This great YouTube video is one of a series of Top Fives from Porsche. Anyone with even a passing interest in Porsche will be aware that Rennsport Porsches are minimalist and light weight. The 2.7RS is considered the Holy Grail of collectable, lightweight Porsches. However this video highlights the fact that there are at least four other Porsches that are significantly lighter in weight. The cars are, of course all historic racing Porsches with the emphasis on hillcliming. So what better place … [Read more...] about Top Five Lightweight Porsches and the GT3 RS that is ‘Almost’ Lightweight
The Historic Racer Project
The Historic Racer Project was a website that I created and edited for several years.
However, Historic Racer has not died. Many people still enjoy reading the features I created, so they remain right here and I'll be adding more.
The Historic Racer ethos remains - writing passionately about the things I care about. I figure you feel the same way.
Driver Coaching. A hot topic as ever in motorsport and an ever growing area for discussion in Historic Motorsport. This is something we’ve written about before, so it was interesting to spot this film about the legendary Rob Wilson. Karun Chandhok says almost word for our our own beliefs: Tennis stars have them, golfers have them, footballers have them. Racing drivers have them too. But you’ll never see them. They are that shadowy figure at the back of the garage, rarely seen on the pit wall … [Read more...] about Rob Wilson and the Flat Car Mantra
Sorting through my hard drives this month, I came across these grabbed shots of Malcolm Wilson at Goodwood in 2005. This was the first year they ran the rally stage there and they brought back happy memories I just had to share with you. Attending the press day for a couple of different magazines, I’m standing by Mr Wilson having a chat about son Matthew, then running in the British Championships and the state of WRC in general. Beside him is the Computervision Metro 6R4 he finished the RAC … [Read more...] about Riding Shotgun – Malcolm Wilson & The Computervision 6R4 – Still As Fast As Ever
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]For many, the definitive 1960’s sports racing car was the Lotus 23 and 23B. The elegant lines represented everything that was desirable at the time of booming clubman and sports car racing on road circuits and with more than 100 built, it was a popular seller for Colin Chapman. However, there is a less well know sports racing car that, on it’s day, was every bit as effective as the Lotus and which was considerably less numerous on the historic racing car … [Read more...] about Driving the Elva Mk7
Ever since I was a kid, I've had a love for the Avro Lancaster that flies with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. This love is probably entirely my grandfather's fault. He was an airframe mechanic in World War Two and in addition to spending several years in North Africa fixing aircraft, he was also based in Lincolnshire working on Lancasters. Pretty much every Christmas or New Year, he'd have a few beers and then sit me on his knee and talk to me about Lancasters, the harsh European … [Read more...] about On Board The Lancaster PA474
“They just don’t make them like that any more’ “In my day, they were proper cars. Racing cars today are way too easy" Comments you’ll often hear in the paddock or grandstands of any race meeting. Sir Stirling Moss himself is famously quoted as saying that the main reasons why he got into motorsport was to chase girls and because it was dangerous and that if Micheal Schumacher had driven in the same way in his era, he would have been killed on track, such is the safety of modern cars. So while … [Read more...] about Modern Racers vs Historics and Why Driving is Still Driving
In this digital age of always on internet, Wikipeidia, Porsche owners forums and chat groups, you could be forgiven for thinking that there was little point in buying a book about the Carrera 2.7. After all, any statistics, or information you may need can be found by swiping your iPad around Google for a while. You’re missing the point. While I love the digital age, there’s something about a good quality book that creates a sense of occasion when you sit down to open it. The first time you lift … [Read more...] about The Beautiful Carrera 2.7 Book
Looking back, it’s quite remarkable how simply carrying a camera can change the course of things. As I left for Donington Park that day, I wasn’t actually going as a photographer. I was there as a guest of Andy McKenna and Andy Middlehurst. The camera was picked up from force of habit. Canon EOS cameras are no lightweights, but as ever, I find it needs to come along. Of course, the unfolding images of Sir Stirling Moss and The Blonde were captured in just a few seconds and yet, years later, we … [Read more...] about Sir Stirling and The Blonde – The Final Edition
