gigi” Villoresi who had passed away at age 88 in 1997, just three years before this issue came out. Less well known than contemporaries Nuvolari, Ascari, Carracciola and Fangio, the Italian had a brilliant career that will be forever linked to tragedy—the racing deaths of his brother Emilio and great friend (and Lancia teammate) Alberto Ascari. That he carried on past his prime and died virtually penniless cast a shadow on an otherwise amazing career. Truly one of the greats.
Much more fun was BS Levy’s Vintage Racing Primer entitled “Choosing the Proper Pathway to Perdition” which should be required reading by all who dare to venture into this sport. Consider well these Levy’s opening words and the wisdom behind them: “Based on no better corroborative evidence than a wink from the fellow on the next bar stool (himself a seriously infected Triumph racer), I’d come to the conclusion that the TR3 was the car to have in my chosen class.”
So much to be re-learned here as the 2022 season takes flight …