In theory I should be a fully signed up chain smoker, a two packs a day man with a gravelly, action film voice-over tone. Born in the sixties when pretty much everyone smoked, in a family of parents and grandparents who all lit up regularly. Many of whom had actually been told it was good for you in their youth. It was certainly fairly normal back then and you couldn't turn a magazine page without that man on his horse and the Marlboro Country scenic backdrop. I'm sorry to disappoint the … [Read more...] about Light Up – Memories of Cigarettes and Motorsport
Here’s a couple of laps of the iconic Donington Park circuit from summer 2015 alongside Andy McKenna. The race is the two driver Guards Trophy, part of the HSCC calendar. The car is the pretty Elva Mk7, powered by a Lotus Twin Cam. Owned by Robi Bernberg and co - driven by Andy McKenna, this was their first race together with the car. McKenna says, “That particular day we had to use the longer final drive hence my strange choice of gears at certain places...At the end of the day people say ' … [Read more...] about Elva Lotus Twin Cam, On Board, Donington Park 2015 with Andy McKenna
Across the decades of Porsche 911 production, we've seen many changes in technology and style. And not just in the cars themselves, but in the ways of marketing. Today's 'always on' social media channels, apps and streaming videos are used by Porsche in a very powerful way to promote the brand. But as a kid born in the 1960's and growing up in the seventies, car magazines and Sunday colour supplements were the areas that I was most exposed to car adverts. While we still see Porsche advertising … [Read more...] about The Changing Styles Of Porsche 911 Advertising
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A recent article on the highly regarded Road and Track Magazine’s website proved popular. Writing about the practice of track instruction and driver coaching from the passenger seat and titled ‘The Unnacceptable Danger of Track Day Instruction’ it talks about the practice of race track driver coaches delivering instruction from the passenger seat when on track. You can read the article here. It comments on the situation in the USA, "The fact that … [Read more...] about Driver Coaching and The View from The Passenger Seat
I recall to this day the very first time I saw a GPA Formula One helmet. Watching Formula One on TV at home, the cars forming up on the grid and Villeneuve climbing into his Ferrari. His mechanic offered up his crash helmet. Flameproof balaclava in place, Gilles seemed to open it up into two and slide it over his head, before snapping shut two horseshoe shaped clamps around his neck. I was amazed. In the days before VHS and Betamax, never mind TIVO, I could not record that moment. I had to wait … [Read more...] about Design Icons – The GPA Formula One Helmet
A pause down the phone line from McKenna. That’s rare, as he’s never normally short of something to say. “It was pretty emotional. Plus that car is unique, it’s the first time I’ve ever had a concern about a car’s value. It was fantastic.” If you’re a true Jim Clark fan, you're not going to turn down the chance to drive one of the original Lotus Cortina race cars he drove in period. And when you find out that you’re going to be driving it at Knockhill in Scotland, on the 50th anniversary of Jim … [Read more...] about Driving KPU 396C – Jim Clark’s Lotus Cortina
It makes a great headline but it's also the bold claim made by P51 Mustang designer. A few years ago now, in 1999 I was privileged to attend a talk by Lee Attwood, designer of the North American P51 Mustang. Despite being an elderly man at that point, he had traveled to the UK from his home in California to give a short talk to a group of aviation enthusiasts at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire. The talk had the rather contentious title 'I can built you a better airplane than … [Read more...] about The P51 Mustang – “I Can Build You A Faster Aircraft Than The Spitfire XIX” – Lee Attwood.
It’s back in 2004, the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Rain is falling in those annoying short showers that just stop the track from drying completely. Tricky conditions, the sort of thing that sends cars into the wall of bales if they drop a wheel onto the wet grass. A day for the lesser talented to learn humility. But a day for the talented to show how it’s done. Someone on the startline is wearing a Gilles Villeneuve helmet... [quote]the nose turns in and with a sharp stab of power, the driver … [Read more...] about Villeneneuve, his father’s GPA and the Ferrari 312T3 at Goodwood